Private Schools in PA....that play football

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Private Schools in PA (football)
It seems like a good time to post this piece I’ve been working on in the off season about private schools that play football across the Commonwealth. I found some interesting things along the way. The won-loss covers the period from 2012 through 2021. I included some history of the schools to make it more interesting.
The format is straight forward showing school name, location, classification in 2021, record the last 10 years, winning % and other research. The schools are listed by district, 1 through 12, followed by the Inter-Ac and non-PIAA schools. So if only interested in District 12, the Inter-Ac and other privates, scroll to the end.

District 1
Bishop Shanahan,
Downingtown, 4A 62-44 (58.4%).
Originally Bishop Shanahan was in West Chester (1957) until further growth necessitated a new facility in Downingtown that opened in 1998. A football stadium was added in 2005.
Their record in the 10-year study is strong knowing they have to play Downingtown East, Coatesville and Downingtown West plus good stuff from Rustin, Henderson and West Chester East from time to time. Their non-conference schedule is competitive and varied playing Philly Pub and Catholic League teams plus PAC and Berks League teams. They are also winning district championships, beating Pottsgrove (8-3) 40-6 this season (2021) and in 2019 defeating Upper Moreland (6-7) 35-0. Other notable wins came in the playoffs last season against Bonner (9-3) 14-7 and Valley View (12-2) 35-25 before losing competitively to Bishop McDevitt (12-2) of Harrisburg 28-21 in the state semifinal.
Pope John Paul II, Royersford, 4A 42-29 (59.1%), 35-13 2017-2021.
In May of 2009 the Pioneer Athletic Conference (PAC) approved the admission of Pope John Paul II High School. The new school is the result of a merger between charter member St. Pius X and Kennedy-Kenrick of Norristown. St. Pius X closed its doors on June 11, 2010. The Golden Panthers are no joke any longer going 35-13 the last 5 years after a 13-60 record since the school’s inception in 2010. The 2019 edition was noteworthy at 10-3 garnering their first double digit winning season with a one-point loss to Roman and a one-point upset win over Neumann Goretti (11-1) 29-28 in the district title game.

District 2
Scranton Prep,
Scranton, 3A 100-20 (83.3%).
Here’s one of the better kept secrets in the state especially the last 5 years going 51-8. The secret will remain well kept until they get past playoff stalwarts like last year’s Wyomissing team (15-1) who beat them 35-14 and the Middletown teams of 2018 (13-2), 2017 (14-1) and 2016 (14-1) who beat them 35-21, 35-0 and 40-13 respectively. Maybe they’re getting there with last year’s team beating Wyoming Area (10-2) 28-0 and Valley View (12-2) 17-10. WA was good stuff losing to Southern Columbia 37-30 while Valley defeated Delaware Valley (9-4, 6A) 35-14 before losing to Bishop Shanahan in States 35-25 in a well contested game. Regardless, founded in 1944, they are the top dog up that way.
Holy Redeemer, Wilkes Barre, 3A 16-78 (17.0%).
Holy Redeemer opened in 2007 in the old Bishop Hoban (Wilkes-Barre) school that closed along with Bishop Hafey (Hazleton), Bishop O’Reilly (Kingston) and Seton Catholic (Pittston). Some of you might recall Hoban had some awesome hoops teams. It’s still hard times in Wilkes Barre even with last year’s offense averaging 25ppg with a defense allowing 39 in a 2-8 campaign. That followed a 1-4 Covid campaign in 2020 on the heels of two straight 0-10 seasons. Sign of the times in Wilkes-Barre shows three high schools including Meyers, Coughlin and GAR merged in 2019 playing sports but not yet under one roof until the new school opened in 2021 to create Wilkes-Barre High.
Holy Cross, Dunmore, 1A 10-70, (12.5%), DNP 2019.
Founded in 2007, Holy Cross never had a winning season with a record of 25-108 since their inception. That means they won more games their first five years than their last 10! So it’s tough sledding in Dunmore for the Crusaders. Especially with powerful Dunmore High a few blocks away going 103-28 the last 10 years as Holy Cross suffered through four 0-10 campaigns over the same span. Looking on the bright side, Holy Cross had their best season last year at 4-7 since 2010’s 6-6 season. Go Crusaders!

