Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lycoming Football's Starting Quarterback Questions

(L-R) #14 Collin Wright and #9 Chase Williams
Who will take the first snap?
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Coming off the Lycoming College football team’s worst record since 2006, head coach Mike Clark had an idea to take the team on a foreign trip. The resulting sojourn to Montreal gave the team some extra practice dates in May, a three-day stay in French-speaking Quebec and a momentum-building win.

With a group that returns just 11 starters and after a season in which the Warriors were within two touchdowns in six of the team’s seven losses, the trip to Canada did exactly what it was designed by Clark to do. The Warriors found some answers with new faces emerging into new roles and the team built some much-needed confidence as the 2017 season is set to get underway.

So now, a new-look Warrior team will get set to take the field on Saturday, Sept. 2, at Susquehanna – a group based around speed and athleticism.

“We’re ahead of where we’ve been the last couple years.” Clark said.
Coach’s Take: “We’re ahead of where we’ve been the last couple years.” Clark said. “We have goals on each side of the ball that we are focusing on. We are definitely making progress. There are still some areas that are concerning, but overall, we are faster and more athletic than we have been the last couple years. We like our overall skill level, but we are not as deep as we’d like to be on the offensive and defensive lines. The kids have really worked hard and they are focused. I think they like each other and they are having fun and all of those things matter in order to be a good team.”

The Breakdown: From the end of game 10 in 2016, the Warriors knew that they would have to replace two-year starting quarterback Chase Whiteman. In the spring, seniors Collin Wright (Secane, Pa./Ridley) and Chase Williams (Damascus, Md./Damascus) became the frontrunners to take over the spot. During the trip to Canada, both led the team on touchdown scoring drives in their first prolonged game experience at quarterback.

Not much has changed during training camp. Both Wright and Williams have the requisite experience and skills to earn playing time and both have battled for position in the team’s depth chart throughout their careers. Wright, who served as Whiteman’s backup in 2016, is loaded with a strong arm, but also can scramble when necessary. He had two 20-plus yard touchdown scores in the Canada game and completed four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown as a junior. Williams, meanwhile, gives the team a tough-minded quarterback with a good arm and the ability to scramble. An athletic body, he moved into the team’s wide receiver corps as a junior to get onto the field and he caught five passes for 56 yards.

Who Returns: Collin Wright, Sr., Secane, Pa./Ridley; Elisiah Bayne, So., Birdsboro, Pa./Reading; Chase Williams, Sr., Damascus, Md./Damascus.

Newcomers: Matt Monteverde, Fr., Dumont, N.J./Dumont.
Coach’s Take: “They both have different strengths. Chase probably makes decisions a little faster but Collin possesses a little better arm. They both run better than you think. It’s really going to come down to who can sustain drives and who can get us into the endzone. We’ve never played two quarterbacks, but I don’t think it is a stretch to say that early in the year that both of those guys could play. I believe both of those guys can put us in situations to help win football games and it is up to the coaching staff to put them in situations where we call plays to their strengths.”

About the Senior Quarterbacks:
Collin Wright (Secane, Pa./Ridley)

Collin Wright
2016: Appeared in three games as a backup quarterback ... completed 4-of-8 passing for 48 yards and a score … completed 4-of-5 passing while leading a scoring drive and compiling a season-high 48 yards against Lebanon Valley ... threw a 12-yard touchdown pass in the game.

2015: Appeared in seven games as a backup quarterback ... completed 5-of-15 passing for 78 yards, a touchdown and an interception ... went 3-of-5 for 25 yards and a touchdown against Stevenson ... added a 49-yard game against Albright.

2014: Injured.

High School: A three-year letterwinner in football at Ridley ... a second-team all-league selection as a senior ... passed for 402 yards against Spring-Ford in 2012, just one of four 400-yard passing games in Delaware County history ... led team to 13-1 record and Central League title as a junior ... played in the Hero Bowl ... also lettered in baseball and basketball.

Personal: Son of William and Gwen Wright ... has two brothers, Liam and Gavin ... a psychology major.

Chase Williams (Damascus, Md./Damascus)

Chase Williams
2016: Played in eight games as a wide receiver ... made five catches for 56 yards ... caught two passes for a career-high 29 yards against King’s.

2015: Appeared in seven games as the team’s holder and backup quarterback ... completed 3-of-5 passing for 22 yards against Widener.

2014: A member of the junior varsity squad.

High School: A two-time all-county selection ... helped Damascus to three division championships and one region title.

Personal: Son of Elise and Todd Williams ... has one brother, K.J. ... a history major.