"Time to put that stuff behind them," Devlin said. "They're good kids. They don't read their press clippings. They know it's time for me to coach 'em up, and that I can't block or tackle for any of them."
The Vikings have already suffered a sting, as they lost last Sunday to Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 20-17, in a game aired on ESPN2.
"We have a very tough schedule," Devlin said. "The kids know not to look ahead, and that we have the potential to be pretty good."
In AA, West Catholic is coming off a state title and appears capable of making a run for another, despite a first-week jolt at the hands of Roman Catholic. Junior rusher David Williams already owns an offer from Notre Dame, among many others.
"We still have lots of talent," coach Brian Fluck said. "We always start slow, for some reason, but once we come together, we'll reach that next level."
AAAA promises to be fraught with weekly treats.
La Salle - state champ in '09, runner-up in '10 - again has a great crew. The coaches and players at Father Judge, Roman and St. Joseph's Prep like to think they do, as well, and Archbishop Ryan is much improved, judging by its down-to-the-wire battle with AAA Cardinal O'Hara.
The AAAA player with the highest profile is Prep quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg, a Penn State commit and the son of Marty, the Eagles' offensive coordinator. He needs exactly 800 passing yards to reach 4,000 for his career.
There are three new coaches, though two are CL returnees.
After a 17-year break, Jack Techtmann is back at Conwell-Egan. Joe Powel, who coached Wood to Blue Division titles in '04 and '05, is now at Archbishop Carroll. Charles "CJ" Szydlik has assumed command at Ss. Neumann-Goretti and his dad, Chalie, North Catholic's last coach in '09, is his chief assistant.
Coach: Frank McArdle Jr., 3rd year; Education: Ryan, James Madison. Career: 3-19.
Last year: 0-4, 5th; 2-9.
Great eight: Chris McMonagle, L-DL, 6-3, 235; Mike Anusky, QB, 5-11, 175; Nick Le Van, WR-DB, 5-11, 175; Kevin Newell, RB-LB, 5-9, 155; Mike Palmer, DB, 5-8, 150; Alvin Allen, L-DL, 5-11, 280; Sam Dumond, WR-DB, 5-7, 160; Joe Hansbury, TE-DE, 6-3, 225.
Happy about: Both lines, talented youth.
Concerned about: Having to rely so much on talented youth, lack of game-breaker.
McArdle's comment: "We're going to be a whole lot better."
Coach: Tommy Coyle, 12th year; Education: Judge. Career: 63-67.
Last year: 2-2, triple tie 2nd; 8-3.
Great eight: Eric Condron, C-DT, 6-2, 250; Raul Quinones, RB-LB, 5-11, 180; Connor Donohoe, WR-DB, 6-foot, 175; Matt Smalley, RB-CB-KR, 5-10, 175; Tim Mills, Rec.-DB-KR, 6-foot, 180; Anthony Walker, TE-DE, 6-3, 200; Shawn Hartigan, TE-DE, 6-3, 210; Rob Daniels, QB, 6-3, 175.
Happy about: Kicking game, competition at every position.
Concerned about: Identifying a go-to player, leadership.
Coyle's comment: "We feel we have enough talent to win a playoff game and play for a championship."
Coach: Drew Gordon, 6th year; Education: McDevitt, Villanova. Career: 51-16.
Last year: 4-0, 1st; 13-2.
Great eight: Tim Wade, RB, 5-9, 185; Sean Coleman, WR-CB, 5-9, 160; Matt Magarity, QB, 6-1, 200; Sean Burke, LB, 6-foot, 215; Connor Kerrigan, L-DL, 6-4, 260; Dan Wasylenko, L-DL, 6-2, 245; Mike Piscopo, TE-SS, 6-1, 190; Colin Buckley, WR, 6-3, 190.
Happy about: Skill players.
Concerned about: Inexperienced interior linemen.
Gordon's comment: "Offensively, this is as balanced as we've been. And I like how we look overall."
Coach: Joe McCourt, 4th year; Education: Roman, Lafayette. Career: 18-16.
Last year: 2-2, triple tie 2nd; 8-4.
Great eight: Michael Keir, QB, 6-3, 210; William Fuller, WR-DB, 6-2, 155; Marcus Kelly, RB-SS, 5-9, 165; Taishan Tucker, WR-FS, 5-9, 175; Steve Noel, T-DL, 6-foot, 265; Darryl Mintz, WR-DB, 5-9, 180; Jack Schanz, TE-DE, 6-1, 200; Tyrone Brown, L-DL, 6-1, 265.
Happy about: Skill players, big-play potential.
Concerned about: Getting o-line to gel.
McCourt's comment: "We have a very tough schedule. We'll worry about La Salle, Prep and Judge when we get there."