District 3
Bishop McDevitt,
Harrisburg, 4A 110-22 (83.3%).
McDevitt began as Catholic High School in 1918 (Church and North Streets) by Philip R. McDevitt, a Philadelphia native and LaSalle grad (4th Bishop of Harrisburg) who then saw the need for a new school, breaking ground in 1929 at 2200 Market Street, just down from Harrisburg High at 2451 Market. They played their first football game in 1927, renaming the school in honor of Bishop Philip R. McDevitt in 1957, then moved from downtown to Lower Paxton Township in 2012. McDevitt has been a steady winner over the years going 103-27 the decade before this study. Since 2010 they’ve made it to the finals 4 times and semifinals 4 times! They won their only state title in 1995, finishing 15-0 beating Burrell (D7, 13-2) 20-0. That they haven’t won another title with all the great teams they have had is a mystery. Maybe this year when big numbers return along with the entire backfield.
Berks Catholic, Reading, 4A 102-25 (80.3%).
The Saints have been marching in since the merger of Reading Holy Name and Reading Central Catholic in 2011. They were on fire from 2013-2018 going 73-10 with consecutive double digit winning seasons before tailing off the last three years to 20-13. They’ll play anyone as evidenced by their slate the last three years that included Malvern Prep, McDonogh, Harrisburg, Central Dauphin and Cedar Cliff. Things ramp up in 2022 with another merger seeing the Berks Inter-County Conference and the Lancaster Lebanon League joining forces. Gonna be fun with Wyomissing, Governor Mifflin, Exeter Township and Berks Catholic banging heads with Wilson, Manheim Central, Manheim Township, Warwick, Lampeter Strasburg and Cocalico, forming a mega conference like the Mid Penn.
York Catholic, York, 2A 77-34 (69.3%).
This is one of the baddest little deuces in southern PA, founded in 1928. Like Scranton Prep, they need to up their game IF they want to take it to the next level beyond district titles by beating the West Catholic’s, Southern Columbia’s and Dunmore’s, teams they lost to in States over the last 5 years. Last year came to an abrupt halt when West Catholic beat them 24-7 to end their 10 game winning streak in the first round of States. Between York Catholic, York High and Central York, the area is playing some really good football the last few years.
Delone Catholic, McSherrystown, 1A 67-38 (63.8%).
Founded in 1940, the black and gold clad Squires always fielded tough teams, going back to high school where we’d piss and moan about the good ones from town playing there. Just the good ones! Taking it way back, they’ve gone 141-63 since 2005, often playing 3A and 4A teams that are local tough guys in their own right like Triple-As Littlestown (39-22 last 6) and Bermudian Springs (39-25 last 6) and of course bitter rival York Catholic. They are one of the few teams in Southcentral PA to hold their own against the vaunted Steel High Rollers, going 2-3 the last 5 years and 3-3 against the Fighting Irish of York Catholic.
Milton Hershey, Hershey, 4A 67-34 (66.3%), DNP 2020.
Milton Hershey is a co-educational school founded in 1909, originally as a school for orphans by the chocolate magnate Milton Hershey. He was quite a man who gave essentially his entire fortune over to the school. This translates to over one billion dollars in today’s money. Wanted to keep this more about schools/teams, than individual players but can’t ignore running back Dion Bryant (5-9, 210) who rushed for 468 yards in his last game, ending with 1922 rush yards for the year. The Spartans have been successful over the years with 2021 being their first losing season since 2010 and third since 2001.
Lancaster Catholic, Lancaster, 3A 60-47 (56.0%).
Todd Mealy was going to resurrect them after going 56-35 at Penn Manor (2007-2014) making the Comets competitive with Wilson and Township, but retired after a 2-year stint at 20-3 (2018-2019) at LC per health and other concerns. Too bad as the district missed out on a fine young coach who stared on the state champ McDevitt team in 1995. This was quite a program recently with 2A state titles in 2009 (15-1) beating Greensburg Central Catholic 21-14 in ot and Tyrone in 2011 (16-0) 17-7. Coach Bruce Harbach led them from 2002-2017, going 138-54. The school was founded in 1928.
Trinity, Camp Hill, 2A 31-66 (31.9%).
Founded in 1961, the Shamrocks used to be a force in the district going 88-28 from 2002-2011, smoking teams like Steel High, Wyomissing, Scotland School (closed) and Delone Catholic. Now, you’ve got to go back to 2012 to find their last winning season. They pretty much owned the West Shore as a AA and will again soon if 2021 is any indication. Steel High alum Coach Jordan Hill (State Champs 07 and 08 at Steel High, Big Ten 1st team-PSU 2012, Seattle Super Bowl Champs) turned the program around his first year going 3-6 with an upset of Delone (5-5) 35-14 and close call losses to Upper Dauphin (9-2) 22-14, Steel High (8-3) 34-28 and Big Spring (8-4) 42-33 with a young team! If you like “small ball” keep your eye on the Rocks who could be ready to roll in 2022.

District 4 N/A….won-loss is last 10 years.
The district has an abundance of very good to elite teams/programs including Southern Columbia (140-6, 2A), Montoursville (86-38, 3A), Jersey Shore (84-21, 4A), Selinsgrove (80-43, 4A), Danville (76-44, 3A), 4A), Mount Carmel (73-43, 2A), Loyalsock (72-42, 3A), Muncy (70-44, 1A) and others but no private schools (football) in the PIAA.

District 5 N/A….won-loss is last 10 years.
Like District-4, the district has no private schools but they do have solid teams, just not as many given the disparity in population of the tri county area of Somerset, Fulton and Bedford counties with a combined pop of 135293. There are only 11 schools in the district that field teams! For comparison, Montco has 830915, Bucks 628270, Lehigh 369318 and Delco 566747. My home of Gettysburg-Adams County is 103009, mostly monuments and cows (a few pigs), with only seven high schools. Back to District 5: tho few, the movers and shakers are highly successful with Berlin-Brothersvalley 94-25, 2A (town of Berlin in Brothersvalley {one word} Twp), Chestnut Ridge (83-38, 2A), Bedford (75-40, 3A) and Northern Bedford (76-39, 1A) fielding strong teams.

District 6
Bishop Guilfoyle,
Altoona, 1A 116-21 (84.6%).
Bishop Guilfoyle was founded in 1922, originally called Altoona Catholic High. They’ve since become a dominant program, losing only 21 games the last 10 years (!) while collecting gold medals in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2021, with a silver medal in 2019. Their record those 5 years was 70-7. Last season’s 11-4 gold medal may have been the most satisfying knowing they began the season 1-2 with a pile of injuries, then survived a playoff field of Juniata Valley (10-2) 24-21, Canton (13-1) 20-7 and Redbank Valley (13-2) 21-14 the final 3 games to bring home the gold. I believe they’re the only team private or public to win a state title with 4 losses. The PIAA’s success formula bumped them to 2A for the coming season.
Bishop McCort, Johnstown, 1A 48-54 (47.0%).
The school was founded in 1922, named for Bishop John Joseph McCort. He was a native of Philadelphia and former seminary instructor and professor at St. Charles Boromeo Seminary at Overbrook near St. Joseph’s University and Lankenau Med Center. The Crimson Crushers (talk about evocative) have fallen on hard times the last few with four straight losing seasons that followed two 10 win seasons. But back in the day they crushed nearly all comers going 91-25 from 2004-2012 and had 33 consecutive winning seasons from 1980 to 2012. 2009’s team went 14-1 losing to Clairton in the final 15-3.

