Thomas Worthington: Younger Cardinals players gained valuable experience
Although it was a challenging season for the Thomas Worthington football team, first-year coach Mike Picetti said the experience gained by his younger players should lead to better results in 2021.
The Cardinals’ season came to a close Oct. 30 with a 29-7 loss at Kilbourne. They finished sixth (0-5) in the OCC-Cardinal Division behind champion Marysville (4-1) and went 2-7 overall, beating Newark 30-0 on Aug. 28 and Grove City 14-13 on Oct. 16.
Thomas opted out of competing in the Division I playoffs even though every team was eligible for the postseason this year.
“I think the best thing they were able to get this year was experience," Picetti said. "Playing football in the OCC is not easy, and when you’re playing as a sophomore and a junior for the first time, there’s a big learning curve. And I think they’ll be able to take that experience into next season and help some of the other guys who might be first-time starters and teach that leadership they were able to gain this year, and help propel us into a better season next year.”
The Cardinals lose 20 players to graduation, but several younger players received significant playing time this fall.
“For having everything that we had to do this year, I thought the kids performed pretty well for having so many things to fight through," Picetti said. "From where we were and where we ended up, I was pretty pleased with what we did.”
Senior quarterback Isaac Settles completed 57 of 106 passes for 549 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions and rushed 74 times for 300 yards and two scores before going down with an injury in a 28-21 loss to Olentangy Berlin on Oct. 2.
Junior quarterback Caleb Ortega took over for the rest of the season. He completed 31 of 75 passes for 304 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions and rushed 16 times for 60 yards.
Sophomore running back Anthony Brewu rushed 70 times for 347 yards and two touchdowns, and junior wide receiver Camden Beatty had 29 receptions for 383 yards and four touchdowns.
Seniors Reese Dykstra (LB) and Kyle Moog (DB) earned first-team all-league honors. Seniors Sam Carver (OL/DL) and Settles were second-team all-league, Beatty was special mention and senior Jayden Harris (RB/DB) was honorable mention.
Dykstra also was first-team all-district.
In addition to Beatty, Brewu and Ortega, key players expected to return include juniors Trevor Caruso (LB), Tyler Kemp (LB) and Josh Rock (WR/DB) and sophomore Don Cabin (DL).
•Record: 2-7 overall
•OCC-Cardinal standings: Marysville (4-1) Olentangy, Olentangy Berlin and Hilliard Darby (all 3-2), Dublin Jerome (2-3), Thomas (0-5)
•Seniors lost: Sam Carver, Carter Cornelius, Reese Dykstra, Jimmy Fenker, Ethan Gerding, Jayden Harris, Zach Horner, Abass Kamara, Jayvaun Lane, Grant Linville, A.J. Long-Lawrence, Ian Lyatuu, Cole McDermott, Cameron McIntosh, Kyle Moog, Hunter Pellerin, Brandon Ross, Isaac Settles, Michael Skidmore and Aramus Welch
•Key returnees: Camden Beatty, Anthony Brewu, Don Cabin, Trevor Caruso, Tyler Kemp, Caleb Ortega and Josh Rock