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All-Decade Delaware high school football team: Readers, reporter disagree on picks

Brad Myers
Delaware News Journal

The readers have spoken, and some of their selections for the Delaware Online All-Decade high school football team are … a little questionable.

We didn’t put many restrictions on the polls. You could vote as often as you liked, and it became obvious that some of you liked to vote a lot.

That may have skewed the results at a few positions, but that’s what makes it fun. There were no wrong answers. Almost every player on the ballots were first-team All-State picks between 2010-19, some of them more than once.

High school sports reporter Brad Myers believes Smyrna's Will Knight, the state's career rushing leader and a current standout at the University of Delaware, is the top running back on Delaware Online's All-Decade team.

In a lot of cases, that made it really hard to say this guy is better than the other guy. It’s very difficult to pick the All-State team each year, and it’s at least 10 times as difficult to pick an All-Decade team.

But with all due respect, the readers voted Will Knight as the seventh-best running back over the last 10 years of Delaware high school football, and Chris Godwin as the fourth-best receiver. Those readers must have skipped all of the games I saw.

So let’s run through each position, reveal the winners of the readers’ voting, and roll out my own All-Decade picks.

Quarterback

Readers’ pick: Darius Wade, Middletown. Brad’s pick: Jamie Jarmon, Indian River.

Wade is not a questionable pick at all. He would be No. 2 on my list.

But Jarmon’s senior season in 2011 – 2,151 yards and 24 touchdowns passing and 1,528 yards and 29 TDs rushing as Indian River went 12-0 and won the DIAA Division II title – ranks among the best by any player in the state’s history.

Former Middletown star Darius Wade was the readers' choice as the top Delaware high school quarterback of the decade.

Many of the 960 “other” votes we received were for Troy Haynes of Woodbridge. While he never was a first-team All-State pick, Haynes is a solid choice and you could argue he should have been on the ballot.

Running back/fullback

Readers’ picks: Jamon Kane, Woodbridge; Terrique Riddick, Woodbridge; Darius Hale, Hodgson. Brad’s picks: Will Knight, Smyrna; Reggie Carroll, William Penn; Pierce Ripanti, Caravel.

The toughest position, because there have been so many good ones and we’re only going with a top three.

William Penn's Reggie Carroll was a star running back on the 2014 DIAA Division I championship team.

But with a state-record 6,490 career rushing yards, 119 total touchdowns, two Offensive Player of the Year awards and three Division I state championships, Knight should be everybody’s runaway choice for No. 1.

Carroll rushed for 3,450 yards and 40 scores in just two years at William Penn, including a state title in 2014.

Ripanti, battling flu-like symptoms, capped his Caravel career with 32 carries for 249 yards and two touchdowns in a 39-29 win over Hodgson in the 2012 D-II title game. Then he went on to a stellar career as a linebacker at Lehigh.

Wide receiver

Readers’ picks: Isaiah Griffin, Middletown; Marquel Knight, Indian River; Makhi Jackson, Smyrna; Chris Godwin, Middletown. Brad’s picks: Chris Godwin, Middletown; Andre Patton, St. Elizabeth; Emon Roberts, Smyrna; Marquel Knight, Indian River.

Former Middletown star Chris Godwin was a second-team All-Pro pick as a wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.

Godwin went on to a fine career at Penn State, became a third-round NFL draft pick and is now among the top receivers in football, a second-team All-Pro pick with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.

Patton also played in the Big Ten at Rutgers and caught six passes for the Los Angeles Chargers this season.

Both rank among the most dominant players in Delaware high school football over the past 10 years – on offense, defense and special teams.

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Tight end

Readers’ picks: David Balint, St. Mark’s; Bilal Nichols, Hodgson. Brad’s picks: David Grinnage, Newark; Bilal Nichols, Hodgson.

Balint had good stats with the Spartans, and he isn’t a bad choice.