District 7
Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
Pittsburgh, Oakland, 6A 107-23 (82.3%).
Founded in 1927, Central Catholic is one of the most successful programs in the state, going 238-52 since 1999. Their last losing season was 1999 at 3-7. They are also the 6th winningest private school in the state over the last 10 years with state titles in 1988, 2004, 2007 and 2015 plus runner-up trophies in 2001, 2003, 2013, 2016. Their first state title in 2004 was the first team in state history to go 16-0. Looking back, you could say they became a perennial power at that point. That had to be one of their best teams scoring 237 and allowing 36! Some old timers will argue the 1964 10-0 team was even better, earning one of the highest ratings ever compiled by PIAA historian Roger B. Saylor of 556. That’s taking it WAY back before Central joined the WPIAL as a member of the Pittsburgh Area Catholic League. Back then the most important game was against North Catholic that filled South Stadium, now Cupples Stadium.
North Catholic, Pittsburgh, Cranberry Twp, 3A 104-21 (83.2%).
North Catholic moved out of the city (Troy Hill) in 2010 siting the closing of most feeder schools on the north side and demographics (pop growth, shifts) showing many of their students commuted from Seneca Valley School District in Butler County. At 104-21, they are one of the most successful private schools in the state. They just completed their 14th consecutive winning season winning their first 12 games before losing to Central Valley in the 3A WPIAL final. Note: Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s name was removed from North Catholic High School in 2018.
Seton LaSalle, Pittsburgh, Mount Lebanon Township, 2A 60-42 (57.6%).
Seton LaSalle, called the Rebels (?) are in a 4-year slide with consecutive losing seasons following a streak of 18 winning seasons out of the previous 19 years garnering a 155-53 record! In 2002 they lost to Mount Carmel (15-0) 18-13 in the 2A finals with a 14-1 team. The school is the result of a merger of the all-boys South Hills Catholic and the all-girls Elizabeth Seton High School in 1979.
Serra Catholic, McKeesport 2A 47-56 (45.6%).
Streaky program here (founded 1961) with a 42-13 run from 2005-2009 including a finals appearance followed by a 13-53 streak through 2016 that ended there with subsequent editions going 39-17 through last year’s silver medal winner. Finals appearances; They got to the 1A final in 2007 (15-1) losing to Steelton Highspire (13-3) 34-15 and again this year (14-2) before being overwhelmed by the machine from Southern Columbia (15-1) 62-25.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Coraopolis 1A 57-51 (52.7%).
OLSH got hot the last 6 years going 50-19 while beating teams like Clairton, Rochester and Sto-Rox. The 2018 edition (their best) at 13-2 looked good before losing to Farrell 41-10 at States in the semifinal. The Steelers went on to rout Lackawanna Trail 55-20 the following week in the final finishing at 15-0 with one of the best ever teams. The school was founded in 1932 in Moon Township right by Pittsburgh Int’l Airport
Shady Side Academy, Pittsburgh, Fox Chapel (East End) 2A 51-44 (53.6%)
Founded in 1883, Shady Side had a tough row to hoe this year going 5-6 against a brutal schedule featuring Steel Valley (11-1), Sto Rox (12-1) x 2, Serra Catholic (13-2) and always tough Ligonier Valley (8-3) who transferred back to the WPIAL from District-6 in 2020. District 6’s loss is the WPIAL’s gain with the Rams a legit 2A going 92-26 the last 10 years. SSA had their moment in the sun in 1998 losing to Mount Carmel 44-7 in the 2A final coached by Art Walker.
Bishop Canevin, Pittsburgh (Westwood) 1A 50-53 (48.5%).
Bishop Canevin was as good as any 1A this year losing to Redbank Valley (13-2) 23-14 in the semifinal with a super young group with Redbank going on to lose in the final to Bishop Guilfoyle (11-4) 21-14. They’ve had their moments losing in the 1990 2A final to Hanover Area 20-19 in overtime. The school was founded in 1958. With health they will be one of the BEST 1A teams in the state in 2022, opening Aug 26th against powerful Steel High in Chambersburg. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg 1A 49-50 (49.4%).
Founded in 1959, the Centurions disappeared from the WPIAL scene the last 10 years after fielding some of the top teams in the West from 2003 through 2011 going 82-14….!!....with an 21-14 overtime loss to Lancaster Catholic (15-1) in 2009’s 2A final, finishing 13-3. Things may be changing for the better with first year coach Marko Thomas (Pine Richland grad, Connellsville last 4, 6-31) going 6-6 with a competitive team. Gotta like coach’s moxie week zero taking on 5A Upper St. Clair on short notice in a replacement game despite losing 38-0. Competitive losses to top WPIAL Single-A teams including Bishop Canevin (13-1) 20-14, Leechburg (9-2) 31-27 and Clairton (7-3) 20-13 says Coach is turning things around at light speed.
Imani Christian Academy, Pittsburgh (East Hills), 1A 34-43 (44.1%), DNP 2014.
Founded in 1993, their only winning seasons were 2012, 2017 and 2018 in the 10-year study. But the 2017 team was special, going 11-3 while before losing 35-34 in a rematch with Jeannette who went on to win the 1A title at 15-1, defeating Homer-Center (13-2) 42-12 in the final.
Summit Academy, Herman, 2A 15-71 (17.4%).
Summit is an all-boys at risk school founded in 1982 in Butler County above Pittsburgh. They’ve struggled with four winless seasons the last ten years including 2021’s 0-10 outing. Last year’s team had the impossible task of playing 8 teams with winning records (72-25 combined) including Serra Catholic (14-1) 46-0, Steel Valley (11-1) 40-6, Avonworth (9-3) 49-14, Leechburg (9-3) 43-8 and Ligonier Valley (8-3) 43-14. Every opponent scored at least 40 points against them except Western Beaver (7-4) who shut them out 22-0.