ST. JOSEPH'S PREP
Coach: Gabe Infante, 2nd year (also Paramus Catholic, N.J., 2008-09; Education: Memorial (West New York, N.J.), Holy Cross. Career: 14-17; 4-7 at SJP.
Last year: 2-2, triple tie 2nd; 4-7.
Great eight: Skyler Mornhinweg, QB-DB, 6-3, 215; Luke Hutkin, L-DL, 6-2, 265; Eric Medes, FB-LB, 6-3, 225; Jim Hurley, WR-DB, 6-1, 175; Dan Sherry, TE-DB, 6-2, 200; Dan Mancini, LB, 5-10, 185; Peter Siki, LB, 5-11, 180; Vincent Moffett, RB-DB, 5-8, 160.
Happy about: Crisp offseason, job competition.
Concerned about: Remaining healthy.
Infante's comment: "We have to eliminate the turnovers that hurt us last year. I'm excited about our familiarity."
Coach: Joe Powel, 1st year (also Kenrick, 1990-92; Harriton, 1993-94; Wood, 2004-06; Upper Merion, 2007-10); Education: Kenrick, Widener. Career: 58-69-1.
Last year: 0-3, 4th; 4-6.
Great eight: Teron Dobbs, WR-FS, 5-10, 160; Jalal Timmons, QB, 5-11, 170; Bill Ghaul, L-DL, 6-foot, 225; Kevin McLaughlin, WR-SS, 6-foot, 185; Eric Massenburg, RB-DB, 5-9, 170; Sage Stevenson, LB, 5-10, 200; Mark Collins, RB-LB, 5-11, 175; Chris Sutton, WR-DB, 6-1, 170.
Happy about: Speed/depth at skill positions, experience.
Concerned about: Undersized lines.
Powel's comment: "We're hoping to set things up so we're playing our best football when league play starts."
Coach: Steve Devlin, 5th year; Education: Ryan, Lycoming. Career: 45-10.
Last year: 3-0, 1st; 13-1.
Great eight: Desmon Peoples, RB-CB, 5-8, 170; Brandon Peoples, RB-DE, 5-10, 180; Colin Thompson, TE-DT, 6-6, 255; Frank Taylor, T-DT, 6-4, 295; Brandon Arcidiacono, C-DT, 6-6, 265; Joey Monaghan, QB-S, 6-1, 190; Kyle Adkins, WR-LB, 6-foot, 185; Nate Smith, WR-S, 6-1, 190.
Happy about: Chemistry/work ethic, skill players.
Concerned about: Developing football mentality in younger players.
Devlin's comment: "We just want to stay focused against a very tough schedule. No looking ahead."
Coach: Danny Algeo, 8th year (also Roman, 1996-99; Phoenixville, 2000); Education: Lansdale Catholic, Gwynedd-Mercy. Career: 83-54; 53-27 at O'Hara.
Last year: 2-1, 2nd; 9-2.
Great eight: Damiere Shaw, WR-DB, 5-10, 170; Jay Watkins, RB-DB, 5-10, 185; Hunter Tierney, T-DT, 5-10, 225; Shane Johnson, TE-DE, 6-2, 220; Joe Kelley, G-DE, 6-2, 205; Dashawn Darden, QB, 5-9, 165; Thaddius Smith, RB-DB, 5-10, 165; Steve Weyler, K-P, 5-10, 160.
Happy about: Having a competitive, tough, gritty, gutty, scrappy group.
Concerned about: The inconsistency that tends to affect young teams.
Algeo's comment: "Looking forward to watching this team grow and improve."
Coach: Tom Oropeza, 5th year; Education: Bonner, Lehigh. Career: 15-30.
Last year: 1-2, 3rd; 5-5.
Great eight: John McGilligan, WR-CB, 6-foot, 190; Tyler Ramirez, G-NG, 6-foot, 295; Tom Murtha, T-DT, 6-3, 270; Dom DiGalbo, C-DE, 6-4, 270; Ismir Gibson, RB, 5-8, 170; Jim Haley, QB-FS, 6-2, 175; Joe Haley, TE-LB, 6-3, 215; Ronnie Scull, FB-NG, 6-foot, 220.
Happy about: Offensive line, chemistry.
Concerned about: Defensive savvy, kicking game.
Oropeza's comment: "If we believe in each other and stay focused week to week, we have the right makeup to make good things happen."
Coach: Pat Manzi, 30th year; Education: Judge, Temple. Career: 174-124-5.
Last year: 3-1, 2nd; 5-5.
