PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Vince Bedesem saw this coming a few years ago, back when his seniors were freshmen. What the Council Rock South coach has seen is a transformation, a program that keeps making history in its 10 years of existence. This season, the Golden Hawks are creating more posterity, as the No. 1 seed for the first time in school history in the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA playoffs beginning this weekend.
Council Rock South, which is 9-1, will host Upper Dublin (7-2) on Friday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the playoffs.
“We felt we were getting better back when we were 3-8 several years ago,” said Bedesem, the son of legendary coach Dick Bedesem. “We thought the first year we had been an anomaly, going 8-3. The second season we had here was a winning season, too, but we were building an identity. Even the years we went 2-9, 5-6, and the year we went 3-8 in 2007. We haven’t had a losing season since then.”
Since then, the Golden Hawks have had five-straight winning seasons, including consecutive 9-1 seasons these last two years.
Bedesem has counted on seniors PJ Gallo, bound for Maryland on a football scholarship, Ryan Hickey, Brian Donnelly, Ryan Whiteley, Justin Flor, Thomas Trampe and massive Andrew Cohen, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive tackle/offensive guard.
“We have a tremendous group of kids that keeps working hard, and these seniors saw as freshmen the commitment of the seniors on that team and what it takes to win,” said Bedesem, whose team reached the district semifinals last year, losing to eventual district champion North Penn. “The seniors on that team helped turn this program around.”
What the Golden Hawks face is a balanced tournament. There is no one dominant team in Class AAAA as in past years, like North Penn, and this year in Class AAA like Archbishop Wood. There are six teams that have 9-1 records, six with 8-2 records and Upper Dublin, the No. 16 seed, finished the regular season 7-2.
But Bedesem and Council Rock South does have something over most—if not all—teams in the playoffs: That’s a precise system that’s near mistake-free if the Golden Hawks’ wishbone offense is run the way it’s supposed to be.
“This is anyone’s tournament, I agree,” Bedesem said. “And I’ve said a number of times that this is the best district in the state. It’s highly competitive area and no one is heads above every other team in this tournament. It’s been a very balanced season. But I like the way we’re playing right now. The kids know what will be emphasized all week during practice.”
Week of Nov. 7, 2011
1. Archbishop Wood (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 1. Weeks Rated: 11.)
2. La Salle (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 2. Weeks Rated: 11.)
3. Council Rock South (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 3. Weeks Rated: 11.)
4. Abington (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 4. Weeks Rated: 8.)
5. Malvern Prep (Record: 8-1. Previous Week: 5. Weeks Rated: 9.)
6. Plymouth Whitemarsh (Record: 8-1. Previous Week: 6. Weeks Rated. 5.)
7. Unionville (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 7. Weeks Rated. 5.)
8. Garnet Valley (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)
9. Bayard Rustin (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 10. Weeks Rated: 4.)
10. Spring-Ford (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1)
Reported By Joseph Santoliquito