District 8 N/A

District 9
Elk County Catholic,
St Marys, 1A 52-44 (54.1%).
ECC just completed a 3-5 season against a wicked schedule of 1A state finalist Redbank Valley (13-2), Union/Allegheny-Clarion Valley (9-3) and Keystone (7-3), losing all three by a combined score of 140-20. Putting the best of spins on it, their 10-year record is 50-28 minus the disastrous 0-9 season in 2013 and a 2-7 mark in 2017. They only suited 24 players forcing this year’s Union-ACV game to be called at the end of the 3rd quarter, down 41-0 per injuries. If you thought it was slim pickings in District 5 with a population of 135293, check out Elk County with 29910! The present school was established in 1962 (Erie Diocese), although the town of St Marys (formerly St. Mary’s) was founded in 1842 as a haven for German Catholics, who were historically from southern Germany (Bavaria).
Note: St Marys High in the town of St Marys is a public school.

District 10
Cathedral Prep,
Erie, 5A 123-15 (89.1%).
The big news entering 2022 is the retirement of head coach Mike Mischler announced in February. He led Prep for 20 years with a record of 214-50. This included 16 District-10 titles, 11 appearances at States “final four” and state championships in 2000, 2012, 2016, 2017, and 2018. He also had a 3-year stint at Iroquois (Erie) from 2006 through 2008 going 17-16. Whoever takes Mischler’s place (Mike Krahe) will inherit a team ready for a deep run. About the school; founded in 1921, Cathedral Prep has the highest win total and winning percentage of any private school in the state (2012-2021), coming in just ahead of St. Joseph’s Prep. Their last losing season was 2002 at 4-6. And from 2012 through 2019, they had eight consecutive double digit winning season totaling 105 wins and 10 losses, winning by an average score of 43-14. They won gold medals in 2000, 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2018, with silver medals in 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2020. Their first state title in 2000 was their most memorable defeating Central Bucks West (14-1) 41-35 in overtime, denying the Bucks a 4th consecutive AAAA title.
Mercyhurst Prep, Erie, 3A 52-49 (51.4%).
The Lakers had some teams but usually falter once out of the Erie area against teams to the south like Hickory (85-32 last 10), Grove City (60-35 last 10) and Sharpsville (77-39 last 10), losing to Hickory, GC and Sharpsville by a combined score of 160-34 this year. They did have a recent burst from 2016 through 2019 going 43-10 with losses to Sharon ending perfect 10-0 seasons in 2017 and 2018 in the playoffs. The school was founded in 1926.
Kennedy Catholic, Hermitage, 1A 2-34 (0.05%), DNP 2014-2019.
Formerly Kennedy Christian founded in 1964, they are often outmanned on the field as their won-loss and scores indicate against serious football programs like Sharpsville (7-3), Wilmington (7-3) and Farrell (11-1) who defeated them last season by a combined score of 167 to 27! KC is far better known for its numerous titles over the years on the hardwood. Many from SE PA recall their beating Pennridge (26-5) 64-62 in double overtime to win their fourth straight state title in 2018, this one 6A playing up from 1A to finish 27-3 and 50th in the nation per the respected GrassrootsHoops.net rankings.

District 11
Bethlehem Catholic,
Bethlehem, 4A 77-45 (63.1%).
The team faltered the last 3 years going 7-5, 4-4 and 2-7 last year, their first losing season since 2012. It follows an impressive run from 2013 through 2018 where they went 63-20. But back in the day under the guidance of legendary Bob Stem (19 seasons 173 wins) they were a constant, winning state titles in 1988 and 1990. The 88 team won the 2A title defeating Wilmington 26-11 while the 90 team won the 3A title beating Seton LaSalle 43-7. Often referred to as Becahi or Beca, the school was founded in 1925.
Notre Dame (Notre Dame Green Pond), Easton, 3A 72-39 (64.8%).
The Crusaders are on a great run, especially the last 7 years going 63-18. This follows a 16-year record of 42-120 with one winning season (9-2, 2003) and 4 winless seasons. Quite a turnaround the last 7 years! Looks like they have a winner in head coach Phil Stambaugh who was hired in 2016 after going 43-19 at Pius X that had closed, allowing him to slide in replacing retiring Chuck Muller. NDGP was founded in 1957.
Allentown Central Catholic, Allentown, 4A 52-48 (52.9%).
The 2021 season where they went 9-4 mirrored the last 10 years of inconsistency with wins over Emmaus (9-4) 21-0 and Parkland (9-2) 14-7 mixed in with blowout flops verses Easton (6-4) 30-7, Freedom (11-3) 42-7 and Nazareth (7-4) 18-0, and the 20-7 Jersey Shore loss where they couldn’t hold a 7-3 halftime lead….at home. But it all came together back in 2010 when they beat Bishop McDevitt of Harrisburg in the 3A state final 28-27. The school was founded in 1926.

