PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Imhotep Charter coach Albie Crosby knows what’s ahead, but he doesn’t want to look that far ahead. Crosby would rather have his team continue its focus on the small increments before them right now and that’s facing undefeated 13-0 Academy Park this Friday night in the PIAA Class AAA state quarterfinals at Plymouth-Whitemarsh at 7 p.m.
Many that watch high school football in this area feel that Crosby and his Panthers are streamlined to become history makers by being the first Philadelphia Public League team to win a PIAA state football championship.READ MORE: Body Found At Broomall Auto Body Shop Owned By Missing Man George Hughes, Police Say
But Crosby refuses to look at it that way, even after Imhotep defeated two-time defending state champion Archbishop Wood, 20-14, to take the District 12 (city) title last weekend, snapping Wood’s 20-game winning streak.
“Our goal coming into this season wasn’t to beat Archbishop Wood, our goal coming into this season is to win a state championship,” said Crosby, whose team is ranked No. 24 nationally by USA Today and No. 1 in the area by CBS Philly. “I hear people say that we’ve won everything now that we beat Wood. That’s not true.READ MORE: Off-Duty Officer Thomas Munz Jr. Killed While Riding Motorcycle In South Philly Was Involved In Fatal Shooting Of Walter Wallace Jr.
“We’re playing good football teams that we don’t know anything about, teams like Academy Park. That’s a good football team with one of the best defenses in the state. We beat Wood, which we consider a rival now, but by no means do we feel that we’ve won a state championship. There are a lot of talented teams out there, including the team we’re playing Friday night. We have a slogan and it’s ‘We’re still not done.’”
Imhotep is 12-0 and has a star-studded team led by senior tight end Naseir Upshur, who’s headed to Florida State, talented tailback Mike Waters and mammoth offensive lineman Johncarlo Valentin.MORE NEWS: Brotherly Love: Wheels Of Change Bringing Help To Families In Their Own Neighborhoods
“We look at the word pressure and we embrace it,” Crosby said. “We don’t pay attention to polls or anything like that, because it’s one person’s opinion. As long as we stay the course and we do what we do, we’ll be okay. There’s really no pressure on us. This should be a pretty good football game against a very good football team.”