By: John Knebels- contributors videographer/editor Zamani Feelings, photographer Kathy Leister: reporter/videographers Ben Medland, James Williamson, Kevin Murphy, Chip Frenette: Editor/Graphics Austin Ampeloquio
PHILADELPHIA CATHOLIC LEAGUE FOOTBALL PREVIEW - BLUE DIVISION:
There is no other league like it. The PCL Football Season is about to begin. Philly Sports Digest gives you a glimpse of the grit, hard work and drive that goes into each practice...before the coin toss.
The Catholic League Blue Division was thoroughly entertaining last fall. Although the standings might not reflect it, each week was filled with unpredictable results.
With several squads in the mix for supremacy this fall, the 2018 season might be just as fun as its predecessor.
Neumann-Goretti is coming off an incredible season. The Saints finished 11-1 overall and a perfect 6-0 in the division en route to the division title and a loss in the state quarterfinal.
That team, however, is no more. Only three seniors dot a decimated roster, so N-G begins again. The Saints will rebuild behind sophomore defensive back Tysheem Johnson, one of the area’s top talents who intercepted eight passes last year, including four in a playoff win over Strawberry Mansion.
Senior Tre’Sean Bouie leads the offense after catching 16 passes for 275 yards and five touchdowns. Senior linebacker/wide receiver Jabrill Samuels, sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Khalief Jones, and two-way senior lineman Andrew Hagans offer much-needed experience.
HC Albie Crosby talks about the mindset of his team.
Senior WR Tre' Sean Bouie talks about the strength of his team.
Senior LB/WR Jabrill Samuels and Senior OL Andrew Hagans talk about their team dynamics and character.
Conwell-Egan(7-7 overall) finished with a 2-4 division record, but the Eagles got hot late and advanced all the way to the Class 3A state semifinals.
The return of the division’s Most Valuable Player, Boston College-bound senior running back Patrick Garwo, portends a championship contender in Bucks County.
All Garwo did was establish a new school rushing with 1,879 yards, punctuated by 27 total touchdowns. In the Eagles’ 38-20, season opening win over Roman Catholic, and 22-0 victory over Salem (NJ), Garwo was already in gear. He gained 178 yards on only 15 carries and found the end zone twice in game one, then added 103 yards and a TD in game two. When Garwo took a breather against Roman, senior Terome Mitchell was almost as good with 109 yards and three scores on 10 carries.
Mitchell doubles as an All-Catholic linebacker on a defense that includes another All-Catholic, junior Dwayne Majors, and two-way sophomore standout Dejuan Harris (two interceptions; team-best 13 catches for 292 yards). Senior wide receiver Sean Stokes was also an All-Catholic.
HC Jack Techtmann talks about the significance of making it to the state semifinals and his team's character.
Senior RB Patrick Garwo discusses the mindset of his team.
Senior WR Tre Mitchell talks about the end goal this season.
West Catholic(8-4) came up one win short of a division championship, finishing 5-1.
The Burrs, who were edged by Pottsgrove, 15-14, in their opener, and then bounced back for an 18-16 win over Paramus Catholic (NJ), might have enough to vault to the top because four All-Catholics highlight a strong roster.
Senior running back Jacir Savoy (1,088 yards and 13 TDs last year; 125 yards and two TDs against Paramus), senior wide receiver Seth Degree (team-leading 20 catches for 438 yards and four scores), junior center Rickquan Rivera, and senior linebacker Tre Johnson were each recognized by the coaches.
WEST CATHOLIC FOOTBALL
Players to watch on offense include senior receiver Aaron Jenkins, senior lineman Yaamir Dillard, and senior lineman Kha’Jey Frazier; Johnson, Jenkins (defensive back), and Frazier (linebacker) join senior linebacker Damen Studstill, senior defensive back Nadir-Morton Andrews, and junior defensive back Shakur Smalls to form a rugged defense.
HC Brian Fluck discusses his team's dynamics.
Senior RB Jacir Savoy describes his team's confidence.
Senior LB Tre Johnson talks about the mood of his team.
Cardinal O’Hara(7-4) lost to Imhotep in the 4A city final. The Lions could have won the division title with literally a handful of plays, losing their three division games by a composite 10 points.
Several stalwart returners could push O’Hara, which defeated Hudson Catholic (NJ) in its opener, 14-6, to the winner’s circle. All-Catholic senior Chris Kirby (23 catches for 253 yards and six total TDs) joins a receiving corps that includes veteran seniors Derrick Patrick (15 for 219, two touchdowns) and Max Much (9 for 128, TD). Benefitting from experienced pass-catchers is senior Luke Sprague, who fired 10 scoring passes. Patrick is a strong cornerback; senior Louis Perri and junior John Sheffer help guide both the offensive and defensive line.