District 12 (The Philadelphia Catholic League)
Felt I should offer more on the PCL given its impact competing in the PIAA since 2008.
St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, 6A 109-16 (87.2%).
St. Joseph’s Prep has taken football to a whole other level in terms of winning consistency at the 6A level with 6 state titles and 2 runner-up titles medals since 2013. The state titles came in 2013 (12-3, beat Pitt CC 35-10), 2014 (11-3, Pine Richland 49-41), 2016 (14-0. Pitt CC, 42-7), 2018 (13-0, Harrisburg 40-21), 2019 (12-2, Central Dauphin 35-13), 2020 (6-0, Central York 62-13). The runner up silver medals came in 2017 (13-1, lost 21-41 Pine Richland) and 2021 (11-3, Mt. Lebanon 17-35). No matter how much some try to cancel out Coach Gil Brooks, for the most part it all started with him in 1992, leading the Hawks for 18 seasons to a 162-57-2 record (101-19-2 PCL). He put them on the map taking on all comers playing Pitt CC, St. Ignatius-OH. Poly Prep-Brooklyn, the Gilman School, the series with Neshaminy and North Penn, Don Bosco Prep, Davidson Hilliard-OH, Parkland, St. Anthony’s Melville-NY, St. Peter’s Prep and McKeesport. No other coach in the area or state has taken on such a demanding schedule. Coach Brooks put St. Joseph’s Prep on the National scene. Coach Gabe Infante stepped into a well-oiled machine going 91-22 with 4 state titles in his run from 2010 through 2018 with his OC Tim Roken taking over in 2019, winning state titles in 2019 and 2020. The Open Boundary issue: Wherever the open-boundary discussion may take you, no other open-boundary school has come close to duplicating St. Joe’s success in such a tight window of 10 years. Along the way they’ve had 8 double digit seasons and 3 undefeated seasons while losing a mere 16 games. Impressive stuff!
Archbishop Wood, Warminster, 6A (2020), 101-27 (78.9%).
Archbishop Wood has also piled up the medals from 2012 to 2021 but at other classifications winning 3A gold medals in 2013 and 2014 and 5A gold in 2016, 17 and 19. They won two others before 2012 with a 3A title in 2011 and a runner up Silver medal in 2008. The Vikings have recently dealt with significant coaching changes with Steve Devlin (2007-2017) moving on to Ursinus (Div-III), followed by Kyle Adkins (2018-2019) who also went to Ursinus. Devlin went 132-22-1 (44-3 PCL!) winning 5 state titles and a runner up trophy while Adkins went 20-7 with the memorable title win against Cheltenham in 2019, winning on a 3-yard touchdown pass in the last .04, 19-15. Matt Walp took over the last 2 years with the task of competing at the 6A level (2020) under the PIAA’s success formula rule putting them in direct competition with St. Joe and LaSalle for postseason playoff slots to impact the playoff landscape across the state at multiple classes. As of this posting they will play the 2022 season as a 5A.
LaSalle College, Wyndmore, 6A 77-34 (69.3%).
Have to mention the achievements of Coach Drew Gordon who coached the Explorers from 2006-2014 after holding OC positions under Coach Joe Colistra from1994 to 1997 and again in 2005. Coach Gordon is one of the winningest coaches in Philadelphia football history with a 91-26 record. He was also the first PCL coach to win a state title in football (Lansdale Catholic won while in PAC, 2004) defeating State College in 2009 24-7. It should be noted Coach’s final two years coincided with St. Joseph’s first two title in 2013 and 2014 where they were still competitive, losing in 2013 35-28 and 30-20. In 2014, they lost 35-31 then were routed in the playoffs 46-13. They’ve gone 49-25 since his retirement and continue to be a factor in the district. Last season (9-2) was highlighted by wins over 4A Silver Medalist Bishop McDevitt of Harrisburg (12-2), Malvern Prep (8-2), the Inter-Ac champ, Imhotep (11-2), the 5A Silver Medal winner and St. Joseph’s Prep (10-2), the 6A Silver Medalist 28-21. The losses were to St. Joe’s in the D-12 semifinal 35-7 and the stunner to Roman (3-7) 27-20 following the St. Joe’s game as the #1 team in the state!
West Catholic, Philadelphia, 2A 70-43 (61.9%), did not play 2020.
West Catholic’s greatness on the football field lies just beyond the scope of this effort losing in the 2008 2A final to Wilmington (15-1) in double overtime 35-34 (WC was 14-2), then winning it all two years later, taking it out on South Fayette (15-1) 50-14 with their 13-2 edition. The 2009 team (12-2) seemed as good as any with a 2-pt loss to Lancaster Catholic in the semifinal before LC won the 2A title the following week against Greensburg CC 21-14 in a blizzard at Hershey. In the regular season, WC lost to LaSalle 16-14 who went on to rout State College 24-7 in the 4A final. They also lost to Archbishop Wood 28-21, who lost to Selinsgrove in the 3A semifinal final 28-0. And finally, the 2011 team (10-4) lost in the 2A semifinal again to Lancaster Catholic 23-20 with LC (16-0) beating Tyrone (14-2) the following week in the final 17-7. Coach Brian Fluke led them for most of those years (1999-2018) with a 179-82 record. Last season saw them with their first losing season at 4-8 since 2001! But they ended well with upset wins against Conwell Egan (8-3), 18-13 in the district title game then pounding previously unbeaten York Catholic (10-1) 24-7 before losing to Northern Lehigh (11-4) 48-24.
Saints Neumann & Goretti, Philadelphia, 3A 64-43 (59.8%).
This program was floundering before the arrival of head coach Albie Crosby in 2017, going 42-70 the 10 years before his arrival. Since then, they’ve gone 40-10 and become a playoff fixture and contender in States, losing to Wyomissing in this year’s semifinal 42-6. Wyo was a monster team who crushed all before getting edged by another state power from Central Valley 7-0. Neumann’s 26-21 win against a more typical Eastern power in North Schuylkill (11-2) says they are well on their way to reaching Wyomissing’s, possibly Central Valley’s level of play. About Coach Crosby; his credentials are eye catching having coached Imhotep Charter School from 2012 through 2015 to a 53-6 mark, losing to South Fayette in 2013’s 2A final 41-0 then coming back to win Gold in the 2015 3A final, crushing Cathedral Prep 40-3 (515-208 total yds) to end the season at 15-0. ICS was the first Philadelphia public school to win a state title.
