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    Blue-Gold game reunites Smyrna's Tiberi, Woodbridge's Dooley

    2024-06-17

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    NEWARK — Marvin Dooley just grinned when asked what Jake Tiberi was like as a fifth-grader.

    “He was a nuisance,” joked the veteran football coach.

    Really, Dooley said, Tiberi was a kid who was always looking to know more about football.

    “He was a guy who always wanted to learn the game,” said Dooley. “He was always around you.”

    Back in 2016, Dooley was the William Penn High head coach and Tiberi was the Colonials’ waterboy.

    That makes this week’s Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game a reunion for the two.
    Dooley, now the coach at Woodbridge, will be the Gold head coach when the 68th edition of the senior all-star contest is played Friday at 7 p.m. at Delaware Stadium.

    Tiberi, the recent Smyrna grad, will be one of the Gold’s quarterbacks for the contest, which benefits Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens.

    With Blue-Gold Media Day held Sunday, Tiberi thinks it’s pretty cool that he gets to play his final high school game with Dooley.

    “That was always my dream to go to Penn and play for him,” said Tiberi. “Things happen. But I’m just really looking forward to being coached by him.
    “He’s a great coach. Love him to death.”

    “I think it’s neat,” said Dooley. “It’s going to be his last game. The Tiberis are like family to me. We all grew up together.”

    Along with playing for Dooley, Tiberi said it’s always been a dream to play in the Blue-Gold game, too. His father, Nick, played in the game along with a number of his uncles and cousins.

    Tiberi said there may be as many as 20 family members who have been in the Blue-Gold game. While he left William Penn, Tiberi said he’ll always be proud of his roots at the New Castle school.

    “Cherry and black will always be in my blood,” he said. “It’s definitely a good tradition.”

    Tiberi is one of four Smyrna players on the Gold roster. He is joined by Andre Ashley, Chijioke Eule and Kibwe Harris on the Gold.

    Because he also played at William Penn and Salesianum in high school, Tiberi has some former teammates involved in this year’s game.

    He’s learned from a number of different coaches.

    “They all have the same idea,” said Tiberi. “And they all kind of mix together.
    “You can always learn more but sometimes you’re relearning the same stuff over and over again. I love learning new stuff. It’s part of the sport.”

    Tiberi knows he’s got more football in front of him. He’s headed for NCAA Division II Millersville to continue his playing career.

    Dooley, for one, thinks Tiberi will be a good college player.

    “He’s a heck of a quarterback,” said Dooley. “He’ll do well.”

    Back when Tiberi was William Penn’s waterboy, Dooley let him draw up a play that the Colonials actually ran in a game.

    Friday night, Dooley will be letting Tiberi run the offense for real.
    Tiberi said he’s looking forward to the challenge of Friday’s game..

    “It’s the top players in the state,” he said. “Playing against them, doing the best I can, that will definitely carry on to Millersville. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens after that.”

    Extra points

    •Caesar Rodney lineman Chris Jamison was added to the Gold roster last week as a replacement.

    •The Gold will be without two marquee running backs — Dover’s Jakwon Kilby and Appoquinimink’s Daniel McConomy — who are both still recovering from injuries.

    •CR’s Aiden Cain was expected to be a late arrival in camp Sunday because he was running in a track meet.

    •The Gold is slated to scrimmage on Wednesday at Milford at 5 p.m. The Blue squad will scrimmage at Caravel at 5 p.m.

    •Dooley said it’s fun having his sons, Brandon and Nick , as assistant coaches on the Gold staff, especially with camp starting on Father’s Day.

    “I’m excited,” said Dooley. “But they’re really excited because it’s their first time doing it.”

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