NEWARK — Nick Glover was only a freshman when he first got on the field for Dover High’s varsity football team.
Former Senator coach Carlton Brown said it was pretty obvious the big youngster had ability.
“We knew then when he was a freshman,” said Brown. “We put him out there and he played in some big games as a freshman. When we had that (Division I) semifinal game against Middletown, he was out there, holding his own.”
Sure enough, Glover has grown into a 6-foot, 300-pound senior who was considered one of the top defensive linemen in the state last fall. After earning third-team All-State honors, he’ll be playing in the 60th annual Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game on Saturday at Delaware Stadium at 7 p.m.
The Gold squad is also slated to hold a scrimmage today at 5:30 p.m. at Milford High.
Fittingly, Brown is on the Gold squad with Glover as an assistant coach. He’s been an assistant at Milford the last couple years.
“It was really nice to see my old coach again,” said Glover.
“Seeing that young man grow the way that he did from his freshman year and to see him at this point now has been an amazing trip,” said Brown.
“Getting the opportunity to be here with him is an honor. It’s an honor to see that young man get to play in this game. It’s definitely well-deserved.”
This week’s Blue-Gold game gives Brown and Glover one last chance to work together before moving on to other things.
Brown is planning to work as an assistant at St. Mark’s in the fall while Glover will continue his playing career at Wesley College. Glover hopes that a good showing in the Blue-Gold game will get him started toward a good first season with the Wolverines.
“I’ve been working out, conditioning, to get myself ready for this game,” said Glover. “I’m just ready to get out here and show what I can do.
“It’s going to be a huge step,” he said about playing for Wesley. “But I’m willing to take the challenge.”
All in the family (part 1)
For Raymond Ryan, the Blue-Gold Football Game was love at first sight.
Six decades ago, he played for the Blue in the inaugural contest. He then kept coming to the game every year.
Eventually, Ryan started bringing his granddaughter, Gabrielle Virdin, to the game every year.
“He always thought it was such a great cause,” said Virdin. “He would go to every single game, every single benefit that they had. He was so big into golf, he went to the golf tournament that they have.
“He would always tell me how, ‘His boys and him would always hang out.’ He met five of his really good friends here.”
When Ryan passed away several years ago, Virdin stopped going to the Blue-Gold game. But the recent Smyrna High grad is back this year as a member of the Gold cheerleading squad.
She wanted to make the squad in her grandfather’s memory.
“He never pressured me to do it but I always wanted to do it for him,” said Virdin.
All in the family (part 2)
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Blue-Gold player this year with a longer list of family connections to the game than Middletown’s Luke Elentrio.
With his mom, Karin, part of the Cape Henlopen Coveleski family, Elentrio is the 10th family member to take part in the game.
That list starts with Elentrio’s grandfather, Frank Coveleski, who was the Gold head coach in 1959.
Elentrio’s uncle, former Caesar Rodney coach John, also coached in the game in 1983 and ‘85. There were three other Coveleskis who played in the game — Uncle Pete in 1981 and cousins Josh (2004) and Max (2208).
Two Coveleskis were queen candidates — Karin (1983) and Aunt Sandy (1979) — and two cousins were ambassadors — Sam (2005) and Sean (2006).
“It’s definitely always been a goal to be in the Blue-Gold game,” said Elentrio, a 5-foot-7, 210-pound linebacker. “I was just really excited to be a part of it.”