Archbishop Ryan, Philadelphia, 4A 56-55 (50.4%).
Ryan had some outstanding history on the gridiron especially the first half of Coach Glen Galeone’s tenure going 86-25-3 from 1990 through 2008. Thereon Frank McCardle guided the program from 2009 through 2018, returning the Raiders to their winning ways from 2012-2018 with a 49-35 record until replaced by Chris Lampart for the 2019 season. Bill Murphy replaced Coach Lampart after the 2020 blowout opener to Archbishop Carroll 40-6 coming on the heels of the 1-10 2019 season, staying on into the 2021 season. After going 1-15 the previous two years, last year’s 6-5 campaign probably felt like a breakout season.
Conwell-Egan, Fairless Hills, 2A 59-50 (54.1%) DNP 2020.
Because of the growing population in Lower Bucks County in 1966, Bishop Egan was divided, with Bishop Egan being the boy’s new facility in Fairless Hills and Bishop Conwell for the girls in the original building in Levittown. In 1993, the two merged to form Conwell-Egan Catholic High. They started off as a highly successful program with Dick Bedesem leading them to a 72-22-4 record from 1963-1970. The winning trend continued through various coaches with an 82-47-9 record through 1983. They liked ties back then! However, since then, they’ve only had 11 winning seasons with an 18-year streak of sub .500 seasons from 1984 through 2001! The silver lining in the cloud is 5 winning seasons the last 6 years with a 41-27 record.
Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast, Drexel Hill, 4A 49-52 (48.5%).
Bonner-Prendie has not had much to boast about until the last 3 years where they fielded good football teams reflected in their 22-5 record. The 2019 team went 9-2 but couldn’t handle higher end teams losing to Neumann Goretti (11-1) 32-15 and Imhotep (8-5) 35-14. But they showed real progress from the previous year’s team that went 3-8. Excepting the Neumann and Imhotep losses, 2019’s squad averaged 28ppg and an eye popping 9 points on defense. A lot of that showed up in the pandemic shortened 2020 season where they went 4-0, blistering Roman, Ryan, Lansdale Catholic and Wood by an average score of 34-8, only to miss out on a playoff game with Upper Moreland (5-2) when one of their players was diagnosed with covid. An 0-5 Ryan replaced them and were throttled, 35-0. Too bad as Bonner was clearly better than Upper Moreland who lost to Oil City (10-1, D-10) 28-27 (2-pt conversion) who were in turn pounded by Thomas Jefferson (10-1) in the semifinal 62-0. Last year’s 9-3 team lost to one of Delaware’s best in Delaware Military Academy (Wilmington, 2A, 11-2) 42-14, Neumann 26-20 and in States to Bishop Shanahan 14-7 in the first round. Not bad.
Father Judge, Philadelphia, 5A 48-57 (45.7%), DNP 2020.
Father Judge snapped out of a 3-year slide where they went 10-25 from 2017 through 2019, with last year’s 7-5 effort that included narrow losses to Archbishop Ryan 21-14 and St. Joe’s 21-13. They started the season 6-2 but finished playing LaSalle (9-2), St. Joe’s (11-2) and Imhotep (11-2), before routing rival Lincoln at the end. This is their highest win total since 2013’s 7-4 team. All in all, not a bad year getting back above .500 after electing to sit out the 2020 fall season per covid. But they did participate in an unprecedented spring schedule winning 4 of 6 games.
Lansdale Catholic, Lansdale 3A 42-54 (43.7%).
LC has essentially disappeared from the football landscape of southeastern Pennsylvania going 1-10 last season and 0-4 the year before. But they had their moments under legendary coach Jim Algeo, winning a 2A state title in 2004 with a 14-1 group that defeated Grove City (11-3, Dist-10) 40-17. Coach was a fixture at LC for 44 years with a record of 294-183-15. In 2008, the school left the PAC-10 for the Philadelphia Catholic League. Much was published about the move that for the most part was unpopular and largely unannounced to coaches and parents. Some coaches openly expressed concern they would not be as competitive in the PCL as the PAC. Since then, they’ve had one three winning seasons while garnering a 53-86 record.
Cardinal O’Hara, Springfield 4A 41-48 (46.0%), DNP 2020.
O’Hara opened in 1963 starting football two years later where they quickly turned into a perennial winner. They’ve only had 17 losing seasons over the course of 56 years. But it is notable that 5 of them occurred over the last 9 seasons. That’s close to 30%. The drop off has been precipitous. The 2019 team scored 68 points the entire season, going 2-8. 2020’s team was 1-0 beating Ryan 35-6 while 2021’s team fared no better scoring 88 points the entire season with a 3-6 record.
Roman Catholic, Philadelphia, 6A 34-73 (31.7%).
Except for one memorable period from 2002 through 2012, Roman Catholic has never been a consistent winner. In fact, against PCL teams, they have winning records against Ryan and Egan/Conwell Egan only, with .500 records against Judge and McDevitt. Thanks to TedSilary.com for that information. Back to the 2002-2012 period; this was a great time for them going 87-49 with solid teams in 2002 at 11-3 and 2007’s that went 12-2. Unbelievably, their last winning team was in 2012. Thereon they’ve had 9 straight losing seasons. Add in some bad luck to that with last year’s 3-7 team losing to Neumann by 4, Bonner by 5, Episcopal Academy by 8 and Judge by 1. Apart from these competitive losses, there was the 27-20 win against LaSalle (9-2) last season giving the Explorers their first loss of the year. They certainly have some talented pieces returning for the 2022 season where they will field an exciting and competitive team.
Archbishop Carroll, Radnor, 3A 31-71 (30.3%).
Archbishop Carroll had two eras of exceptional football. The first lasted from 1982 through 1990 under Kevin Clancy (Strath Haven) with a 67-39 (63%) record. The second occurred under Dan Bielli from 1999 to 2010 where they had even greater success going 94-51 (65%). That’s the good news. The bad news is since 2007’s 10-3 team, they’ve had one winning season, garnering a 43-100 won-loss since then. All of that seemed to express itself in the 2021 season hitting rock bottom with a 0-10 season. Here they scored 64 points the entire season, suffering 3 shutouts while scoring 7 points or less on 5 other occasions. Quite a crash.

