Broadcast crew – Mike Mayer (seated), Pete Fulginiti (seated) and Brian Carroll
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After two years, the two-time Daily Times Football Player of the Year from Strath Haven is moving on from his head coaching position at Archbishop Carroll. Connor resigned this week to become the defensive coordinator at Widener University.
“This past year I started to get the itch a little bit, to really get back into the college game and pursue that career and see where it takes me,” Connor told the Daily Times Thursday. “I had a great experience at Carroll. I really, really enjoyed my time. But in the back of my mind, it was always there, making the jump back to college especially to be a coordinator at a school like Widener. It was too good of an opportunity to turn down.”
Widener coach Mike Kelly reached out to Connor in December to notify him that the defensive coordinator position was available.
“Coach Kelly, I’ve known him since my time at coaching at West Chester (University) and I’ve had a good relationship with him,” Connor said. “Over winter break, he gave me a call and said the position just opened up and asked me if I was interested. It was somewhat out of the blue. It was nothing that I was aggressively attacking, it more or less just fell on my lap.”
The usual bite will be in the air Saturday afternoon at West Chester Rustin High School, host of a PIAA Class 3A football semifinal between Middletown and Conwell-Egan.
It won’t have anything to do with the weather or glad tidings, though. It’ll be the all-too familiar scent of controversy, courted year after year by the gaping loopholes pockmarking the PIAA’s governance.
Saturday’s installment will center on Conwell-Egan lineman Tom Burns IV, not because he’s a bonafide blue-chipper or even a potential game-breaker for the Eagles. The symbol of Burns’ presence could exceed the junior’s actual impact on the field.
Burns has generated controversy for the simple trajectory of his season — he’s at his second school, in his second state, in the same season.
He logged a full season as a lineman (and kicker) at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, N.J. He transferred to Conwell-Egan in mid-November, and the laxity of PIAA rules plopped him right into a surprising run to the PIAA semis by the Catholic League side. And for whatever actual influence the lineman has on the final score, his 6-4, 250-pound frame provides a large canvas on which observers can cast their aspersions.
It was just the way you expected Kevin Clancy to react to a personal milestone.Last Friday night’s PIAA District 1 Class 5A first-round playoff triumph at Bishop Shanahan marked Clancy’s 300th career victory, but he made it clear that he wanted the attention and accolades to go to his players.
“It’s nice, but it wasn’t as exciting as the game or what the kids accomplished,” Clancy said. “The big thing is this team and what it’s done this season. The kids are playing their hearts out, getting better every week.”
Sophomore Emmet Young’s 23-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining lifted the 11th-seeded Panthers to a dramatic 24-21 victory over the No. 6 Eagles in Downingtown.
Clancy, who is widely regarded as one of the area’s classiest coaches, posted his 233rd victory in 27 seasons on Providence Road. Prior to coming to Wallingford, he won 67 games in nine years at Archbishop Carroll.
“Obviously, you strive to win every time you take the field,” he said. “But football, just like any sport, should support the educational goals of the school.
“I want the kids to learn a strong work ethic, a commitment to their teammates, a commitment to the program, and how to fight through adversity. These are skills they can use later in life.”
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