Cardinal O’Hara had a pretty strong year this season, working its way up to fourth place in the Catholic League.
The Lions, though, took a major hit Tuesday when two-time All-Catholic midfielder Joe Simpson decided that he would transfer to Upper Darby. Simpson, an uncommitted 2014, did a little bit of everything for coach Jim DeRose, so his loss will have a huge impact. On the other side, Upper Darby coach Warren Danenza has to be absolutely thrilled with the prospect of reuniting Simpson with his brother, Ryan, a 2015 attackman.
“A big part of it was just about reuniting with my brother,” Joe Simpson said. “I just like the bond, plus Upper Darby offered me more in terms of academics. (The idea to transfer) just kind of came out of the blue.”
Joe Simpson led O’Hara in goals (39) and points (54) this year, while also seeing some time at the faceoff X and being tabbed as one of the better all-around midfielders in the area. He provides an enormous boost to the Royals, who are continually making baby steps to attain the status they’re seeking in the Central League.
Simpson will likely be the Royals’ best player next year and it’s another building block for Danenza to work with. It’s a bit puzzling as to how a player of his caliber hasn’t committed to a college yet, but maybe the move to the Central League will open up some eyes to a versatile player who could make a college program very happy.