Non-PIAA teams
Inter-Ac

Malvern Prep,
Malvern, 5A, 71-28 (71.7%), enrollment 630 all boys, 1842.
The Friars fielded highly competitive football teams over the years including the ten years before this study where they went 78-27 (02-11), topped by a 10-0 season in 2008. That was one of their finest teams, scoring 42ppg and allowing 12, with wins against St. Joseph’s Prep (8-4) 34-27 and LaSalle (9-3) 47-21. 2018’s team went 11-0 with wins against LaSalle (5-6) 35-23, McDonogh (3-6) 19-3, Berks Catholic (10-3) 42-32 and Peddie (6-3) 28-25. McDonogh was a measuring stick despite the 3-6 log knowing they had tight losses to Mount St. Joseph (10-2) 34-30, Calvert Hall (12-1) 16-10, Berks Catholic (11-2) 14-13….and beat PCL power Archbishop Wood (10-4) in the opener 16-7. Over the years, they’ve proven themselves against top area powers including St. Joe’s. Imhotep, Wood, LaSalle, and beyond their borders playing Gilman School and Archbishop Spalding both of Maryland, Pope John XIII-NJ and Berks Catholic of Reading.
The Haverford School, Haverford, 4A, 55-37 (59.7%), enrollment 1013, all boys, 1884.
The Fords had a strong two year run from 2014 and 2015 going 9-1 and 10-0 respectively. The 2015 team impressed with wins against West Catholic (10-5) 35-13, Judge (6-5) 29-22, Ryan (8-4) 45-28 and Malvern Prep (9-2) 31-14. The 9-1 team from the year before may have been even better with a wicked defense (same O at 38ppg) allowing 13ppg, losing to West Catholic (7-4) 24-19 but beating Downingtown East (9-4) 54-26.
Wm. Penn Charter, Phila, 2A, 54-38 (58.6%), 35-16 16-21, enrollment 960, all boys, 1689.
No school has won more league titles than Penn Charter at 48. Thank you Ted Silary for that information and the extensive web site at TedSilary.com. About PC’s titles, their last was in 2006. Hopefully, they’ll snap out of a 2-year slump where they’ve gone 1-1 in 2020 and 4-5 last year following a 4-year record of 30-10.
Episcopal Academy, Newtown Square, 3A, 66-29 (69.4%), enrollment 1268, co-ed, 1785.
The Churchman are on a run right now with seven straight winning seasons and nine out of the last ten years. Talk about a sneaky good program, their 66-29 record over the last ten years has them just behind Malvern Prep.
Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, 3A, 53-38-1 (57.6%), enrollment 1189, co-ed, 1759. Formerly known as the Union School, GA is the oldest nonsectarian school in the country. Over the years they’ve become better known for their basketball success but have still put together competitive football teams with winning records six of the last seven years for a 40-22 record.
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Phila, 3A, 45-51 (46.8%), enrollment 1133, co-ed, 1861.
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy was formed by the 2010 merger between all-girls Springside School and all-boys Chestnut Hill Academy. This was evidently a great distraction to the boys who immediately had their first losing season in 10 years (1999). Since the merger through last year, they’ve had only 5 winning season after a 10 year run (2000 to 2009) of 69 wins and 23 losses. Will say that last year’s 3-7 team was competitive, beating Cheltenham and Pope John Paul III before losing to Roman 21-15 and Haverford School 31-28.

