Jake Dilcher is back on the football field this season and in a word, he’s thrilled.
As the varsity quarterback at Kennett High School in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, last year, Dilcher started the first two games of the season as a sophomore before suffering a broken foot that knocked him out the rest of the year.
Now a junior, he is back guiding the Blue Demons’ offense. “I was very anxious to return,” Dilcher said. “It was almost like I missed the entire season last year because the injury happened so early. With the amount of time needed to recover, I couldn’t make it back in time. I really missed playing.”
Dilcher’s broken foot did heal, and he was able to start preparing for the current season last Christmas.
While admitting he felt a little rusty early this season, Dilcher is off to a fabulous start as a junior. “I’m pretty happy,” he said. “There are a lot of things you can always improve on. There have been some ill-advised throws, some bad decisions. But nothing is ever perfect, so I’ve been pretty satisfied overall.”
Kennett High School is off to a 3-2 start, and Dilcher has completed 63 of 111 passes for 1,006 yards and 8 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder had also rushed for 221 yards and another score.
“It’s been pretty good, but you can always get better,” Dilcher said. “I’ve been working on staying in the pocket more. Don’t get out of the pocket so quick. Just try to move in the pocket instead of getting out and trying to just run.”
Dilcher has been very effective running the Blue Demons’ offense so far, and that’s a big reason why they have a winning record. The school has never made it to the playoffs.
“Last year, we went 2-8 for the season, so this year’s already been a whole lot better,” Dilcher said. “I think coming into the season, out expectations were higher. We’re a year older, the line is older as well. Almost all of the guys on the line are juniors and seniors. Also, they reclassified schools in Pennsylvania and we’re 5-A this season. It’s a division lower than where we were, based on enrollment, so it could be easier to make the playoffs. A 6-4 record might make the playoffs, and that’s what we’re hoping to accomplish as a team.”
Thanks to Dilcher’s solid early showing, Kennett H.S. is definitely playing like a team that has serious playoff ambitions.
Over the summer, Dilcher appeared in his third Duel and placed second among incoming juniors at NFA’s popular competition. “It really boosted my confidence,” he said. “Those are some really good quarterbacks from all over the country that go to the Duel. Going there and finishing second among the 25 or so quarterbacks in your grade, it definitely shows something.”
Dilcher has been training with NFA the last five years and says that’s a big reason why he’s been able to improve as a quarterback. “I started with NFA in middle school,” Dilcher said. “Right from the jump, they were helping me with straight-up mechanics and everything like that. I just kept increasing my arm strength with those same mechanics. NFA helped me become what I am right now.”