Southeastern Pennsylvania Top 10
1. LaSalle College (Wyndmoor)
(5-1: Weeks rated: 6. Last Week: 1.)
2. Ridley (Folsom)
(6-0: Weeks rated: 6. Last Week: 2.)
3. Archbishop Wood (Warminster)
(6-0: Weeks rated: 6. Last Week: 3.)
4. North Penn (Lansdale)
(5-1: Weeks rated: 6. Last Week: 4.)
5. Neshaminy (Langhorne)
(6-0: Weeks rated: 4. Last Week: 5.)
6. Cardinal O'Hara (Springfield)
(6-0: Weeks rated: 6. Last Week: 6.)
7. West Catholic (Philadelphia)
(4-2: Weeks rated: 6. Last Week: 7.)
8. Council Rock South (Holland)
(6-0: Weeks rated: 3. Last Week. 8.)
(6-0: Weeks rated: 3. Last Week: 9.)
(5-1: Weeks rated: 6. Last Week: 10.)
On the surface, it doesn't look as if anything is wrong. Neshaminy is doing what the Redskins have typically done under coach Mark Schmidt: Win. The Redskins are 6-0 entering what will be one of the biggest games this season when they host undefeated Council Rock South this Friday at 7 p.m. in a crucial Suburban One League contest for both teams.
But when you step back and peel away everything, it hasn't exactly been an easy year for Schmidt and his team. A big blow came when senior team captain Marco Dapkey was diagnosed this summer with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a childhood cancer.
Then, a week before training camp, Schmidt lost a dear friend, 15-year assistant coach Joe Foster, to a heart attack. And just this week, another Neshaminy assistant, Neil Foster, went down with a broken elbow when he tripped over a guardrail.
“It's been one thing after another, I’ve never experienced a year like this before," Schmidt said. "You can't make this stuff up; you really can't. You name it, it's happened to us. I buried a close friend, I have a special young man fighting for his life, and it's something that has hit myself and our whole team pretty hard. And now this, with one of my other assistants. We've been through a hell of a lot."
Neshaminy had its hands full with Souderton in the season opener, winning 21-19 behind a team-high 17 tackles from Villanova-bound senior linebacker Corey Majors
. The Redskins have since given up 32 points and have outscored their last five opponents 156-46. Schmidt hinted that Majors hasn't been used much on offense, but as the season wears on, that could change.
Aside from Majors, Schmidt also has received exceptional play from senior quarterback Charlie Marterella
, senior free safety/wide receiver Dwight Williams
, senior defensive end/tight end Shane Quinn
and senior offensive tackle/defensive tackle Ryan Katona
"I thought we had a chance to get off to a good start," Schmidt said. "We're not the prettiest group out there, but I think we're getting better and better with each game. The players have put in the work and time, and we know this will be a tough one this week against South. They're fast, strong and well coached. It's going to be a good game."DISTRICT 1 PLAYOFF PICTURE
The PIAA District 1 playoff picture is beginning to shape up. These are the point standings for Class AAAA and Class AAA as of the week of October 11:Class AAAA School Record Points Avg.
1. Neshaminy 6-0 740 123.3
2. Council Rock South (Holland)
6-0 730 121.7
3. Ridley 6-0 710 118.3
6-0 640 106.7
5. Downingtown East (Exton)
5-1 630 105
6. Henderson (West Chester)
5-1 600 100
T7. Garnet Valley (Glen Mills)
5-1 590 98.3
T7. North Penn 5-1 590 98.3
9. Upper Dublin (Fort Washington)
5-1 570 95
10. Bayard Rustin (West Chester)
5-1 550 91.7
11T. Central Bucks West (Doylestown)
4-2 510 85
4-2 510 85
13. Cheltenham (Wyncote)
5-1 490 81.7
4-2 480 80
14T. Spring-Ford (Royersford)
4-2 480 80
4-2 470 78.3
Ridley is the defending District 1 Class AAAA champion, and the
Green Raiders do have some tests ahead in what has become a suddenly hot
Upper Darby team and in Garnet Valley. One of the top two teams of
Neshaminy or Council Rock South will fall after this weekend, since they
play each other, and preseason district favorite North Penn keeps
chugging along and could finish strong.Class AAA School Record Points Ave.
1. Upper Moreland (Willow Grove)
5-1 700 116.7
5-1 650 108.3
T2. Strath Haven (Wallingford)
5-1 650 108.3
4. Academy Park (Sharon Hill)
5-1 590 98.3
5. Bishop Shanahan (Downingtown)
4-2 530 88.3
6. Springfield (Springfield)
4-2 460 76.7
3-3 390 65
8. Octorara Area (Atglen)
3-2 300 60
On the Class AAA side, defending district champion Pottsgrove has rebounded nicely from an earlier loss to Boyertown, but the team that bears watching is 5-1 Strath Haven, which has won five straight and the Panthers are beginning to look reminiscent of those great state-title contending Strath Haven teams of the early 2000s.BACKING OUT ON RED LION CHRISTIANRed Lion Christian (Bear, Del.)
, the private school that features eighth-grade phenom David Sills, had some problems entering October, as two schools that were scheduled to play opted instead to forfeit their games against the Lions rather than play them.
Officials from schools John Carroll School (Bel Air, Md.), and Episcopal Academy (Newtown Square, Pa.), decided not to play Red Lion Christian.
"We felt they were more than a high school team," Episcopal athletic director Gina Buggy was quoted as saying. "They were just extremely talented, very big, very strong and very fast. It would not be a good game for them and we couldn't afford to get anyone hurt. We went through that last year."
Buggy said the game would have been a considerable mismatch.
Cardinal O'Hara, ranked No. 6 in southeastern Pennsylvania by MaxPreps.com, had no problem taking on Red Lion Christian last weekend. O'Hara remained undefeated with a 30-0 pasting. It marked the fifth shutout this year for O'Hara, which has outscored its six opponents 216-24.Joseph Santoliquito can be contacted at JSantoliquito@yahoo.com.