CARDINAL O'HARA FOOTBALL
HC BJ Hogan talks about the strengths of this division.
Senior CB Derrick Patrick talks about what he is looking forward to most this season.
Senior QB Luke Sprague talks about his team's skill.
Archbishop Carroll left the PCL Red and immediately became a contender.
The Patriots return five key contributors on defense (junior middle linebacker Rich Kimmel, senior outside linebacker Jaelen Parker, senior safety Zach Butler (five interceptions last year), junior lineman Jamil Thomas, and senior safety Demetrius Hansen) and five more on offense (senior lineman Pat Griswold, junior quarterback Russel Minor-Shaw (gained 437 yards as a running back last year), senior running back Josh Bowman, senior running back Raphael Manning, and senior wide receiver Koran Butler).
ARCHBISHOP CARROLL FOOTBALL
In the Patriots’ 42-8 victory over Olney, which gave new coach Kyle Detweiler his first victory, Minor-Shaw threw three touchdown passes, a pair to Koran Butler. Bowman rushed for two scores, and Zach Butler collected a career-best two interceptions. In a 54-28 triumph over Seton Hall Prep (NJ), Bowman (141 yards, TD) joined Manning (10 carries, 113 yards, TD) and sophomore Brennan Robinson (4 carries for 95 yards, three combined TDs) for a torrid rushing display.
HC Kyle Detweiler discusses his team's excitement playing in the Blue Division.
Senior OL Pat Griswold talks about the new changes on offense.
Senior LB Jaelen Parker talks about the mood of his team.
Lansdale Catholic(5-7) has reason to be excited. The Crusaders, comprised mostly of juniors, have a bevy of returners that should make life miserable for the rest of the division.
Junior Danny Dutkiewicz gained 1,108 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He rushed for 97 yards and a TD in a 35-21 loss to Penn Charter. Dutkiewicz will join senior tight end Colin McKeever and a trio of linemen (seniors Matt Brulenski and John McCabe and junior Nicholas Scheetz) to support the offense.
A returning All-Catholic defensive back, Dutkiewicz also leads the way on defense along with junior lineman Brady Walsh, senior back Mike Shragher, junior linebacker Kevin Gianoni, junior defensive back Patrick Daly, junior defensive back Evan Hannings, and senior defensive back Jason Carr.
LANSDALE CATHOLIC FOOTBALL
HC Tom Kirk discusses the challenges of playing in the PCL.
Junior RB Danny Dutkiewicz talks about his team's physicality.
DB Jason Carr talks about playing his senior year.
Bishop McDevitt (5-5) returns All-Catholic defensive back junior Lonnie Rice, who will also take over the reins at quarterback.
Another All-Catholic, senior Richard Cotton, is at linebacker. Returners include senior Andrew Metro (center/tackle), junior Tyrone Fowler (tackle/end), senior Lawrence Richardson (tight end/outside linebacker), and senior Zay Scott (cornerback).
In a 42-7 blitz of Central, the Lancers received a two-touchdown, 152-yard from sophomore running back Jon-Luke Peaker. Sophomore Joachim McElroy scored on a rushing touchdown and also returned a punt for a score; Rice tallied twice via short runs.
BISHOP MCDEVITT FOOTBALL
The Lancers dropped a 34-27 decision to Cheltenham despite solid performances by Rice (160 yards and three TDs on 27 carries) and Peaker (16 carries for 145 yards).
HC MIke Watkins talks about his team's readiness this season.
Junior QB Lonnie Rice talks about his team's dynamics.
Senior LB Lawrence Richardson talks about taking the W this season.
Bonner-Prendergast(1-10) struggled in its 19-7 loss to rival Upper Darby in the “Upper Darby Bowl”, which is now tied at 7-7 all-time.
The Friars led, 7-0, on a 30-yard blocked punt return by junior Jared Nesbitt. Senior Nasim Cooper will be a mainstay for B-P at both receiver (14 receptions for 141 yards) and defensive back. Junior Michael Standen and Shon Nelson, who tossed five touchdowns last year, split QB duties in the opener.
The Friars, however, rallied to dispatch KIPP DuBois, as junior Charles Ingram rushed for 101 yards and scored four touchdowns.
HC Jack Muldoon discusses how his team prepared during the off-season to get ready for the PCL.
Junior RB Charles Ingram talks about looking forward to the new season.
Senior CB Nasim Cooper talks about his team's outlook.
Tag(s): Home Schools Philadelphia Catholic Football Arch. Carroll Football 5A Blue Division Bonner & Prendie Football Cardinal O'Hara Football Bishop McDevitt Football Conwell-Egan Football Lansdale Cath. Football Neumann/Goretti Football West Catholic Football