by Erik Hubbard

The Chestnut Hill Academy Blue Devils headed into this season with young talent, but lacked a component that is usually key to a successful high school team, seniors.

The Devils are coming off of an undefeated championship run in the 2009-2010 Inter-Ac season, largely in part of the senior talent and leadership. So one can imagine losing those seniors is not something the team was looking forward to.

Tri-Captains Billy Dooley, Luke Mulvaney, and Malik Garner (left to right) (Photo by Deidra Lyngard)

No need to fret though, juniors Malik Garner, Billy Dooley, and Luke Mulvaney have stepped up to the plate as they boast the title of tri-captains. The three of them have been on the varsity squad since their first year of high school at CHA (Dooley and Mulvaney as freshmen; Garner entered CHA as a sophomore) so they know the ropes of Coach Bill Dooley’s program quite well.

When asked about being a captain as a junior, Garner said it didn’t matter.

Jr., Malik Garner (Photo by Deidra Lyngard)

“I feel like a freshman could be a captain as long as he is mature enough and carries himself as a real leader,” he said.

The junior-led squad is sitting at a record of 7-8 after opening their Inter-Ac season with a win this past Saturday vs. Penn Charter at Cabrini College.

While that may not be exactly where they want to be, the 8 losses they do have consist of hard-fought close games against notable teams like Woodberry Forrest, Abington Friends, LaSalle, and Episcopal High School from Alexandria, Virginia–schools considered top teams in their respective areas and leagues.

The Devils got off to a great start in their quest to repeat as champs, beating PC rather handily,  48-24. Mulvaney led all scorers with 16 and Garner was right behind him with 12.

Soph., Bobby Keyes readies to catch and shoot (Photo by Deidra Lyngard)

However, if they are going to maintain their champion status, they are going to have to beat the Friars of Malvern and the Haverford Fords, the two favorites to win the league this season.

These Devils may be young, but this squad has two full Inter-Ac seasons left together, which means a lot of time to build great chemistry.