The Malvern Preparatory School football team continues to grow and develop each year. The Friars finished the 2016 season with a record of 8-3 overall and 4-1 in the Inter-Ac League. They were also tied for first place in league action. The success could not have happened without the contributions of seniors on this year’s squad.
Among the seniors that have come a long way both on and off the field are wide receiver Matt Daller, wide receiver/defensive back Mike Fay, defensive back Dan Sullivan and offensive lineman Sean Grady.
While Daller has been a student at Malvern since sixth grade and has played football at the varsity level for the past three years, the other three came to Malvern Prep as high school freshmen and have played football every year since.
Fay has been a two-way starter for Malvern on offense and defense. He was voted Second Team All-League as a defensive back. He has also been a leader in service to the school community.
“I lead by example when I can,” said Fay. “That has helped me to step up my game.”
Daller has started as a wide receiver all season and was named Second Team All-League. He also has talent in baseball and has represented the school through community service.
“I’ve been helping everyone through practice as well as when we’re not on the field,” said Daller.
Sullivan has been one of the most prominent players on defense for the Friars. For his stellar play, he was selected All-League as a defensive back.
“As a senior, everyone has looked to me to make the big plays and provide leadership,” said Sullivan. “I thank my coaches for all that they have done.”
Grady has prevailed for his team on the offensive line and was named Second Team All-League. His athletic ability is not limited to football as he also plays baseball for the Friars.
“Everyone in the senior class is a good role model and provides a good work ethic,” said Grady. “I can’t do it without them.”
Malvern hosted the Avalon School in its final game of the season on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The Friars emerged with a 30-8 victory and this was a fine way for the seniors to conclude their high school football careers. Late in the third quarter, Fay carried the ball 14 yards into the end zone for a touchdown that gave Malvern a 16-0 lead with 2:52 in the period. This helped put things into perspective for the Friars and they extended their lead to 23-0 less than one minute later.
“Daller made a great block,” said Fay. “It was a momentum play. It gave us energy.”
Sullivan kept that momentum going in the fourth quarter. He intercepted the ball and carried it to the Avalon 10 yard line. Although the Friars were unable to score on that drive, Sullivan picked up a 10 yard touchdown with 2:49 to play.
“It was a special way to finish out my senior year,” said Sullivan.
What lies ahead for the graduating seniors? They are in search of academic and athletic success in their upcoming college years. Fay and Daller made commitments on National Signing Day, Nov. 8, as they are hoping to take their athletic careers to the collegiate level.
Fay signed to play lacrosse at the University of Notre Dame. The academic, athletic and religious programs that the university has to offer helped him make this decision.
“Notre Dame is a great school,” said Fay. “I felt comfortable there right away.”
Daller is headed to the University of Rhode Island to play baseball. Academically, he is interested in studying psychology and/or criminal justice.
Sullivan has not yet decided on a college but he is being recruited by several Ivy League schools as he wants to continue his football career. He has visited Cornell University and is also considering Penn, Dartmouth as well as Princeton. He hopes to major in one of the business fields, possibly accounting.
Grady is unsure as to where he will go to college. At this point, he wishes to play football and baseball for a Division III school such as Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Rochester or Kenyon College. One of his long-term goals is to pursue a career in engineering.
“You have to work your hardest and enjoy it,” Grady said of his high school years at Malvern Prep. “It goes by fast.”