FOOTBALL: Roney a menace on the gridiron for CC in 3rd year starting for state-power Shamrocks
NOVI – The Novi Detroit Catholic Central defense has been one of the state’s most dominant and punishing units from the start of the season.
And right at the forefront of the Shamrocks’ assault has been one of the state’s best defensive ends in Navy-commit Dylan Roney.
A three-year playmaker for the Shamrocks, Roney has been one of the team’s unquestioned leaders on and off the field since earning a starting nod as a sophomore, helping lead the program to back-to-back Division 2 state finals and a 7-2 record this year.
In 2013, Roney and the Catholic Central ‘D’ have allowed less than 10 points per outing.
Roney knew he needed to step it up in the responsibility department this fall.
“My leadership is what I’m most proud, I used to just be quiet and do what I was told,” he said. “Now I’m trying to be involved and help tell people what to do and like what my coaches says, play my best, let my light shine so that they can shine along with me.”
This season, the Shamrocks’ defense has tallied three shutouts and has held opposing teams to single digit point totals two more times.
The Catholic Central star knows that there is plenty of room for improvement as well.
“We’re just out there playing our hardest and people are stepping up big time,” he said. “We’re just trying to do the best that we can do, but we honestly haven’t done that great. Allowing seven points as an average sounds good, but we can still pick it up and start putting together shutouts.”
This season, Roney has shown his versatility for the Shamrocks as he’s stepped into a starting role in the offensive backfield, helping Catholic Central make up for the loss of several key contributors who graduated after last season.
Catholic Central head coach Tom Mach said that since Roney stepped on the field as a starter for his squad as a sophomore, he has been an elite pass rusher, while also bringing the type of workmanlike attitude that he looks for in his top players
“Dylan has been a starter for us for three years and he’s been a top pass rusher from the start,” he said. “He brings the degree of toughness that we need on defense and he’s the leader that kids look to. He brings an attitude and a toughness to get the job done and the kids can rally around that and he’s done a fantastic job this year because he’s been asked to go both ways and he does an awful lot of things for us.”
One of the most coveted defensive lineman at the college level in the state, Roney fielded offers from a number of different Division 1 colleges throughout the course of his recruiting process, including offers from Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Air Force.
Roney said that the loss of a friend and teammate, linebacker David Widzinski, who passed away suddenly shortly after the end of the 2012 season, was an inspiration for him as far and a big factor in him choosing to play at the next level for the Midshipmen.
"At first I was thinking about the best school I can go to football wise,” he said. “But one of my good friends, David Widzinski, passed away and I wanted to be the best person I could be and I feel like Navy is a place that would allow me to be that.”