All season long the thought was the same: Get to Hershey and win the state championship. All season long there were obstacles, some placed there on purpose, and others were there inadvertently.
Gabe Infante has done a number of things incredibly well in leading St. Joseph’s Prep to new terrain this season, reaching the PIAA Class AAAA state championship for the first time in school history.
The goal has been there. It was just a matter of getting there. And this year, St. Joseph’s Prep has broken through the threshold and for the first time is playing into December.
Over the last five years, the PIAA district playoffs have wiped out a portion of what used to be an annual Thanksgiving Day tradition between neighboring rival schools.
They’re rivals in the same league, but will be playing for something far more important tonight when Glen Mills and Academy Park clash for the District 1 Class AAA championship at 7 p.m. at Ridley High School.
They’re large, fast, and right now, no one seems to be able stop them. The Imhotep Charter Panthers felt they deserved a state championship last year, and are more than compensating for that lost opportunity this season by smashing every team they face
They know how long it’s been since a St. Joseph’s Prep team has won a Catholic League title in football.
Archbishop Ryan coach Frank McArdle could have told his team to bag it. The Raiders were eliminated from the Catholic League Class AAAA playoffs, with two games left against powerhouses Archbishop Wood and St. Joseph’s Prep before its traditional Thanksgiving Day game.
Upper Dublin has gotten off to good starts in its history. But nothing like this. Nothing like opening a season by beating Central Bucks West for only the second time in school history. Nothing like getting off to an 8-0 start and having every district-playoff bound Class AAAA school begin looking over their shoulders at the Cardinals.
It came in a blink. Chris Martin spotted a flash of white out of the corner of his eye and the St. Joseph’s Prep quarterback promptly darted the ball in that direction.
There’s going to be another quarterback playing in the huge Catholic League Class AAAA showdown Friday at 7 p.m. when La Salle hosts arch rival St. Joe’s Prep at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.
When Rick Stroup applied for the Penncrest coaching job a few years back, his most ardent endorsement came from Garnet Valley coach Mike Ricci.
They knew them. Or at least they thought they knew them. They would see them every day in Coatesville High School walking in the halls, talking between periods. They were there with them last December, there at Hershey Park Stadium to support them when they played in the PIAA state championship.
They go back together to the “sowing room” days, back to the bleak times when they shared a two-year 1-and-22 stretch and nothing was going right. It’s when Haverford High School head coach Joe Gallagher and assistant coach Justin Mellor would retreat to the sowing room because it had the best white board in the school at that time and they had to draw up new plays.
Coatesville once again tops the Southeastern PA high school football Top Ten.