In summer passing camps and drills, Aaron Haas and Mark Giubilato were locked in a battle to gain St. Joseph's Prep's quarterback position.
The 6-foot-4, 196-pound Haas, a senior, has a somewhat unorthodox delivery, but he's tall and fast. Giubilato, a 6-2, 220-pound junior, was the starter on Prep's undefeated junior varsity squad last fall.
"It was definitely a good competition," coach Gil Brooks said. "I think they brought out the best in each other."
Haas, a captain on the baseball team that won the Catholic League championship in June, ironed out his passing delivery, won the starting job in the summer, and maintained his status in the preseason. He will be under center at 7 tomorrow night when the Hawks, ranked No. 1 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer in the preseason, take on No. 2 North Penn at Plymouth Whitemarsh High.
Haas, 17, of West Chester, opted to not play American Legion baseball this summer.
"I knew I had to concentrate on football and getting better as a quarterback," he said. "I really wanted to win the starting job."
Haas has come a long way. He played wide receiver for the JV squad, which meant he was a bit behind Giubilato entering summer workouts. But it wasn't long before he won over Brooks and the coaching staff.
"He's got the intangibles you usually see in a senior - a little bit more sure of himself, a little calmer in the pocket," Brooks said. "And there's a lot of respect from his teammates."
Haas and Giubilato were teammates at St. Aloysius Academy in Bryn Mawr. As an eighth grader, Haas played quarterback and Giubilato was a tight end.
"Because we've known each other since we were in grade school, this has been a friendly competition," Haas said. "And it helped me a lot. It made me work harder."
Giubilato will quarterback the JV team again. He'll be the varsity backup and compete for playing time at strong safety.
"I give Mark a lot of credit," Brooks said. "He's never wavered one bit, as far as being enthusiastic and being a team player. He's never stopped embracing the team concept, and I appreciate that."
At Council Rock North. Indians sophomore Tyler Hamilton won a four-player battle for the quarterback spot. The 5-10, 170-pound Hamilton had competed against a senior, junior and fellow sophomore.
"It's hard, because the upperclassmen had been chasing that dream for a few years," first-year coach Tom Coates said. "When they don't get the position they're hoping for, it's a big disappointment."
At Central Bucks South. A quarterback rotation is planned, with senior Rob Turchick (6-0, 180 pounds), who played soccer last fall, and junior Tom Johns (6-5, 195) playing every other series.
"They each offer us different things," Titans coach Bart Szarko said. "Rob is a very good athlete and has good speed. Tom is more of a prototypical pocket passer, and he has a good arm."
Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019 or email@example.com.