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Archbishop Wood’s Arcidiacono Brothers Pose An Impenetrable Wall

Nick and Brandon Arcidiacono are tough tandem for Archbishop Wood (Photo by Joseph Santoliquito)

Nick and Brandon Arcidiacono are tough tandem for Archbishop Wood (Photo by Joseph Santoliquito)

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Top 10

Week of Oct. 3, 2011

1. Archbishop Wood (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: 1. Weeks Rated: 6.)

2. La Salle (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: 3. Weeks Rated: 6.)

3. Abington (Record: 5-0. Previous Week: 5. Weeks Rated: 3.)

4. Pennsbury (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)

5. Council Rock South (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: 4. Weeks Rated: 6.)

6. Malvern Prep (Record: 3-1. Previous Week: 7. Weeks Rated: 5.)

7. Neshaminy (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: 8. Weeks Rated: 5.)

8. Unionville (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated. 1.)

9. Coatesville (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: 6. Weeks Rated: 5.)

10. Downingtown East (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: 2. Weeks Rated: 5.)

Philadelphia (CBS)—Standing next to each other, Brandon and Nick Arcidiacono are large enough to block out the sun. Brandon, a 6-foot-5, 250-senior center/defensive tackle committed to Rutgers, and Nick, his younger brother, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound junior guard/linebacker, have been playing together their whole lives.

The Archbishop Wood brothers realize that this season could be it—this could be the last time the two are on the same team. When they were younger, Brandon used to block for Nick, a middle school running back who’s been converted to offensive/defensive line. Now they’ve played side-by-side the last two years.

Their older brother, Mark, who went to St. Joseph’s Prep, plays for Penn State. Growing up, the three used to fantasize about holding up three-fifths of a major Division I offensive front.

“We used to joke all the time about all three of us playing together on the same line in college,” said Brandon, who is projected to play center at Rutgers. “I’m going to miss playing with Nick a lot. We’ve always been on the same team. We’re two of eight kids, and it was easy on my parents, because they could drop Nick and me off at the same field, because we were always on the same team.”

Nick, who is getting considerable Division I attention from Rutgers, Penn State, Oregon, Miami and Temple, was moved next to Brandon last year and it was a dream fit for the two of them.

“We used to re-enact a lot of offensive plays in our living room last year, and we still do that a lot,” Brandon said. “We’ll challenge each other on each other’s plays. We have two little brothers coming up, but no one is closer in age that me and Nick. We share a room, we always have, and we’re always out together. This will be pretty tough leaving him.”

There is pressure on the Vikings this season. They’re the best team in the area and they entered 2010 as a pre-season favorite to win the PIAA Class AAA state championship, after reaching the state semifinals last year before losing to eventual state champion Allentown Central Catholic. Wood is a loaded team with six Division I commitments.

But achieving a state title carries a little more meaning to Nick. He’s putting someone ahead of himself.

“I want to win a state title for Brandon, and I want the best for him, I would love to win it for him because it does mean more for him as a senior,” Nick said. “It will be tough with him leaving after this year. It is almost like we’re twins. We spent our whole lives together. There is definitely a chance I can join Brandon at Rutgers, and when Mark was being recruited, he loved Rutgers. It definitely helps a little bit that Brandon will be there.

“But the main focus right now is the ultimate prize, that’s a state championship. We are trying to take it one week at a time. We all knew there was a target on our backs, and we’ve been dealing with the pressure as best we can. I don’t feel much pressure, not from the public and not from expectations. I think our whole team has that same attitude. We know what we have to do.”

Game of the Week

Downingtown West (5-0) at West Chester Henderson (4-1), Friday 7 p.m.

The Ches-Mont League may be the most competitive league in the area so far this season. The lone undefeated team still standing is Downingtown West, and seven of the 14 teams in the league are 4-1, including Henderson.

In its four victories, Henderson is averaging 39.7 points a game, while Downingtown West counters with a decent defense that’s giving up 14 points a game.

Reported by: Joseph Santoliquito