But the 6-foot-5 Grinnage was hard to stop at Newark, played three solid seasons at North Carolina State and has seen some NFL action with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bilal Nichols is a defensive lineman with the Chicago Bears, but he made the Delaware Online All-Decade high school football team as a tight end.

Nichols was more dominant as a defensive player at Hodgson, was a four-year star on the defensive line at Delaware and just finished his second solid season in the middle of the Chicago Bears’ line. The Silver Eagles didn’t throw to him a lot in high school, but when they did he usually caught it and scored.

Offensive line

Readers’ picks: T.J. Thomas, Delaware Military Academy; Dom Bright, St. Elizabeth; Sean Pie, Concord; Chris Lombardi, Concord; Caleb Weatherford, Middletown. Brad’s picks: Saleem Wormley, Smyrna; Evan Mulrooney, Salesianum; Hunter McHugh, Concord; Jacob Quinn, St. Mark’s; Conor Furey, Archmere.

Always a very tough position to select, as evidenced by wide variations in readers’ votes and the coaches’ All-State ballots every season.

But Wormley is the standout of this group, having just completed his freshman season at Penn State. And Mulrooney became a standout center at Maryland.

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Kicker

Readers’ pick: Pearce Bartlett, Salesianum. Brad’s pick: Jacob Jaworski, Friends.

Bartlett was good, but we’ll go with Jaworski. In three years, I never saw him miss.

Defensive line

Readers’ picks: Mike Adams, St. Mark’s; Tashan Fitzgerald, Hodgson; Logan Bushweller, Salesianum; Brad Pease, St. Mark’s. Brad’s picks: Brian O’Neill, Salesianum; Frank Burton, William Penn; Amir Mitchell-Marville, Hodgson; Shymere Vessels, Woodbridge.

A really deep position, and we’re leaving some very good players out. But it has to be that way when you’re only picking four.

Brian O'Neill plays offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, but the Salesianum graduate made the Delaware Online All-Decade high school football team as a defensive lineman.

O’Neill was also a Delaware Basketball Player of the Year, put on almost 100 pounds of mostly muscle at Pittsburgh, became a second-round NFL draft pick and is now a solid offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings.

Linebackers

Readers’ picks: Darryl Williams, Smyrna; Brendan Fogarty, St. Mark’s; Shane Marvel, Sussex Tech; Peter Cox, Middletown. Brad’s picks: Ray Jones, Hodgson; Troy Reeder, Salesianum; Avery Roberts, Concord; Nick DiGati, Middletown.

Every team puts its best playmakers at linebacker, so narrowing this to four is exceptionally tough.

Troy Reeder went on to start at Penn State, transfer to Delaware and become a standout, and now plays for the Los Angeles Rams.

Salesianum graduate Troy Reeder went on to star at linebacker at Penn State and Delaware before making the Los Angeles Rams' roster this season.

But we’re giving the tiniest of edges to Jones, who also starred at Delaware and was the fiercest hitter we’ve seen in a high school uniform.

Roberts was a top recruit at Nebraska, transferred and became the leading tackler at Oregon State this season. DiGati was a defensive centerpiece on some of Middletown’s best teams, and went on to be a standout at Delaware Valley.

Defensive backs

Readers’ picks: Esaias Guthrie, Middletown; De’Quez Walker, Middletown; Jordan Griffin, Middletown; Shane Wilkins, Middletown. Brad’s picks: Darnell Savage, Caravel; Colby Reeder, Salesianum; Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Delcastle; Isaiah Barnes, Sussex Central.

Middletown must have never allowed a touchdown pass during the 2010s, because the readers’ top five picks played for the Cavaliers.

But we think there are some better choices, starting with Savage, a 2019 first-round NFL draft pick and starting safety for the Green Bay Packers.

Caravel graduate Darnell Savage went on to star at Maryland, then became a first-round NFL draft pick and starting safety this season with the Green Bay Packers.

