Soccer preview: Episcopal Academy hopes enjoyable interprets into victory


Newtown Sq. >> Between climbing excessive in a landing move late in follow final week and handing the ball to teammate TJ Caden for a second try on the finish zone dance, you’ll be able to’t assist however discover one thing from TJ Lamb .

This summer season might be adaptation week for the Episcopal Academy. However Lamb and his companions had been unknowingly having enjoyable.

“It is the perfect. I have not had that a lot enjoyable taking part in soccer right here within the final three years,” mentioned 6-4 Lamb, who’s probably not the spectacular sort. “It is a lot enjoyable to play in. There are many choices. We now have threats everywhere in the subject. We are able to run the ball, move the ball, play tips. Numerous enjoyable.”

There must be loads of enjoyable alternatives for churchgoers this yr, particularly within the pro-genre offense of Todd Fairley, who spreads the ball — and pleasure — round generously. Na’Rome Rayborn is the one who oversees the crime from the start. As of 1 closing fall, he received three video games out when quarterback Jake Fant went down with an harm proving he was as much as the job.

“I’d positively say that I’m extra ready,” Rayborn mentioned. “Clearly final yr I received an opportunity to step into these three video games and get a variety of expertise. I believe going into this yr, I’ve received a variety of help from my friends. Final yr, I had a variety of help, however coming on this yr and being that first choice as quarterback, I’ve a variety of guys who simply have my again and push me day by day. ,

Episcopal Academy senior receiver TJ Caden will likely be one of many staff’s prime offensive playmates this season. (Pete Bannan/Media NewsGroup)

Raybourne final entered the second half of the Germantown Academy recreation when Fant raced for 2 touchdowns, planning a return within the fourth quarter. His landing move with 49 seconds, adopted by a two-point conversion hookup with Caiden, gave EA a one-point victory.

Per week later, he threw two touchdowns, saving 1:18 from a 22-yarder to Caden, to rally 20-13 down and get to Penn Constitution. He had a flamboyant TD on his closing begin and a passing rating rooting Springside Chestnut Hill.

That is three of Churchman’s 6–4 marketing campaign victories, together with all three of his Inter-AC victories.

“He is simple to work with,” Lamb mentioned of Rayborn. “He studied the playbook for the entire season, so he was able to go there. And bringing him again once more this yr, it is like we nearly by no means left final yr. The previous couple of follow, we received actually good. Sort of connecting.”

Raybourne made an unsure admission final yr as as to whether he would get any time without work. This season, figuring out that the reins belong to him, Junior is extra assured and centered on the job forward, to go together with all types of bodily prowess.

It isn’t essentially a straightforward bounce in yr two. Many of the key contributors to expertise positions had been seniors previously, which suggests Pretty might want to rethink its vary of choices. Wherever Caiden touches, the 6-foot pacer can have an effect on the sport. Lamb, a 6-4 Cornell lacrosse commit, is a giant goal, the one returnee in final yr’s three Inter-AC first-team groups.

“It is so vital as a result of final yr, they had been those I’d throw at day by day and I am studying their instincts, they’re studying my instincts,” Rabourne mentioned of TJ. “As I am beginning to develop, they’re additionally evolving.

We’re simply getting higher over time because the connections develop, and I am very assured that these connections are going to make us a extremely good staff this yr. ,

Deep threats from the passing recreation are Bryce Cooper and Mekhi Rodgers. Working again/linebacker Andrew McMeekin was coronary heart and soul on each offense and protection.

“Andrew, his mindset was loopy,” Lamb mentioned of the two-time lacrosse All-Delco and Princeton faceoff man. “He performed nearly each single play, labored laborious, confirmed everybody how one can do stuff. I believe a variety of seniors must play that position this yr.”

The backfield place is the one actual query mark, with juniors Zeke Kane and Chris Purnell anticipated to step up. Tight finish Ryan Appnell and junior broad Eric Damune – at 6-4 and 6-2 respectively – will face Raybourne within the passing recreation.

The road could be a drive, so long as it could possibly keep away from accidents. Victor Coleman and Tom Rafferty took the offensive entrance. Michael Martilotti, who was a second-team All-Inter-AC decide with Caden final yr, is main within the defensive trenches.

Each AJ Koukou and Michael Mincozzi ought to contribute there after lacking final season on account of harm. Michael Caden will be a part of older brother TJ within the defensive secondary behind linebacker Jack Gallagher.

This yr’s schedule contains out-of-state challenges from All Saints Episcopal Faculty of Texas and Blair Academy in New Jersey. The non-league tune-up final yr appeared to serve EA, with a 6-2 begin, earlier than shedding 17-7 at Malvern Prep and a 13-7 shock to rival Haverford Faculty to finish the yr. Occurred on a down word.

This yr, they’re hoping for a scripted ending that’s extra satisfying. Perhaps much more… enjoyable?

“It is a lot enjoyable,” Rayborn mentioned. “Being a double-threat quarterback, particularly these days and particularly on this league, Coach Fairley has put collectively lots and there’s a lot of alternative for me, working again, broad receiver. When. For those who put all of it collectively, it makes us a extra distinctive staff.”



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