MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Tag: Bishop McDevitt High School

  • Getty Images

    Former 49er Ricky Watters is the new head coahc at Oak Ridge in Orlando.

    Former NFL running back and one time Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) star Ricky Watters is the new head coach at Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.), according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.

    Watters, who won a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers, replaces Elijah Williams, who left to take a college job.

    He inherits an Oak Ridge squad that finished 6-4 last season after going 7-4 in 2011.

    Watters is only the latest former NFL standout to become a high school football coach this offseason.

    Former Eagles receiver Irving Fryar, Watters' teammate for two seasons in Philadelphia, was recently named head coach at Robbinsville (N.J.), while former Jaguars tight end Tony Boselli became an assistant at Providence.

    Four-time Pro Bowl selection Joey Porter may soon join the ranks. He's been linked to the head coach vacancy at Foothill (Bakersfield, Calif.).

  • File photo by Ryan Rector

    Brian Lemelle, Bishop McDevitt

    For the second week in a row, Brian Lemelle has established a Pennsylvania career pass receiving record, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

    The highly-recruited senior wide receiver caught nine passes for 121 yards on Friday as unbeaten Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) defeated Lancaster Catholic 27-7 during the Class AAA district semifinals. That gave him a state-record 251 career catches.The previous record was 247 by Kevin Gulyas of Central Catholic (Allentown).

    One week earlier, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior had surpassed Gulyas' state career-yardage record of 4,201. He now has 4,347 yards.

    *Marist (Atlanta, Ga.) outlasted Carrollton 43-37 in a five-overtime thriller during the Class AAAA state quarterfinals as quarterback Myles Willis sprinted 15 yards on first down for the decisive touchdown. Senior Gray King forced the first overtime by blocking a 42-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds of the fourth period.

    *Matt Wogan kicked field goals of 58 and 49 yards as Porter Ridge (Indian Trail, N.C.) handed North Davidson (Lexington) its first loss in 15 games 34-27 in the Class 4A state semifinals.

    *Max Browne completed a near-perfect 29 of 32 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns as unbeaten Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.) handed Camas its first loss 51-28 during the Class 4A state semifinals.

    Camas coach Jon Eagle told the Seattle Times, "He's one of the best I've ever seen. It takes a lot to beat that team."

    *George Murray caught a four-yard pass as time expired to give unbeaten Caravel (Bear, Del.) a spectacular 43-42 victory over Indian River (Dagsboro) during a thrilling Division II state semifinal. On the previous play, Murray had caught what appeared to be the winning eight-yard pass as time ran out, but he was out of bounds. Still, Caravel was given new life through a holding penalty.

    This time quarterback Derrick Groomes connected with Murray in the middle of the endzone and the wild celebration erupted. With just 43 seconds left Indian River had taken a 42-37 lead, but Groomes hit Murray on third down for 47 yards to set up the final heroics and a miraculous victory.

    *Kenny Hill passed for 371 yards and three touchdowns, while running for 150 yards and four more touchdowns to lead Carroll (Southlake, Texas) to a 73-23 rout of El Dorado (El Paso) in the Class 5A Division I area playoffs. The senior quarterback has committed to Texas A&M.

    *Trinity Christian (Addison, Texas) defeated Liberty Christian (Argyle) 55-10 during the TAPPS Division I state quarterfinals as Daniel Davidson passed for 467 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Photo courtesy of Sean Simmers, The Patriot-News

    The Rock Pile at Bishop McDevitt saw its last football game, as the school is moving to a new locale. What it lacked in elegance, it made up for with history.

    Playing on the "Rock Pile" for 83 years was the best of times and the worst of times - depending on whether you were the home team or the visitor.

    Officially known as McDevitt Field, the Rock Pile has been the ancient home for the Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) football team. However, it went the way of the dinosaur last Saturday when the final game of 2012 was played there. A brand new school is being built about five miles away and by next season the Crusaders will be playing on what Patriot-News sports writer Andy Shay calls a "cookie cutter" field - complete with artificial turf, a track and metal bleachers.