Colby Reeder was a stellar running back, a devastating hitter on defense and blocked six kicks as a Salesianum senior before starring at Delaware.

Boddy-Calhoun became an All-Big Ten pick at Minnesota and played four years in the NFL. And Barnes was the glue of one of the state’s best recent defenses, which carried Sussex Central to the 2018 Division I state title.

Punter

Readers’ pick: Ryan Nelson, Delmar. Brad’s pick: Tyler Taschner, Tatnall.

Nelson is a fine choice, a two-time All-Stater. But we’re going with Taschner, because I can still remember sitting at an All-State banquet a few years ago, watching highlights of each first-team player and seeing several of Taschner’s punts soar at least 20 yards past the opposing returner.

Kick returner

Reader’s pick: None. Brad’s pick: Quadree Henderson, A.I. du Pont.

We didn’t include this position among the readers’ choices, but I’ll add it to find a deserving All-Decade place for Henderson, who went on to set the University of Pittsburgh record for career return touchdowns with seven (four kickoffs, three punts).

Former A.I. du Pont star Quadree Henderson holds the University of Pittsburgh's career record with seven touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns.

Contact Brad Myers at bmyers@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ

All-Decade football voting

Readers’ voting results for the Delaware Online All-Decade high school football team:

Quarterbacks

Darius Wade, Middletown, 5,845

C.J. Henry, Hodgson, 4,035

Jamie Jarmon, Indian River, 3,798

Nolan Henderson, Smyrna, 1,768

Drew Fry, Middletown, 696

Ray Jones, Hodgson, 535

Taylor Reynolds, Newark, 439

Running back/fullbacks

Jamon Kane, Woodbridge, 8,708

Terrique Riddick, Woodbridge, 7,929

Darius Hale, Hodgson, 5,679

Kani Kane, Sussex Tech, 3,605

Desmond Sivels, Sussex Tech, 3,574

Dominique Dorsey, Caesar Rodney, 2,312

Will Knight, Smyrna, 2,245

Troy Reeder, Salesianum, 943

Jamar Baynard, Middletown, 924

Ryan Kilpatrick, Salesianum, 877

Patrick Udovich, Archmere, 722

Brooks Parker, Delmar, 718

Chris Jones, Laurel, 702

Colby Reeder, Salesianum, 683

Javon Peace, Dover, 575

Darnell Savage, Caravel, 573

Te’Shawn Dennard, Delmar, 514

Jerome Johnson, Cape Henlopen, 506

Eric Patton, St. Elizabeth, 497

Reggie Carroll, William Penn, 468

Pierce Ripanti, Caravel, 453

Quadir Bryant, Lake Forest, 436

Tarron Selby, St. Georges, 432

David Bowman, Milford, 429

Ethan Potter, Caravel, 423

Logan Gilbert, St. Georges, 414

Wide receivers

Isaiah Griffin, Middletown, 7,619

Marquel Knight, Indian River, 6,437

Makhi Jackson, Smyrna, 5,997

Chris Godwin, Middletown, 2,712

Gabe Wescott, Woodbridge, 1,836

Emon Roberts, Smyrna, 1,351

Quadree Henderson, A.I. du Pont, 1,346

Andre Patton, St. Elizabeth, 933

Xavier Griffin, Newark, 869

Donte Ritchie, Smyrna, 815

Dalton Ziemba, St. Mark’s, 721

Dante Shells, Caesar Rodney, 714