Great eight: Darren Wright, RB-LB, 6-3, 230; Nick Newman, WR-DB, 5-9, 150; Keith Young, RB-LB, 5-10, 180; Leroy Chambers, WR-DB, 5-10, 160; Christian Conner, QB, 6-1, 175; Eric Edwards, L-LB, 6-foot, 230; Billy Hartigan, L-DL, 5-10, 210; Brandon Parker, L-DL, 6-2, 240.
Happy about: Speed on both sides of ball.
Concerned about: Breaking in new kids.
Manzi's comment: "It'll be a matter of how fast the new kids become seasoned. I sense we'll be fine."
Coach: Jack Techtmann, 1st year (also Egan/Conwell-Egan, 1991-93); Education: Egan, Delaware Valley. Career: 5-26.
Last year: 0-4, 5th; 1-9.
Great eight: Bob McTague, T-DT, 6-3, 240; Mike McLaughlin, DE, 6-2, 190; Zach May, G, 6-1, 205; Dan McLaughlin, FB-LB, 6-foot, 190; Tim Bolton, RB-DB, 5-9, 180; Kyle Techtmann, QB-DB, 5-10, 180; Bobby Simcox, RB-LB, 5-10, 170; Mike King, TE-DE, 6-1, 200.
Happy about: Work ethic, running game.
Concerned about: Numerous first-time starters.
Techtmann's comment: "Once we play schools our size, we'll be able to compete."
Coach: Jim Algeo, 44th year; Education: Holy Cross Seminary (Ind.; on campus of Notre Dame), Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener). Career: 291-176-15; 9-21 as part of CL.
Last year: 2-2, 3rd; 3-7.
Great eight: Tyler Smith, FB-DE, 6-foot, 230; Kevin Sabo, RB-DB, 5-9, 180; James Ward, RB-DB, 5-7, 160; Mike Iacono, RB-DB, 6-foot, 180; Evan Coughlin, T-LB, 5-11, 215; Tim Dugan, G-LB, 6-1, 230; Dan Peterson, C-LB, 5-11, 200; Mike Malecki, T-DT, 6-1, 190.
Happy about: Work ethic.
Concerned about: Improving execution.
Algeo's comment: "When a small school with only seven seniors plays bigger schools, it makes for a very challenging season."
Coach: Charles "CJ" Szydlik, 1st year (also Jenkintown, 2010); Education: Frankford. Career: 1-7.
Last year: 1-3, 4th; 4-6.
Great eight: Antwoine Powers, RB, 5-10, 170; Teddy Furia, L-DL, 6-foot, 275; Mike LaFauci, C, 6-1, 255; Sam Wiess, T, 6-4, 280; Jose Rodriguez, L-DL, 6-1, 295; Shane Thomas, QB-DB, 5-10, 160; Christian DiFrancesco, WR-DB, 6-1, 175; Sharif Custis, TE-DE, 6-3, 195.
Happy about: Players' willingness to learn and self-motivation.
Concerned about: Passing game, team speed.
Szydlik's comment: "We have to put things together, but we have enough talent to make a run at the playoffs."
Coach: Brian Fluck, 13th year; Education: West Catholic, Temple. Career: 109-49.
Last year: 4-0, 1st; 13-2.
Great eight: Jaleel Reed, QB, 6-1, 185; Kevin Malone, DB, 6-foot, 185; Tristin Freeman, TE-DE-OLB, 6-foot, 215; T-J Waters, G-LB-DE, 6-4, 225; Bruce Mapp, WR, 6-1, 170; David Williams, RB-DB, 6-1, 185; Devante Ford, NG, 5-10, 285; Jarryd Jones-Smith, T-DE, 6-7, 285.
Happy about: Aggressive front seven on defense, skill positions.
Concerned about: Inexperience at FB/WR.
Fluck's comment: "If we come together and have confidence, hopefully we'll get back to defend our state title."
RETURNING ALL-LEAGUE PLAYERS
Selected by Daily News
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Lineman: Frank Taylor, Wood.
Receiver: William Fuller, Roman.
Quarterback: Skyler Mornhinweg, SJ Prep.
Running backs: Desmon Peoples, Wood.
Kicker: Nick Visco, Wood.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Lineman: Colin Thompson, Wood.
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
Linemen: Eric Condron, Judge; Brandon Arcidiacono, Wood.
Receivers: Sean Coleman, La Salle: John McGilligan, Bonner.
Running backs: Marcus Kelly, Roman; Brandon Peoples, Wood; David Williams, West.
Multipurpose: Kyle Adkins, Wood; Jay Watkins, O'Hara.
Kicker: Connor Foley, Judge.
Punter: Ryan Winslow, La Salle.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
Lineman: Tyler Ramirez, Bonner.
Linebackers: Eric Medes, SJ Prep; Darren Wright, McDevitt.
Back: Damiere Shaw, O'Hara.