    Now those "amenities" generally are accepted as routine at most high schools around the country. Not so at McDevitt, though. Just listen to what Shay wrote in the Patriot-News about the field with "rickety bleachers and a rock wall."

    "She is ugly but beautiful, unique yet elegant ... When was the last time somebody spoke glowingly about the playing surface at McDevitt Field? It's the worst field for miles and has been for decades. Seriously, has the final 20 yards on the visitors' sideline near the pit ever been dry? And nobody cared. But for all her shortcomings as a functional modern-day football venue, they each played a role in enhancing the lure and tradition of this place and turned the Rock Pile into a House of Horrors for the opposition.

    "A poor playing surface, outdated locker room and restroom facilities, no real sidelines, 10:30 a.m. starts on Saturday, no fade pattern available in the left corner of the scoreboard endzone because the pylon is six inches from the fence, barely visible lines and a clock that has a mind of its own."

    Berwick coach George Curry, a former USA Today National Coach of the Year, played at the Rock Pile just once and called it  - seriously, according to Shay - "the greatest place for a high school football game in Pennsylvania."

    After covering games at the Rock Pile for 20 years, Shay told MaxPreps, "The biggest home-field advantage was the 10:30 Saturday games. We always had breakfast at (the field). The reason was Notre Dame football (It is a Catholic school and many followers wanted to watch or listen to the University of Notre Dame games later in the day)."

    The old wooden bleachers seated close to 5,000, but standing room sometimes enabled nearly 9,000 to fill the stadium. Shay noted that until the early 1990s, students were allowed to enter the school and watch the games by hanging out the windows. Who knows, but those may have been the best seats in the house.

    Image for MaxPreps Video.
  • Things went as expected in Pennsylvania, but not without a few small ripples.

    Photo by Tom Lemming

    Noah Spence, Bishop McDevitt

    Noah Spence of Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) committed to Ohio State, Skyler Mornhinweg of St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia) to Florida, but the six players that signed Division I scholarships from Class AAA state champion Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) became seven when Ryan McMullin opted to commit to Villanova.

    The one major change came from Wood's dangerous receiver, Nate Smith, who originally committed to West Virgnia. Instead, Smith changed his mind and signed his Letter of Intent to nearby Temple University.

    "I felt a little more comfortable at Temple than I did West Virginia," said Smith, who is projected to play free safety and return punts and kickoffs for Owls coach Steve Addazio. "I made the switch because I felt temple was more made for me. I'm happy I made the choice."

    Despite the late coaching change, Rutgers did exceptionally well in the Philadelphia area, hauling in offensive lineman J.J. Denman of Pennsbury (Fairless Hills, Pa.), and Wood's Brandon Arcidiacono and running back Desmon Peoples.

    Juniors to watch

    Topping the stellar list of juniors that bear watching next season is West Catholic (Philadelphia) star tailback David Williams, a bruising, 6-foot, 195-pound junior with blazing speed who's already received scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Maryland, Connecticut, Rutgers, Temple, Virginia, Purdue and Notre Dame.

    The problem Williams faces along with hulking teammate Jaryd Jones-Smith, a 6-7, 270-pound junior defensive lineman, is where to spend his senior year before thinking about choosing a college. West Catholic is slated to close after this school year, leaving Williams and Jones-Smith able to attend any Philadelphia Catholic League school.

    Mike McGlinchey of William Penn Charter (Philadelphia), at 6-7, 255, and Madison O'Connor of Pottsgrove (Pa.) at 6-6, 330, are massive and strong. Both will receive plenty of attention. Matt Galambos of Haverford School (Pa.), a 6-2, 215-pound linebacker, is gaining serious attention, as his Haverford School teammate, Aron Morgan.

    Watch for Wood lineman Nick Arcidiacono, Brandon's younger brother, who's getting major attention and may join his brother Brandon at Rutgers. Another rising lineman, Justin Moody of George Washington (Philadelphia), a 6-3, 255-pound junior, will draw serious looks.

    MaxPreps 2012 National Signing Day page

    Image for MaxPreps Video.
  • Since becoming the second verbal commitment to Ohio State's 2012 recruiting class 16 months ago, St. Francis de Sales (Columbus, Ohio) running back Warren Ball believes he might have learned a few life lessons.

