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Drakes Sports

Jenkintown's Twer and McCarthy look to improve

Posted Tuesday, September 08, 2009 by Thomas D. McGlinchey
On the football field, speed kills.

Jenkintown’s Aiden Twer and Shawn McCarthy know this, which is why the two skill players spent their offseason at a Velocity Sports Performance center in Warminster working on, you guessed it, getting faster.

“I just wanted to get as fast I can, as better as I can, help the team out as much as I can,” said Twer, a senior wide receiver/defensive back who hauled in 36 catches, including seven touchdowns, for 619 yards last season.

According to its web site, Velocity’s programs are “scientifically designed to improve speed, power, and agility—the three pillars of athleticism.” Classes at the Warminster center have been moved to the Hatfield location.

“You did a variety of drills there—quickness drills, lateral, all that stuff,” said Twer. “It got me faster I’d say.”

In addition to improving on his quickness, McCarthy, a senior, also bulked up by adding 15 pounds to his 5-foot-8 frame. He now weighs in at 165 pounds. Last year, in his first season starting at running back, McCarthy ran all over his opponents and racked up 1,336 rushing yards on 216 carries despite weighing just 150 pounds.

“I actually wasn’t expecting to do that,” said McCarthy. “I kind of joked about getting a 1,000 yards with my family and stuff. We had some great lineman last year in Jay West and Chris DiValentino.

“We had a real good running back two years ago in Jay Reuter. Everyone was saying, ‘they’re not going to be good this year. They don’t have a running back.’ Every single time I stepped on the field I tried to just picture people saying that and give it to anyone.”

Last year, Twer and McCarthy played integral roles on a Jenkintown team that finished 9-3 and made the playoffs.

“It was a really successful season,” said Twer, who is looking to play Division III football, Gettysburg College is one option right now. “I really haven’t won that much in the past with Jenkintown. I learned how to win. The coaches come from a winning background.”

This year, the two seniors are looking for Jenkintown to take another step forward. Their improved speed could be at the center of the Drakes’ success.

“Aiden is explosive, he’s very explosive,” said Drakes’ coach Harold Smith. “Great skill set, great hands. His work ethic has gotten a lot better. He’s been doing all the right stuff this camp. Shawn, he’s just a warrior. People thought last year he couldn’t do it, he got over 1,000. He just plays, he just straps it up and plays every week.”

“Aiden is the type of leader, he comes in, does what he’s supposed to. Shawn’s a leader. Shawn’s more vocal and he’ll tell kids how he feels.”

With the graduation of DiValentino, West and fullback Alex Flood, the Drakes might have problems at offensive line in the beginning of the season, though.

“They do some stuff and they have some experience with us, but again, we have to go as a team,” said Smith. “It’s great to have those guys out there, but if you don’t give our quarterback time, nothing’s going to happen. It all starts up front. We’ve got to get our o-line and d-line to step up.”

“We did lose key lineman like Chris DiValentino and Jay West, they were great players, but I think with our coaching staff, Coach Shaw, who’s a good lineman’s coach, can get them ready,” said Twer. “I think we’ll be just as good as last year. I think we can bounce back.”

If the Drakes’ offensive line does comes around, Twer and McCarthy will continue where they left off last season.

“We’re running a different type of offense this year, two running backs, so I think both the running backs are going to have a great season,” said McCarthy. “I have confidence in our line that we’ll get it done.”

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