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November 16, 2018

PhillyVoice High School Top 10: Garnet Valley’s Cade Brennan is the brains behind the Jags’ defense

High School Football high school football top 10
1116_Cade_Brennan_USAT Tommy Smith/for PhillyVoice

Cade Brennan is one of the best defensive ends in the area.

Cade Brennan is a little tough to miss. He’s a 6-foot-4, 255-pound senior defensive end for Garnet Valley and plays as much with his mind as he does his muscle.

Brennan and the undefeated Jaguars have a titanic test tonight, when they visit undefeated Coatesville in the PIAA District 1 Class 6A semifinals at 7 p.m.

What will invariably happen early in the game — and what’s happened throughout the season — is Garnet Valley defensive coordinator Jeff Allison and defensive line coach Jeff Hill will ask Brennan what he sees on the field, and the Jags’ coaching staff will make adjustments accordingly.

That’s how much impact Brennan has had on this 12-0 team.

It’s why the highly intelligent Brennan is heading to Bucknell.

“Coach Allison always approaches Cade as he comes off the field and asks, ‘What do you see, what do you like?’ and the feedback Cade gives us is tremendous,” Jags’ head coach Mike Ricci said. “That’s how much faith and confidence we have in Cade.

“Cade is a smart young man with a really high athletic IQ. The other thing about Cade is that he’s a completely selfless leader. It’s the sign of a good leader that it’s never about you, and Cade certainly epitomizes that. He’s a great kid from a great family. He’s a great leader and he’s everything you want in a kid, that’s who Cade Brennan is.”

Brennan worked into becoming an impact player. Ricci was impressed with how Brennan adjusted to the high school varsity level these last two years. He got stronger and makes his teammates better through his example.

Brennan’s resilience is at the heart of the Jags’ resolve.

That will be challenged tonight against Coatesville, which beat the Jags last year 35-28 in the district playoffs.

“Coatesville is a tremendous team that is very well coached and they’re one of the most impressive teams that I’ve ever seen on the high school level,” Ricci said. “Our thing is we have to control what we can control. We can’t control Coatesville. We can’t control what they do. We’re just going to be the best Garnet Valley that we can be.”

With a boost of Cade Brennan’s brainpower.

HIGH SCHOOLS

The PhillyVoice Top 10

Week of Nov. 16, 2018

1. St. Joseph’s Prep (9-0)

2. Coatesville (12-0)

3. North Penn (12-0)

4. Imhotep Charter (8-2)

5. Malvern Prep (10-0)

6. Garnet Valley (12-0)

7. Archbishop Wood (7-3)

8. Downingtown West (11-1)

9. Conwell-Egan (12-0)

10. Truman (10-2)

Under consideration: Downingtown East (0-3), Penn Wood (11-1), Academy Park (9-3), Radnor (9-3), Neshaminy (8-4), Upper Dublin (10-1), Pottsgrove (11-1), Quakertown (9-3).

PIAA Class 6A playoffs

Championship game is Friday, Nov. 23, hosted by the higher-seeded team

1. North Penn (12-0) vs. 4. Downingtown West (11-1)

2. Coatesville (12-0) vs. 3. Garnet Valley (12-0)

PIAA Class 5A playoffs

Championship game is Friday, Nov. 23, hosted by the higher-seeded team

1. Penn Wood (11-1) vs. 5. WC Rustin (10-2)

2. Upper Dublin (11-1) vs. 11. Unionville (6-6)


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