    Photo by Tom Lemming

    Warren Ball, St. Francis De Sales

    As he watched the Buckeyes go through the firing of Jim Tressel, a 6-7 finish last fall under interim coach Luke Fickell and the addition of Urban Meyer as coach last November, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder couldn't help but realize he's grown through the experience.

    "When you're dedicated through something you might experience adversity, but if you stick with it, nothing but good things will happen," said Ball, who is the No. 9-ranked big back according to MaxPreps.

    Perhaps the worst really is behind Ball and a class that had stretched to 25 by late afternoon on National Signing Day.

    After initially reeling in Kyle Kalis of St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) as a verbal commit in September of 2010, the No. 15-ranked offensive tackle switched his commitment to Michigan last July amid the turmoil enveloping OSU's program. Also last summer, McKinley (Canton, Ohio) defensive lineman Sevon Pittman announced he was choosing Michigan State over Ohio State.

    After offensive lineman Pat Elflein of Pickerington North (Ohio) verballed to Ohio State in mid-July last year, Ohio State reeled in only one additional player until Meyer was on board in late November.

    The verbal commitment of Taft (Cincinnati) defensive lineman Adolphus Washington on Nov. 22, however, began a string of success. Washington is ranked 49th overall and seventh among defensive ends according to MaxPreps.

    Pittman, who is ranked 11th among defensive ends by MaxPreps, switched his commitment to Ohio State on Dec. 12. On the same day, the No. 47 overall player, Tommy Schutt of Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), also verballed to the Buckeyes.

    Then Noah Spence of Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) verballed to Ohio State on Dec. 18. Spence is the No. 3-ranked recruit overall including the top-ranked defensive end according to MaxPreps.

    OSU also added a few late surprises, such as the signings of cornerback Armani Reeves from Catholic Memorial School (West Roxbury, Mass.), defensive end Jamal Marcus from Hillside (Durham, N.C.) and offensive tackle Kyle Dodson from Cleveland Heights (Ohio) on NSD.

    Dodson formally had verballed to Wisconsin while Marcus chose the Buckeyes over East Carolina.

    The late run of success in recruiting helped OSU's class rank No. 3 nationally.

    "I am so happy, just so happy to be a Buckeye," Marcus told the Columbus Dispatch. "It's just the whole thing about Ohio State, the coaches, coach Meyer, the competition, the school – just everything about it told me to pick Ohio State."

    For players such as outside linebacker Joshua Perry from Olentangy (Lewis Center, Ohio), Ohio State long had been the No. 1 choice. Perry was the first OSU recruit for 2012 more than 18 months ago whose dream it has been since childhood to play for the Buckeyes. He is ranked No. 180 overall and the No. 7 player at his position according to MaxPreps.

    Perry is already enrolled at Ohio State but attended a ceremony celebrating his signing and those of several other athletes at Olentangy early in the morning of Feb. 1.

    "I knew I was going to get the best in terms of coaching because it was the Ohio State University and you know you're going to get good bowl games in the future," Perry said. "There was never any doubt."

    If the past two months are an accurate gauge, then the turbulence that players like Ball and Perry have experienced might just be calming enough to provide some enjoyment.

    "Coach Meyer is a high-intensity guy that cares about his players, and he has really high expectations for us," Perry said. "He's been able to bring in the best talent in America, especially the past few months. When I first committed it was obviously to play for coach Tressel, and he did a lot of wonderful things for the University. When they let him go, they had coach Fickell and I thought he was a competent coach, but coach Meyer is a known winner."

    Jarrod Ulrey has covered prep sports for for 17 years and can be reached at
  • Photo by Marc Estrada

    Noah Spence, Bishop McDevitt DE

    It's been a pretty wild, unpredictable year in Pennsylvania high school football recruiting. Much of it stems from the tumultuous Penn State situation, and its subsequent coaching change.