Tavarus Sample, Dover, 661

Anthony DelPercio, Middletown, 630

Ryan Taylor, St. Mark’s, 622

Elizjah Lewis, Hodgson, 615

Kenneth Edelin, Middletown, 570

Nick Johnston, Middletown, 447

Jamai Rice, St. Mark’s, 436

Tight ends

David Balint, St. Mark’s, 1,322

Bilal Nichols, Hodgson, 1,046

Ameer Watson, Smyrna, 999

Frank Burton, William Penn, 728

Shawn Bowman, Howard, 709

Ryan Fields, Middletown, 698

Jaheim Wing, Middletown, 610

David Grinnage, Newark, 575

Collin Russell, St. Elizabeth, 459

Offensive linemen

T.J. Thomas, DMA, 7,573

Dom Bright, St. Elizabeth, 5,017

Sean Pie, Concord, 3,796

Chris Lombardi, Sussex Central, 3,293

Caleb Weatherford, Middletown, 1,881

Zach Zupan, Concord, 1,720

Greg Rostick, Salesianum, 1,465

Shawn Davis, Concord, 1,272

Hunter McHugh, Concord, 1,107

Ty-Key Moore, Smyrna, 1,095

Will Argo, Sussex Tech, 1,015

Jerren Carter, Smyrna, 914

Jake Quinn, St. Mark’s, 839

Saleem Wormley, Smyrna, 772

Brandon Dooley, William Penn, 630

Darren Helwig, Smyrna, 516

Blake Harbert, Middletown, 473

Jacob Jones, Hodgson, 429

Jacob Smulski, Middletown, 397

Evan Mulrooney, Salesianum, 325

Jackson Truitt, Appoquinimink, 319

Bradly Anyanwu, Dover, 307

Xavier Trotter, Hodgson, 307

Ahmod Westbrook, Middletown, 306

Michael Hurd, Dover, 297

Zach Warren, Salesianum, 290

Zebulon Wright, Salesianum, 283

Foster Holland, St. Mark’s, 254

Tkai Perry, Dover, 253

Mike Royston, Middletown, 253

Pat Ryan, Salesianum, 250

Ernest English, William Penn, 245

Ryan Nowakowski, St. Mark’s, 245

J.D. Filippone, Salesianum, 229

Nicholas Doe, Hodgson, 227

Audrick Brown, William Penn, 222

Shaquan Brittingham, St. Georges, 204

Mitch Moyer, Archmere, 201

Conor Furey, Archmere, 193

Jermaine Lugo, Howard, 187

Dan Turk, Salesianum, 158

Tyler Odrick, St. Georges, 156

Randy Sinnott, Salesianum, 154

Kickers

Pearce Bartlett, Salesianum, 5,882

Pat Duffy, Salesianum, 3,967

Jacob Jaworski, Friends, 2,344

Jeff Richards, St. Mark’s, 1,111

T.J. Dematties, St. Mark’s, 327

Adam Szczreba, St. Elizabeth, 296

Mike Powers, Newark, 222

Cooper Urban, Salesianum, 197

Jay Perry, St. Mark’s, 113

Defensive linemen

Mike Adams, St. Mark’s, 7,356

Tashan Fitzgerald, Hodgson, 3,742

Logan Bushweller, Salesianum, 2,720

Brad Pease, St. Mark’s, 2,540

Leah Styles, Woodbridge, 2,359

Anthony McPoyle, Dover, 1,193

Jayvon Thomas, A.I. du Pont, 1,192

Shymere Vessels, Woodbridge, 1,148

Jaire Hicks, St. Georges, 1,090

Stefon Woodruff, St. Georges, 810

Brian O’Neill, Salesianum, 693

Frank Burton, William Penn, 622

Sean Murphy, St. Mark’s, 615

Lee Jones, St. Mark’s, 590

Hugo Harp, Smyrna, 504

Desmond Wilson, Smyrna, 480

Hunter Moyer, Smyrna, 459

Kyle Cathers, Salesianum, 413

Luke Horney, St. Mark’s, 393

Jacob Bricker, Middletown, 381

Ryan Fields, Middletown, 358

Xavier Trotter, Hodgson, 322

Malcolm Bowden, Sussex Central, 319

Amir Mitchell-Marville, Hodgson, 287

