The start of the Creighton Prep football season came a week earlier than normal. The Junior Jays open with a week zero game versus Bellevue West. Here are notes and observations from Creighton Prep practice on Thursday, August 11, 2022.
Everything starts upfront for the 2022 Junior Jays. The absolute known are the five offensive lineman. All five starters from 2021 return for their senior season. Senior Sam Sledge at left tackle, senior Cole Jarrett at left guard, Jacob Brandl at center, senior Christian Lewis at right guard and senior Rocco Marcelino at right tackle. It’s not just the starting offensive line but the two junior backups CJ Costello and Steven Avilos return and provide significant depth.
Running back is in very good hands with senior Charmar “Marty” Brown returning after rushing for 1,067 yards and 15 touchdowns in nine games last season. Look for senior Cayden Russell to spell Brown and provide a speed punch to the balance of Brown. Senior John Pargo could also be in the mix at running back if he isn’t lining up at receiver or playing defensive back. There is some good depth at fullback led by senior George Eagan.
Senior Mick Tabor is back at nose guard in the Jr. Jays 3-4 front. Senior Collin Hulbert, Sledge and Marcelino will also see significant time on the defensive line.
Linebacker is another position group the Junior Jays should feel good about heading into 2022. Senior Nic Kieny returns at middle linebacker along with Eagan. Marty Brown could see some snaps at outside linebacker along with his twin brother Ahmar “Joe” Brown. Senior Ezra Vedral transferred over from Bishop Neumann last fall and will provide significant depth with Eagan and Kieny in the middle.
The quarterback room is good but inexperienced in varsity action at the Class A level. Junior Dean Donaldson transferred from Bellevue West during the season last year and will be the starter. Donaldson (6-4, 185) has the prototypical size, arm and athleticism you look for in a college prospect. Senior Sam Stessman is a solid backup that if needed you would feel confident in running the offense.
The skill positions on the outside will be led by Pargo. He returns after starting 2021 at corner. The four other spots in the defensive backfield are a bit of an unknown. Russell, senior Riley Mahoney, Russell, senior Pierce Johnson and junior Zac McLeay are the likely candidates to fill positions in the defensive backfield.
In order for the offense to be more balanced a group of pass catchers will need to emerge. At receiver Johnson, Pargo and senior Eddie Hubner will likely be the top pass catchers. Those three combined for just 17 catches in 2021. At tight end, senior Daniel Cronin, Kieny and junior Michael Burt had a combined zero catches last season.