Ex-Cape-Atlantic League football stars Dustin Thomas, Norman White enjoying new life in Villanova spring practice - pressofAtlanticCity.com: High School Football

Ex-Cape-Atlantic League football stars Dustin Thomas, Norman White enjoying new life in Villanova spring practice - pressofAtlanticCity.com: High School Football

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Ex-Cape-Atlantic League football stars Dustin Thomas, Norman White enjoying new life in Villanova spring practice

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Posted: Saturday, April 7, 2012 12:30 am | Updated: 8:47 pm, Sat Apr 7, 2012.

Dustin Thomas was always the one throwing the passes even though he'd rather have been catching them.

The Ventnor native has wanted to play wide receiver since his freshman year in high school.

Thomas is now getting that chance at Villanova University.

Thomas played quarterback last season but has switched to wide receiver this spring.

"I always had a desire to do it," said Thomas, a St. Augustine Prep graduate. "I would have regretted it if I didn't have a chance."

At his first football practice at St. Augustine, Thomas jumped on the wide receiver line, trying to sneak in a couple of catches. But he was told to get back to throwing the ball before he got the chance.

Last October, after a Villanova game against Old Dominion, Thomas, a sophomore, was approached by his coaches about becoming a wide receiver. Rather than being disappointed about not playing quarterback, Thomas is approaching his new role with a good attitude.

"I believe everything happens for a reason," Thomas said. "I'm just taking positive steps."

Thomas worked with Dale Amos, one of his former St. Augustine coaches, before spring practice to gave him a good base from which to start the transition. As a wide receiver at Franklin & Marshall in the late 1980s, Amos set more than 40 school, conference and NCAA Division III records.

Thomas now works with Villanova teammate Norman White, a Mays Landing resident and St. Joseph High School graduate.

White missed all of last season with a foot injury, which was especially disappointing coming off a junior season in which he had 886 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 69 catches. After his breakout year, White was considered a future possible NFL draft pick.

"It feels really good to be back," White said. "But I try not to look at anything else. People are going to talk. People are going to say it hurt (my draft status). But I am just going to focus on the team and having a good season."

Thomas is White's backup at spring practice.

"I've been teaching him the ins and outs," White, a team captain, said. "Hopefully, he could back me up against Temple."

Villanova always starts the season playing Temple at Lincoln Financial Field.

White is happy he'll be back for that game. Sitting out last season was torturous, especially watching Villanova go 2-9 just one year after the Wildcats made the national semifinals in the Football Championship Subdivision.

White used that time on the sidelines to learn more about football and his position by charting defenses.

"I think it's going to help me out a lot," White said. "I am able to read coverage better and how cornerbacks work."

This season, White and Thomas hope to get past last season's disappointments as a team and as individuals.

Spring practice is a start for them to help the Wildcats get back to being a national power. For Thomas, it's about learning something new; for White, it's about getting back to doing what he loves.

"Maybe we looked too far ahead instead of trying to get better every day," Thomas said of the Wildcats' disappointing 2011. "Because of the 'V' on our helmet we have every day to get better as a team. We have to do the little things right."

Contact Susan Lulgjuraj:

609-272-7187

slulgjuraj@pressofac.com

© 2014 pressofAtlanticCity.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Cape-Atlantic League National Conference

School Conference Overall
St. Augustine Prep 7-0 8-2
Bridgeton 7-1 8-3
Cedar Creek 6-1 7-2
Buena Regional 5-3 5-5
Ocean City 3-4 4-5
Middle Township 2-5 3-6
Vineland 2-6 2-7
Pleasantville 1-6 2-7
Lower Cape May Regional 0-7 0-8

Cape-Atlantic League American Conference

School Conference Overall
Holy Spirit 7-0 10-0
St. Joseph 6-1 9-1
Millville 6-2 7-3
Hammonton 5-2 6-3
Atlantic City 3-4 4-5
Absegami 2-5 4-5
Oakcrest 1-6 2-7
Mainland Regional 1-6 3-6
Egg Harbor Township 1-6 2-7

Shore Conference A South

School Conference Overall
Jackson Memorial 6-1 7-3
Brick Township 5-2 8-3
Toms River South 5-2 7-3
Brick Memorial 4-3 6-4
Lacey Township 3-4 5-5
Southern Regional 3-4 4-5
Toms River East 1-5 3-6
Toms River North 0-6 1-8

Shore Conference B South

School Conference Overall
Barnegat 5-1 9-1
Central Regional 5-2 5-4
Monsignor Donovan 4-2 4-5
Lakewood 4-3 6-3
Jackson Liberty 3-4 4-5
Manchester Township 3-3 3-6
Pinelands Regional 1-5 1-8
Pt. Pleasant Boro 1-6 1-9

West Jersey Football League Royal Division

School Conference Overall
Camden 4-0 9-1
Delsea Regional 4-1 9-2
Woodrow Wilson 3-1 4-5
Bishop Eustace 1-4 5-4
Cumberland Regional 1-4 1-8
Deptford 1-4 1-8

West Jersey Football League Classic Division

School Conference Overall
Pennsville 5-0 8-2
Salem 4-1 5-5
Gloucester 3-2 3-6
Clayton 1-3 3-6
Pitman 1-3 2-7
Wildwood 0-5 2-5

Scoring leaders

Name School Total points
Lamont Harris St. Augustine Prep 126
Stefon Bowman Bridgeton 110
David Hood Absegami 108
Christian Tutela Lacey Township 100
Taalib Gerald Holy Spirit 96
Cappadonna Miller Bridgeton 92
Ryquell Armstead Millville 90
Rob Ennis Millville 90
Cody Sampson St. Joseph 84

Rushing touchdowns

Name School TDs
Lamont Harris St. Augustine Prep 21
Stefon Bowman Bridgeton 16
David Hood Absegami 15
Taalib Gerald Holy Spirit 14
Ryquell Armstead Millville 13

Passing touchdowns

Name School TDs
Tom Kelly Lacey Township 19
Jose Tabora St. Augustine Prep 19
Jamir Prevard Atlantic City 16
Ty Mindish Mainland Regional 13

Receiving touchdowns

Name School TDs
Christian Tutela Lacey Township 14
Austin Francisco St. Augustine Prep 12
Alex Padovani Hammonton 7
Isiah Graves Atlantic City 7
Jim Brennan Mainland Regional 7
LaDarrell Dixon Oakcrest 7

Field goal leaders

Name School Number Longest in yards
Jon Kubricki Pinelands Regional 5 36
Ryan Ulrich Barnegat 4 37
Joe Stadnicki Ocean City 4 38
Franco Rifici Holy Spirit 4 27
Alex Padovani Hammonton 3 30
Ryan Davis Cumberland Regional 3 47
Kyle Snow St. Augustine Prep 3 32
Mike McGarry
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James Clark
  • James Clark
  • Assistant Soccer Coach at St. Augustine Prep
  • James Clark has been writing about soccer for various media outlets, including The Press of Atlantic City, for 15 years. The Northfield resident coached travel teams in the South Jersey Soccer League for a decade and is currently an assistant soccer coach at St. Augustine Prep. Clark's blog will appear three times a week and daily during this summer's World Cup.