Jalik Heyward, Hodgson, 284

Jaheim Wing, Middletown, 274

Kasim Lewis, Sussex Central, 271

Jacob Smulski, Middletown, 235

Caleb Weatherford, Middletown, 194

John Flamer, Lake Forest, 187

Ernest English, William Penn, 179

Mitch Moyer, Archmere, 174

LaTerrian Spruill, Middletown, 174

D’Mir Copeland, William Penn, 163

Randall Anderson, William Penn, 144

Devin LaBau, St. Mark’s, 143

Marek Easton, Salesianum, 132

Markel Weldon, Middletown, 131

Mike Williams, St. Mark’s, 115

Joe Laznik, Appoquinimink, 114

Linebackers

Darryl Williams, Smyrna, 4,339

Brendan Fogarty, St. Mark’s, 3,008

Shane Marvel, Sussex Tech, 2,405

Peter Cox, Middletown, 2,290

Avery Roberts, Concord, 2,239

Charles Hope, William Penn, 1,387

Troy Reeder, Salesianum, 1,300

Grahm Roberts, Concord, 1,022

Brock Keeler, Woodbridge, 733

Nick DiGati, Middletown, 583

Ray Jones, Hodgson, 577

Kedrick Whitehead, Middletown, 577

Josh Hutchinson, Smyrna, 461

Hunter VonArx, Delmar, 452

Cory Mattox, Delmar, 398

Eric Patton, St. Elizabeth, 378

Brandon Shimko, Hodgson, 257

Zion Reed, Sussex Central, 256

Aaron Clark, Middletown, 252

Eric Shimko, Hodgson, 252

Deon Wright, Dover, 245

Erich Schneider, Middletown, 240

Mike McGreevy, Salesianum, 235

Shaquan Brittingham, St. Georges, 186

Josh Patrick, Salesianum, 170

Marquis Lake, William Penn, 157

Miles Hunter, Caesar Rodney, 153

Atticus Hall, Milford, 149

Conor Furey, Archmere, 140

Darren DiRenzo, Archmere, 101

Josh Parson, Appoquinimink, 74

Defensive backs

Esaias Guthrie, Middletown, 1,882

De’Quez Walker, Middletown, 1,568

Jordan Griffin, Middletown, 1,290

Shane Wilkins, Middletown, 945

Chris Godwin, Middletown, 783

Quadree Henderson, A.I. du Pont, 755

Darnell Savage, Caravel, 692

Gabe Wescott, Woodbridge, 679

Colby Reeder, Salesianum, 588

Isaiah Barnes, Sussex Central, 563

Carlton Nash, Smyrna, 449

Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Delcastle, 376

David Bowman, Milford, 329

Andre Patton, St. Elizabeth, 321

Zach Burton, William Penn, 307

Darius Jones, McKean, 290

Ruben Saunders, Hodgson, 273

Jabre Lolley, St. Mark’s, 255

Isaiah Gaynor, William Penn, 252

Ny’Ghee Lolley, Hodgson, 241

Isiah Mitchell, Middletown, 239

Ethan Potter, Caravel, 238

Thomas Davis, Middletown, 228

Domonique Smith, Sussex Central, 227

Daniel Douglas, Hodgson, 167

Keyjuan Selby, St. Georges, 167

Malik Banks, Howard, 153

Na’Quan Watson, Howard, 148

Reginald Grinnell, Glasgow, 141

Myric Rhodes, William Penn, 140

Teddy Patton, McKean, 111

Jarrett Ross, Charter of Wilmington 85

Punters

Ryan Nelson, Delmar, 5,854

Tyler Taschner, Tatnall, 5,283

Jacob Jaworski, Wilmington Friends, 1,086

Jim Andrews, Salesianum, 431

Jordan Dorman, Sussex Central, 331

Will Frangia, Salesianum, 325

Adam Szczerba, St. Elizabeth, 260

Sean Smith, Salesianum, 185

T.J. Morton, Salesianum, 169

Collin Russell, St. Elizabeth, 109