Other non-PIAA
Academy of the New Church,
Bryn Athyn, 3A 50-40 (55.5%), enrollment 250, co-ed, 1876.
ANC had a strong flourish the last four years going 28-7 topped by 2018’s perfect 1A edition going unscathed at 10-0! Last year’s 6-4 team was a bit too aggressive taking on national power St. Frances-MD (8-1) and losing 46-7. St. Frances’s only loss was to super power St. Thomas Aquinas (14-1, Fort Lauderdale) 38-23 before defeating equally heralded De La Salle (10-3) of Concord, CA 42-28 and the team in Bradenton, FL….IMG (9-1) 34-24.
George School, Newtown, 3A 23-51 (31.0%), enrollment 540, co-ed, 1893.
Football is definitely not the priority at this fine school with seven one win seasons from 2004-2021 and one winning season in 2015 going 5-3….the last 18 years.
Valley Forge Military Academy, Wayne, 16-62 (25.8%), enrollment 279, all boys, 1928.
VFMA has not had a winning season since going 6-5 in 2016. Thereon, they’ve won 4 of 28 games while sitting out the 2020 season. It wasn’t always this way going back to 2004 with a 7-3 record and 2005’s 8-0 season playing Inter-Ac and Catholic League teams. A 1-8 season in 2008 was followed by a schedule downgrade away from PCL and Inter-Ac teams. Thereon, they’ve had two winning seasons.
The Hill School, Pottstown, 3A 12-64 (15.7%), enrollment 544, co-ed, 1851.
It’s hard finding wins at the Hill School but not courage as the Rams continue scheduling quality opponents from the Inter-Ac and the tough privates in New Jersey like the Peddie School at 47-28 since 2012 and especially the Hun School of Princeton with their glittering 59-14 record the last 10 years and 54-5 mark the last eight. They play solid football at those institutions as evidenced by Peddie trouncing Archbishop Wood’s 2019 state champ (11-3) 38-9 and Hun playing Ohio power Steubenville, Friendship Collegiate Academy-DC, Poly Prep Country Day-Brooklyn and others.
Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, 1A, 19-38 (33.3%), enrollment 477, co-ed, 1844.
Wyoming Seminary College Prep or “Sem” as they refer to themselves borders Wilkes-Barre in the Wyoming Valley along the Susquehanna. They have a spotty record on the field, not playing in 2012 and 2013 (?) but hold the distinction of playing in the first night time football game of record in 1892 against Mansfield State Normal School, Mansfield University now. The game was called at halftime because of insufficient lighting (!??!). They play a decent schedule of Peddie, Hill and Hun and a number of Connecticut schools.
Kiski School, Saltsburg, 3A, 45-27 (62.5%), enrollment 180, all boys, 1888.
Kiski is all over the board schedule wise playing teams from Ohio and West Virginia but often staying with similar privates like Peddie, George and the Hill School where they hold their own. Occasionally they stray afar playing teams WAY over their head like Mount St. Joseph’s (10-2) in 2019 of the MIAA-A (McDonogh, AB Spalding, Gilman, etc) and get crushed 53-7. They’re located in Indiana County outside of Pittsburgh.
 
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tulla

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Oct 27, 2004
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Great stuff, Stalker. Interesting to see how the picture is so different from region to region. Lots of demographic and cultural shifts are obviously behind lots of the changes.

One point of mild disagreement. You're right to give lots of credit to Brooks at SJP, but what Infante inherited was far from a well-oiled machine. After Brooks was fired, several players (Desmon Peoples, Jared Alwan, the Pellicciotti brothers, Eric Neefe, Spencer Reid etc.), some of them key or very promising, left the school. Maybe more important, there was great division and real bitterness in the school community over the firing. The next year they were 4-7 and got clobbered by St.Peter's, North Penn, and LaSalle. It's not as if Infante had nothing--Skyler Mornhinweg stayed for the next two years--but it was hardly a healthy program.
 

Stalker

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Great stuff, Stalker. Interesting to see how the picture is so different from region to region. Lots of demographic and cultural shifts are obviously behind lots of the changes.

One point of mild disagreement. You're right to give lots of credit to Brooks at SJP, but what Infante inherited was far from a well-oiled machine. After Brooks was fired, several players (Desmon Peoples, Jared Alwan, the Pellicciotti brothers, Eric Neefe, Spencer Reid etc.), some of them key or very promising, left the school. Maybe more important, there was great division and real bitterness in the school community over the firing. The next year they were 4-7 and got clobbered by St.Peter's, North Penn, and LaSalle. It's not as if Infante had nothing--Skyler Mornhinweg stayed for the next two years--but it was hardly a healthy program.
Thanks, and of course I don't have your perspective and inside view but do appreciate yours. Thank you for it. My thought on the few occasions I delve into St. Joe's is to give Coach Brooks credit I feel is often overlooked (ignored?) especially for the schedule upgrade. Wow! Who's checking the board to see what Stalker says about St. Joe's but I still feel like putting it out there. I never knew coach and know he could be cantankerous but he certainly put them on the map by radically upping the schedule.

* Good year to catch STA who lost some key kids but they sure know how to recruit down there!
 
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aerogenes

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Trinity in District 7 (WPIAL) is a public school. It was originally Trinity Hall Military Academy, an Episcopal boys school, from 1867-1907. This school building then sat empty until 1925 when 4 townships combined to establish a high school. The new school district took its name from this building, which is still in use today.
 

Stalker

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Trinity in District 7 (WPIAL) is a public school. It was originally Trinity Hall Military Academy, an Episcopal boys school, from 1867-1907. This school building then sat empty until 1925 when 4 townships combined to establish a high school. The new school district took its name from this building, which is still in use today.
Well, I thought the area needed a good Catholic school!? Thanks, I got rid of it. and thank you for the history.
 
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