For kicking, Washington High has Mr. Wright

Posted: September 18, 2012

Passing along some city high school football tidbits . . . 

IT'S A GOOD thing Jake Wright reconsidered his decision, made before the 2011 season, to wave bye-bye to kicking and punting. Now he's showing major-college potential.

The 6-2, 195-pound Wright, a senior, last Saturday posted two field goals in Washington's 35-7 win over Glen Mills and the longest, a 41-yarder, was drilled through the wind.

In warmups, he nailed a 55-yarder.

"Ah, the wind helped that one," he said, laughing. "Might have been good from 50, though."

Wright, also a star baseball player (outfield), came close to a football disconnect because his leg was constantly aching due to what he thought were too-lengthy practice sessions. He reached an agreement with coach Ron Cohen to scale back and was told he'd get to try more field goals. He finished 2011 with 26 kicks and two FGs.

Wright is part of an excellent, senior-kickers group that also features St. Joseph's Prep's Kyle Battin, Episcopal's Quinn Hager, Haverford School's Aron Morgan, Wood's Nick Visco and La Salle's Ryan Winslow, a Pitt commit.

"I like baseball best because you're more a part of the team," Wright said. "It's a hard sport because you have to hit, run, throw, field . . . it's demanding. Kickers don't seem to get much credit. But if I could get a scholarship, that'd be great. I'm thinking of doing both sports in college."

Wright's sidekicks are holder John Santos and snapper Alex Rivera and right now he feels "like this is the best I've ever been."

Reason: a small adjustment made Friday.

"I got rid of that little jab step I used to take with my left foot," he said. "Now it's just right, left, kick the ball."

And watch it split the "upwrights."


Though no relation, Washington also has a part-time senior lineman named Al-pachino Wright. His brother/teammate - we kid you not - is named Carlito . . . Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain ('03) has donated money to Washington's program, primarily to cover the cost of filming games  . . . Judge and St. Joseph's Prep are idle this week. Let's scratch Imhotep-SCH Academy and go with these matchups: S.J. Prep-Imhotep (would draw a monstrous crowd if played Friday night at Germantown's stadium) and Judge-SCH.

With 251 in Week 2 vs. Cheltenham, Christian Connor broke McDevitt's school record for passing yards in a game. It belonged to Drew Gordon (244 in '67), now La Salle's coach, and was the city leagues' oldest one-game passing mark. Kidded Gordon: "Wait 'til I talk to [McDevitt coach] Pat Manzi. He didn't have to let that happen." . . . Episcopal owns three consecutive shutouts for the first time since 1963, when it blanked Friends' Central, Bryn Athyn (now Academy of the New Church) and Chestnut Hill. It fashioned three- and four-game shutout streaks in '42 while going 8-0, and allowed just six points all season . . . Correction: Two guys named Larry Pelzer, classes of '88 and '92, manned the offensive line for Bok back in the day. The older one is the father of Bok's current star rusher, Larry Pelzer.

Freshman Tom Garlick passed for three TDs in Wood's 35-6 win over Frankford and his first varsity attempt yielded a 51-yard score to Joe Santospago. Garlick's dad, Joe, and uncle, Tom, starred at QB and wideout respectively for Judge and the latter played in the NFL . . . Bartram's squad includes twins Dajuan and Davon Crawford, and Jahvantay and Jovanni Mitchell. Christopher Mitchell is still around. His twin, Christian, no longer plays.

This is Edison's 56th season. The game last Friday vs. McDevitt was just its sixth against a non-Pub squad. It went from '76 to '06 without one . . . Frankford lefty Tim DiGiorgio has notched a TD pass in all 14 of his varsity starts. He owns 34 total (along with 2,890 yards) . . . Talk about overkill: Bartram-King, played on the latter's campus, was witnessed by no more than 60 spectators. Ten police officers (mix of school district and Philly) were on site . . . When King coach John Sheroda complained that a Bartram defender was being mouthy, ref Ernie Gallagher noted, in don't-sweat-it fashion, "He's been talking the whole game and hasn't made a play yet."

Furness-Chester featured TDs on three consecutive touches, spanning 28 seconds. The sequence: 33-yard run by Chester's Dan Hayes; 70-yard kickoff return by Furness' Kharee Ruley; 80-yard run by Darrell Nicholson after Devin Nottis' kickoff sailed into the end zone. Nottis was wearing No. 25. As was teammate Charles Spencer . . . The six Pub AAAA Silver squads are a combined 2-16 and have been outscored, 546-199 . . . This year's coolest name? Lincoln has a kid named Teddy Tootle. Close runner-up: Haverford School's Kory Calicat . . . John Graham boasts 11 of Prep Charter's 12 receptions this season.


City Top 10 Football Teams

1. La Salle 3-0

2. St. Joseph's Prep 3-0

3. Archbishop Wood 2-1

4. Roman Catholic 2-1

5. Imhotep Charter 3-0

6. Malvern Prep 2-1

7. George Washington 3-0

8. Cardinal O'Hara 2-1

9. Penn Charter 2-0

10. West Catholic 1-1

Under consideration: Frankford (1-2), Episcopal Academy (3-0), Father Judge (1-2), Archbishop Ryan (2-1), Edward Bok Tech (3-0).


Contact Ted Silary at High school coverage online at

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