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By Harry Chaykun, Special to the Times

Marple Newtown High varsity football coach Chris Gicking can expect plenty of help next summer when he begins his second season in charge of the Tigers’ program. Marple Newtown’s freshman football team, which dealt with several key injuries throughout its season, recently completed an undefeated campaign with a victory over Penncrest on a dark, rainy and foggy afternoon at Harry Harvey Stadium.

“They stuck together and worked as a unit,” Marple Newtown athletic director Dennis Reardon said. “The coaching staff hopes this is only the beginning of successful careers for all of them at Marple Newtown.”

The team dedicated its season to freshman football player Michael Shelly, who was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma during preseason training camp. “The team played for him each time they stepped on the field,” Reardon said. “The ‘ShellySTRONG’ mantra has carried the whole Marple Newtown community in its support for Mike.”

Among the members of the undefeated freshman team were Mike Avellino, Nick Battista, Luke Cantwell, Dash Dulgerian, Jack Fallows, Jimmy Gereghty, Manveer Grewal, Kevin Hahn, Jake Huey, Anthony Irvin, Teron Johnson, Jack McMaster, Ryan McVeigh, Jeremy Meier, Mike Miller, Stephen Morrison, Rob O’Brien, Anthony Paoletti, Matt Peel, Jeff Piscitelli, Zach Quinn, Mike Shelly, Chels Thiruselvam, Jason Tierney and Kyle Tobin.

Bob Knapp was the team’s head coach. Steve Reynolds and Trevor Viviani were his assistants.