Mr. Resch’s Football Focus

I did have on a La Salle shirt under my Malvern Prep sweater at Ocean City High School on the evening of September 2nd. I was standing with La Salle’s starting quarterback from 2012, two State Championship winning linemen from 2008, and several of my former teachers. I was quietly reveling in all the songs that the pep band was playing, which were all the same ones that they played when I was on the O-Line at La Salle. 


However, for all of these connections to La Salle that I may have, watching the Friar offense hang 35 points on the Explorers, while blanking them on defense brought me all the joy in the world. As much as the game brought me back to my high school glory days, the truth is that I feel more like a Friar nowadays. This is my fourth year of teaching at Malvern Prep. I’m essentially starting my senior year here. My Malvern experience started with this group of seniors, and it is outstanding to see how much they’ve grown. 


A little over 3 years ago, I entered my first day of teaching here. There was no quad, there was scaffolding surrounding the CSI, and mod spaces met you at every turn. Just like our seniors probably were, I was beyond nervous to begin my journey at this school, but excited at the prospect of joining such a community. The teachers that I met made me feel right at home, assisting and encouraging me at every turn. I saw upperclassmen do the same for the class of 2023, leading by example and demonstrating the way to become a class of gentlemen. 


That was all nice and sentimental, but now I’m going to rip some seniors. As the lone Academic Algebra and Academic Geometry teacher for the entire school, I taught a ton of these guys. And let me tell you, it was a lot to manage. I had the likes of Ryan Falkenstein, Connor Boyle, Kevin Clark, Luke Testa, Colin McHugh, Matt Tegler, The Stingers, and Robert Prince back to back in Algebra and Geometry. Let that one sink in. As much as they may strike you as strict academic gentlemen, there were times that things got slightly off the rails. Still waiting for the administration to tell me that it was a joke and to give me some financial reparations. As annoying as this can be for a teacher, I look back and see these as moments that brought the guys together as a class. 


Some of the seniors only got to experience Academic Geometry with me. Cam Paquette, Bobby Mears, Sean Maguire, Hayden Pegg, Will Adolph, Owen Dietrich, Kevin Miller, Jacob Buzin, and Drew DellaVecchia were the boys mostly coming from middle school at Malvern. This seems great and all… until you realize that they all already knew each other… and were going to be mixed in with sophomores… and those sophomores were guys like Tommy Hamm, Jake Reid, and David Barnes. Similar to the Algebra squad, this group was not always apt to talk about the Pythagorean Theorem or SOHCAHTOA. Again, I think that a raise was in order. 


Billy Yacovelli, Roman Vernisi, Anderson Consolino, Bryce Pippin, AJ Nikolic, Dillon O’Connor, Yaahdir Nash, Pat Keenan, Chris Rabena, Aidan Naughton, and Kevin Keener… You missed out. Whether it was because you transferred in after freshman year or that you were already taking a math that’s above my pay grade, I didn’t have the opportunity to teach you. That said, I know that you have a distinct impact on this senior class in one way or another and I’m glad to have gotten to know you all through other means. 


What I can say about these gentlemen is that they have shown tremendous growth throughout their tenure as Friars. I can still remember when Captain Bob Mears was under 5’6”, when Pick-Six Pegg was under 100 pounds, and when Testa… well no actually Testa has been about the same size for all four years. It wasn’t just the physical stature that has changed, though. The amount of maturity that the ‘23s are now showing is something that I would never have expected in that first September. Even during the dog days of Covid, when their freshman year was cut short, this group still found a way to galvanize and progress as a unit of brothers. 


Even outside the lines and outside the classroom, this group has found ways to impress. There are guys like Yac, who essentially runs the robotics department in the CSI. There are guys like Yaahdir, whose writings in Impressions and conversations in the hallways, have changed my and dozens of outlooks on the Malvern experience. Guys like Pat Keenan, who has been instrumental in bringing a chapter of the Travis Manion Foundation, a foundation started in honor of a La Salle graduate, to Malvern Prep. These are just some of the many examples. I am in awe of all of the things that this senior class has accomplished. 


This group has made me incredibly proud as a teacher and faculty member at Malvern Prep. Although my roots are firmly planted on La Salle’s campus, growing with the seniors has been an outstanding privilege. I can’t think of a better group of gentlemen to lead our football team with pride, humility, and passion and there’s no team that I’d rather see thrash the Explorers. To the underclassmen, look to this group for a model of what Malvern is all about. I look forward to seeing what this team continues to accomplish on the field and off. If the past three years are any indication, we will all be wowed by the results. Best of luck to the senior football players, and all other fall athletes. Go Friars!


*Author’s Note: In Mr. Resch’s senior year, during a game on September 22, 2012, La Salle defeated Malvern Prep 38-6 to move to 4-0. Just a fun fact, no big deal or anything.