By Adam Kulikowski:
Head coach: Andrew Erby, 7th season (40-33)
2019 Season: 8-3 (5-2 league)
Postseason: Lost to Delone Catholic 39-27 in District 3 Class 2A semifinal.
Passing: Comp-Att, Yards, TD
Rushing: Att-Yards, Avg, TD
Odell Greene: 73-1,300, 18
Receiving: Rec-Yards, Avg, TD
Mehki Flowers: 43-1,000, 23.2, 25
Tryone Moore: 47-743, 15.8,10
Key returners: Tydre Hollands Alli, sr., OT; Kiyler Raye, sr., OG; Marcus Martinez, sr., C; Damein Hammonds, sr., WR; Mehki Flowers, jr., WR-DB; Odell Greene, sr., RB; Tyrone Moore, jr., WR-DB; Tyhir Duncan, OG.
Outlook: The Rollers have all the components needed to stake their flag to the top of the Capital Division hill. Mehki Flowers, the four-star wide receiver and safety who packed on another 10 pounds to his frame over the offseason, draws plenty of attention — and for good reason — but this is a team that is loaded with talent beyond the stud incoming junior. Four starters return to anchor the offensive line, running back Odell Greene and a freshman QB with a familiar last name are all primed to hit the ground running (more on that below). This is a club that should be fun to watch.
3 Things to Know:
- More than a game: Each morning before the pandemic shut down schools across the Commonwealth, Andrew Erby’s crew met in the auditorium. The goal? Build life skills that the Rollers could use both on and off the field. “When we evaluated and reflected on our previous season, we wanted to form a way and an opportunity to build leadership and life skills,” Erby said of the meetings which continued online after schools closed for the year. “We talked about the importance of team, and unity and effort and just our team core values. We related them to school, football and life. It was a life lesson class to give our kids the skills they need to be successful. … You can see first-hand the benefit of it.”
- A father’s son: The next four years should be a special time for Andrew Erby. Alex Erby, who is the twin brother of defensive lineman Andrew Jr., takes over as QB1 in the Rollers system as a 6-foot-2, 190-pound freshman. Think that’s a tall task? Think again. Alex already is garnering interest from colleges and has played with a number of his new varsity teammates as he rose through the feeder systems. “He’s been preparing for this since he’s been about 5 years old,” Erby said. “He has the measurable to be a good elite quarterback. To be a 6-2, 190-pound freshman, he is really advanced. It is hard to find a kid his age that is on the level he is as a freshman. He’s worked with this group of kids for years through the ranks. Now the opportunity is here.” Nine starters on offense return from 2019’s squad to fuel what should be a high-powered offense.
- Dean(e) of the defense: The Rollers gained a difference maker on defense — he just won’t be able to take the field. Lance Deane — yep, the same Lance Deane who dominated at Bishop McDevitt and shined at corner back for Kutztown — will serve as defensive coordinator in 2020. “I probably have the best hire in Pennsylvania because he easily could be a head coach,” Erby said. “He’s a well-rounded guy who brings leadership. I can just see — he’s going to change what we look like defensively just with his knowledge and work ethic and understanding of the fundamentals. He could easily be a college coach right now. He fit in the mold of not just being a good coach, but also being active in the community, so he fit as a mentor in our program. He was a no-brainer for our program.”