    A number of players the Nittany Lions seemed to have locked up, like U.S. Air Force All-American and No. 3-rated Noah Spence from Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.), No.38-rated J.J. Denman of Pennsbury (Fairless Hills, Pa.) and quarterback prospect Skyler Mornhinweg of St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia) all changed their minds.

    Spence, the top-rated DE, considered Penn State one of his favorites before Penn State's administration fired legendary coach Joe Paterno, throwing the program temporarily into chaos. Spence, instead, opted to commit to Ohio State and new coach Urban Meyer. Denman, a hulking 6-foot-6, 310-pound guard, had already changed his mind and decided on Wisconsin before the tumult at Penn State and on Jan. 21, changed it again to Rutgers when Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst took the Pittsburgh job.

    "When I sit down on Wednesday, I will be signing with Rutgers," Denman said. "It has been a little wacky with all the changes, but my parents are cool with it. I know there's one thing that's good about it, they're happy to know I'm a lot closer to home. Penn State came back to me again, even after I committed to Wisconsin. But all the stuff Penn State is going through right now, it's not a good situation. [New Rutgers coach Kyle] Flood was still in contact with me the whole time, even after I committed to Wisconsin. This came down to Rutgers, Wisconsin, Pitt and Penn State. I'm happy with my choice."

    More info at MaxPreps 2012 National Signing Day page

    Mornhinweg seemed locked into Penn State this summer, after decommitting from Stanford when Jim Harbaugh took the San Francisco 49ers job. But when Penn State's new coach, Bill O'Brien, started recruiting over him after promising that he wouldn't, Mornhinweg took visits to Florida and Virginia Tech. He committed to Florida coach Will Muschamp instead.

    Despite the coaching change at Pitt, No. 11-rated Rushel Shell of Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.), Pennsylvania's all-time leading rusher, is remaining a Panther. No. 54 Greg Garmon, the talented running back from McDowell (Erie, Pa.), has committed to Iowa, and No. 130 Jesse James, a tight end from South Allegheny (McKeesport, Pa.), is one of the few players Penn State convinced to stay in state.

    Demetrious Cox, a safety from Jeannette (Pa.) rated No. 133, announced Jan. 30 that he will commit to Michigan State, and No. 165 Drew Harris of Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.) is a running back still bound for Virginia Tech.

    PIAA Class AAA state champion Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) will see six players commit to Division I schools: tight end Colin Thompson (Florida), center/defensive lineman Brandon Arcidiacono and running back Desmon Peoples (both to Rutgers), Brandon Peoples (Temple) and Frank Taylor (Boston College). Wide receiver Nate Smith had originally committed to West Virginia, but is very close to changing his mind and looking at other options.

    Brendan Nosovitch of Allentown Central Catholic (Pa.), ranked No. 18 among combo quarterbacks, is staying with his choice of South Carolina.

    Image for MaxPreps Video.
  • Urban Meyer attended last night's Pennsylvania Class AAA state final last night with an eye on Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.) defensive end Noah Spence, according to MaxPreps correspondent Joseph Santoloquito.

    Meyer's visit was on the eve of Spence's visit to Columbus. Spence is currently visiting Ohio State with Meyer as his tour guide, according to Santoloquito.

    Another recruit that caught Meyer's eye on Friday was Archbishop Wood's (Warminster, Pa.) Desmon Peoples, verbally committed to Rutgers.

    Meyer asked Peoples how firmly he was committed to Rutgers, expressing interest in the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Peoples, who rushed for 151 yards and two scores to lead Archbishop Wood to victory.

    Meyer's pursuit of Spence is in line with his desire to stockpile talent on the defensive line.
  • Urban Meyer is off to a hot start at Ohio State.

    Photo by Todd Shurtleff

    Se'von Pittman, McKinley

    Yesterday, Meyer flipped two talented defensive linemen who were committed to other Big 10 schools: Se'von Pittman (Michigan State) and Tommy Schutt (Penn State.)

    With a few more defensive line recruits, Ohio State's class may start to resemble Meyer's last class at Florida, which featured Ronald Powell, Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd.

    Pittman (No. 63) and Schutt (No. 46) join a class that already features Top 100 defensive end Adolphus Washington, the nation's No. 57 recruit.

