SOMERDALE – New Sterling High School football coach Dan Harris revived a stagnant Riverside program last season.
Now, the 28 year old will try to lead the Silver Knights back into the playoffs after missed the postseason last year.
“Expectations are high,” Harris said. “I think we’re very fast and very talented.”
Harris directed Riverside to a 6-4 record for their first winning campaign in 16 years. The Rams had absorbed 10 straight losing seasons. They won just 14 games in those 10 seasons, including four winless years.
The Silver Knights finished 6-4 last year, too. Harris replaces Clint Wiley, who stepped down for health reasons. Harris is also teaching at Sterling.
“We have to play with a chip on our shoulder,” said senior Ryan Brennan, a two-way end. “I really believe we can win the conference if we work hard enough. After last year, everyone is going to play with a chip on their shoulder because we know we could’ve won it, but we just didn’t perform.”
Senior two-way lineman Jonathan Corry expects winning results and not just because of Harris.
“Once senior year comes, you kind of look at it differently,” Corry said. “I wasn’t maybe as dedicated as I am this year because it is your senior year — your final year. You want to go out with something.
“You want to be known for something. So my expectations are as high as they can be.”
Charles-Joseph Naone-Carter, a senior running back/defensive back, felt the Silver Knights were close to being a playoff team last season, except for “some plays that messed up for us.”
Three years ago, Sterling lost to eventual South Jersey Group 2 champion West Deptford in the first round and two years ago the Silver Knights lost to Woodstown in the first round.
“I want to win everything,” Naone-Carter said.
The Bey twins – both Lorenzo and Larry are senior running backs and defensive backs – are looking at themselves to be playmakers.
“We have to step up and play better,” said Lorenzo.
Added Larry: “We lost a big class of seniors last year so we have a lot of new starters. We do have something to prove. As seniors we have to prove we can be better than 6-4. That is my goal.
“And I want to beat some of the teams that I never beat.”
Harris is optimistic because of both the drive of his upperclassmen and their talent.
“With a lot of seniors who graduated, there is some inexperience,” Harris said. “We have a talented sophomore class and we have a lot of speed in every class.”
Kevin Callahan; (856) 486-2424; firstname.lastname@example.org.