2018 Season Review
In the program’s 50th season, the Roncalli football navigated injuries and inexperience to a 3-7 season. The team returned only six starters from last year’s 8-2 team which won a Circle City Conference title. By the end of the 2018 season, seven of the 22 opening-night starters missed at least one game due to injury. The Rebels started three different quarterbacks – senior Alex Volk, sophomore Cole Beckman and freshman Aidan Leffler. After losing its first four games, the Rebels improved to post a 3-3 over its final six games.
“We stayed together,” said head coach Scott Marsh. “I can’t remember a high school team facing as many challenges as this team did, but we kept practicing hard and competing hard.”
In the game at Franklin Central, senior wide receiver Luke Dill set a new program single-record for receptions with 11, topping the old mark of eight. Dill finished with a team-high 37 catches and 391 yards, with three touchdown catches. For the second straight year, senior running back Elijah Mahan led the team in rushing, accumulating 806 yards and seven touchdowns. Aidan Leffler finished second on the team with 345 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Senior linebacker Cody Carmony led the team with 78 tackles, while senior linebacker Brandon Berger finished second with 72 stops and tied for the team lead with 14 tackles for loss. Junior defensive lineman Jack Wardzala also logged 14 tackles for loss and recorded a team-high 9.5 sacks. Senior cornerback Jacob Denney led the team with five interceptions, despite missing five games due to injuries. In his first year of high school football, junior kicker Owen Herndon converted 22-of-24 PATs and 3-of-5 field goals.
Brandon Berger was named the team’s MVP. Senior running back Andrew Lockard earned Most Outstanding Offensive Player honors, while senior defensive lineman John Harris was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Senior long-snapper and kick coverage specialist Mat Waugh was chosen as the Most Outstanding Special Teams Player. Alex Volk won the team’s mental attitude award.
Berger and Harris were selected to the Class 5A All-State team, as chosen by the Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA). The duo were also named honorable mention All-Super Team (the best local players) by the Indy Star and were chosen to the All-Marion County team. Jack Wardzala earned honorable mention all-county honors. Those three players, along with Elijah Mahan, were named to the All-Circle City Conference team.
Of Roncalli’s 10 opponents, eight finished the season with a .500 record or better. Three teams – Bishop Chatard, Scecina Memorial and Brebeuf Jesuit – won at least 10 games. Three opponents won conference titles and three won sectional titles, while Bishop Chatard advanced to the semi-state. The Sagarin computer rated Roncalli’s schedule as the fourth-most difficult out of 37 programs in Class 5A.