    Ohio State currently sits at No. 7 in the team recruiting rankings.

    However, Meyer is still not finished.

    The Buckeyes appear to be making a late push for defensive end Darius Hamilton, the nation's No. 38 recruit and leader of a very stingy Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) defense. Rutgers currently leads the chase, but it would not be out of character for Meyer to pull a recruiting coup on National Signing Day.

    Additionally, watch for Ohio State to become a player in the recruitment of Stefon Diggs and potentially Noah Spence. One of Diggs' leaders, Florida, may have taken a hit after losing offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, while Spence could be up for grabs in the wake of the Penn State scandal.

    Eddie Goldman, the nation's No. 2 uncommitted defensive tackle, is not being recruited by Meyer, according to Goldman's father.
  • PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia-area Penn State fans have been salivating over the prospects of landing Northeast's Deion Barnes and Penn Wood's Shawn Oakman, two massive, athletic defensive ends, and it looks like Nittany Lion Nation got them officially today, after each signed their national letters of intent.

    Barnes signed his commitment letter earlier in the day, while Oakman signed his national letter of intent live on Comcast SportsNet, the local Philadelphia Comcast station that carries the Phillies, Flyers and 76ers home games.

    The 6-4, 230-pound Barnes is listed by Tom Lemming as the No. 12 defensive end in the country, followed by the 6-8, 260-pound Oakman at No. 13.

    Today also ended a curvy journey for Pottsgrove's Terrell Chestnut, who originally committed to Pittsburgh, but de-committed after Pitt fired Dave Wannstedt, and signed with West Virginia.

    The 5-11, 180-pound Chestnut, listed by Tom Lemming as the No. 13 best cornerback in the nation, is projected to play free safety at West Virginia.

    Jameel Poteat, the Bishop McDevitt 5-11, 210-pound halfback rated No. 16 in the country by Lemming, was in the same situation as Chestnut. Poteat de-committed from Pitt and made it official today by signing with Cincinnati.

    Here's a listing of some of top area Pennsylvania players and their schools:
    Name ... Pos. ... High School ... College
    Jamal Abdur-Rahman RB La Salle Villanova
    Deion Barnes DE Northeast Penn State
    Dave Bowen OL Radnor Boston College
    Ryan Brumfield RB Owen J. Roberts Eastern Michigan
    Terrell Chestnut DB Pottsgrove West Virginia
    Brandon Chudnoff DE George Washington Temple
    Brandon Clemons DL Delaware Valley Michigan State
    Guy Cook DE St. Joseph's Prep Cornell
    Daquan Cooper WR/DB George Washington Temple
    Brandon Cope LB Pennridge Colgate
    Brandon Cottom ATH Council Rock North Purdue
    DeVante Dixon RB/WR West Chester Rustin Lafayette
    Matt Donaldson TE/DE Archbishop Carroll Bucknell
    T.J. Dougherty LB West Chester Rustin Navy
    Danny Gallagher WR/DB Chestnut Hill Academy Penn
    Tom Grasty DE/DT Garnet Valley East Carolina
    Chase Hoyt OL West Chester Rustin Maine
    Myles Jackson DE W. Chester Henderson Rutgers
    Tyler Kroft TE Downingtown East Rutgers
    Dave Kurtyka WR Radnor Georgetown
    Ryan Laughlin QB Cardinal O'Hara Holy Cross
    Trey Lauletta QB Downingtown East Bucknell
    Jim Lynch TE West Catholic Norfolk State
    Corey Majors LB Neshaminy Villanova
    Claudy Mathieu DE George Washington James Madison
    Sean Mooney TE Malvern Prep Towson
    Shawn Oakman DE Penn Wood Penn State
    Dave Pennoni LB Haverford High Princeton
    Maika Polamalu RB/DB Pottsgrove Navy
    Jameel Poteat … RB Bishop McDevitt Cincinnati
    John Raymon DE Council Rock North Iowa
    Spencer Reid RB Harriton Temple
    Pat Restrepo OL Downingtown East Holy Cross
    Andrew Zeller OT Red Lion Maryland