Maddix Dalena taking on the reins at quarterback for Montoursville | Information, Sports activities, Jobs
J.C. Keefer prefers to ship his play calls to solely his quarterback. After every play, his signal-caller runs over to the sideline and Keefer recites the play he needs, the size of which might make Leo Tolstoy blush.
Spending a 12 months as Montoursville’s backup quarterback a 12 months in the past, Maddix Dalena would at all times pay attention to these play calls as Keefer gave them to starter Hunter Shearer. In his thoughts, Dalena would recite it to himself again and again till the following name went out, then he’d do it once more.
The psychological sport Keefer wants his quarterbacks to play is simply as, if no more, essential than the bodily one they need to play. It’s part of the sport Dalena, Montoursville’s latest beginning quarterback, knew he needed to work on most. Positive, he’d prefer to be higher transferring across the pocket. He’d prefer to work on throwing some intermediate routes. However getting what Keefer needs to see on the sector to the remainder of his teammates is precedence No. 1.
“A few of our play calls are actually lengthy,” Dalena mentioned. “I attempt to mould it into my mind. A few of it will get actual complicated, however Hunter actually helped me out loads.”
“Our offense, although it doesn’t look advanced, really is,” Keefer mentioned. “Our quarterback is admittedly the one one who can keep in mind the complexity of the play and the formation, who’s going in movement, which method the road is move blocking and which method the play-action goes. That’s why I’ve our quarterback run over to the sideline after each play.”
Keefer is aware of he might make issues simpler. However the thought behind it’s to verify there’s not a shadow of a doubt what every individual is doing for a given play.
For Shearer and Brycen Mussina earlier than him, they used their sophomore seasons, their first as varsity beginning quarterbacks, to be taught the verbiage and undergo the rising pains. Dalena spent his sophomore season backing up Shearer and knew he needed to get a deal with on that side of the sport to pair together with his bodily instruments.
That’s why Keefer and the Montoursville teaching employees made a aware effort to get Dalena into video games final season. And he didn’t wait till video games have been already out of hand to the place all he was going was handing off the ball. As an alternative, he’d get Dalena significant reps with the first-team offense.
Dalena performed in 10 video games a 12 months in the past. He accomplished 21 of 38 passes for 316 yards, together with a landing and an interception. In a playoff win in opposition to Warrior Run, Dalena accomplished 8 of 16 passes for 108 yards.
“He was proficient sufficient to begin on many different native soccer groups final 12 months. And that’s no disrespect to the opposite quarterbacks in our space as a result of there’s plenty of good ones,” Keefer mentioned. “We went right into a handful of video games final 12 months the place we declared early within the week that Hunter would play the primary two sequence and Maddix would get the third after which we’d go from there. However our gameplan was we will’t go into (2020) with a inexperienced quarterback. It was a concerted effort to get him half the reps in follow and getting him substantial snaps, good snaps, in video games.”
And now right here’s Dalena, able to take the reins of an offense which has averaged greater than 31 factors per sport over its final six seasons with Shearer and Mussina at quarterback. Keefer feels greater than assured handing the offense to the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder. Dalena matches into how Keefer has tailor-made the offense over the past six seasons as a result of the one factor Mussina, Shearer and Dalena have in frequent is that they’re not runners.
“If Maddix was our quarterback final 12 months, we nonetheless might have had the success we had. However he was in a position to suck in additional of the offense,” Keefer mentioned. “It was a extremely tight competitors with him and Hunter all 12 months lengthy and I believe that gave him some confidence, and it provides me the arrogance in turning over the reigns to him.”
“Getting the expertise I did final 12 months helped loads,” Dalena mentioned. “Each time I’d go into the sport I’d be a little bit nervous. However now I can settle down and get within the zone instantly.”
Dalena will enable Keefer to increase the playbook a little bit extra this fall due to the bodily instruments he possesses. As heady as Shearer was and pretty much as good as he was at working Keefer’s offense, he didn’t fairly have the arm energy Dalena does.
Dalena opens up prospects to make use of different move routes Keefer didn’t ask Shearer to throw. The best way Dalena throws the ball is precisely the way in which you’d train a younger child to throw it.
“Typically he doesn’t notice how arduous he’s really throwing it. We’ll run a slant and a poor child is getting tattooed with a 90 mph fastball,” Keefer mentioned. “However we even have some throws that to make you must put a little bit mustard on it and Maddix can do this.”
“I really feel like I’m already fairly good at throwing the lengthy ball,” Dalena mentioned. “So I need to work on these quick passes, the slants, the hitches and digs. However I really feel like our chemistry is already there. I believe the receivers are used to me even when they do get mad after I throw too arduous they usually can’t grasp on. I simply can’t wait to get going.”
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