If you threw a cream puff 30 yards downfield and 5 feet over his head, Juan Dorsey probably would leap and catch it without breaking off a single crumb.
Not that the area's leading wide receiver (54 catches, 778 yards, 14.4 average, six touchdowns) is looking for snacks to fill out his 6-foot-2, 180-pound body. Nor has his father, a pastry chef, ever worked him out by tossing desserts in the air. The Glenelg senior just likes to catch things in his strong, yet soft, hands: baseballs (as starting shortstop) in the spring, basketballs (as a starting forward) in the winter and, of course, footballs.
"He has a 30-inch standing vertical leap," said Glenelg's ninth-year coach, Dennis Cole. "We call him Spiderman. He's all arms and legs. But he's filled in his body this year."
Glenelg's three-receiver offense, which uses a lot of short patterns, is just to Dorsey's taste. "I like the shorter patterns," he said, "because I can do a little shakin' and get upfield."
Though he runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds, Dorsey, who works as a cook in a local pizza place and loves to make cinnamon pancakes for his friends, won't run from the heat in the kitchen. The Gladiators' senior quarterback, Mike D'Andrea, said, "I'd have to say he's fearless. He'll go across the middle for me; he'll go up in the air for me . . . He's not going to be outleaped or outplayed on the ball."
Their special relationship has helped D'Andrea become the area's second-leading passer (115 of 251 for 1,570 yards and nine touchdowns) in his first year as starting quarterback. "We've been best friends since freshman year," he said. "We see a lot of the same reads and the same sight adjusts. That takes a lot of pressure off me."
The 5-11, 170-pound D'Andrea, a starting linebacker last year, has the arm of a third baseman and vision of a point guard, and he is both -- a three-sport teammate of Dorsey's. "He can do it all," said Cole. "He can put touch on the ball or throw it hard, 55 yards if he has to. He has good peripheral vision."
Dorsey, a starter at wide receiver since he was a sophomore, recalled a play in the first game of the season. "Mike had a play called," he said. "Then he audibled three times at the line, because they were jumping around. I caught [the pass], spun off one tackler in one direction, then spun the other way off another tackler and ran for a touchdown. It gave Mike and me confidence in each other."
That confidence has enabled both to have productive years for the inexperienced Gladiators (3-6), who returned just three starters. An overwhelming pass rush by No. 5 Oakland Mills Saturday in a 64-12 Scorpions win kept Dorsey and D'Andrea from adding significantly to their statistics.
No matter. This year they've worked together like pancakes and syrup.