Bishops loaded on defense, offense, and with an experienced coaching staff
Bishop England High School football coach John Cantey’s wife Haley has opted to take her oldest son on a week’s vacation to Venice, Italy as the beginning of football season looms on the horizon.
“If you see John around town, give him a hug,” Haley said on Facebook. “He’ll need it.”
Don’t worry. Cantey has it under control. He knows something about parenting the family’s four children. He also knows to surround himself with good people. His mother-in-law will be there to help.
Cantey also surrounds himself with more than capable help on the football field. His outstanding staff of assistants got even better over the offseason when former BE head football coach Jim Daniel returned home to help Cantey and the battling Bishops.
Daniel served as the head coach of Bishop England from 2001-07 and posted a 44-36 record. His best season came in ’04 when the Bishops reached the second round of the playoffs and finished with an 8-4 record. The team went 7-4 in his last year at the school in ’07.
“Having Jim and Mike (Darnell), that’s a lot of expertise to lean on,” Cantey said. “The more I lean on them, the more we’ll thrive as a coaching staff.”
Darnell, who led the Bishops to a state baseball championship in May, will work with the wide receivers this season. Daniel will work with the quarterbacks while Cantey will coach the running backs. However his main duty will be overseeing the defense.
“I think I’m going to enjoy it,” said Cantey. “But I don’t think my wife is going to enjoy it because it means watching a lot more film.”
Cantey knows defense wins championships. He only has to reflect back on the memorable 2011 and ’12 seasons when the Bishops won back-to-back state crowns with outstanding fundamental defense.
Cantey will begin the 2017 season with a 71-36 record at the school, which is good enough for second place on BE’s all-time list of winnigest coaches. Cantey’s father Jack is No. 1 with 184.
“We’re going back to the basics on defense,” Cantey said. “We’re going to play disciplined. Sometimes, when you say that, it sounds like your team isn’t that talented. But we have talent. We have to replace a lot of people. We have five starters penciled in, but the other positions are up in the air.”
The team participated in a scaled-down schedule of 7-on-7 passing camps and Cantey was pleased with what he saw.
Offense will be a strength of the team with four experienced linemen returning: Jordan Baltimore, Jack Tessier, Mac Hunter and Justin Counasse.
Their pass protection and run blocking will go a long way in determining the Bishops fate.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a talented and experienced quarterback on the roster. And the Bishops have just that in Leo Albano, who also is very intelligent. In a week’s span, he attended Dartmouth and Harvard football camps and then headed to the Midwest to attend a Notre Dame baseball camp.
“He’s just the total package,” Cantey said of Albano, who scored a 34 on his ACT. “If you have a daughter, he’s the guy you want her to bring home for dinner. He’s that All-American guy.”