At St. Joseph, a tale of the tape

Posted: October 26, 2012

Miles Pease is 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, unless you count the tape.

Then he's close to 200.

"It's everywhere," Pease said of the trainer's tape that, combined with a harness, works to keep his left shoulder in place during St. Joseph's football games. "It gets in my hair, on my skin. It's the worst."

St. Joseph senior quarterback Anthony Giagunto figures his classmate's shoulder has "popped out around nine times," although he has lost count.

"He gets taped up so tight, sometimes he can't even breathe," Giagunto said.

Pease doesn't mind looking like a mummy, and not just because he's a kid and Halloween is around the corner. He figures it's a small price to pay for play for St. Joseph.

Pease, a senior running back and linebacker for the No. 1 team in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings, knows all about the cost of playing football. He has battled injuries since he joined the St. Joseph program.

"I never really got hurt in youth football," Pease said. "The worst I ever had was a sprained ankle when I was like 5."

Guys such as Pease are the reason St. Joseph is such a special program.

The Wildcats have won a lot of games with a lot of future Division I athletes wearing those red uniforms. But the team is best defined by the perseverance of a player such as Pease, who could have hung up his shoulder pads about four times in his four-year career.

"He typifies the type of player we've been able to attract to St. Joe's," Wildcats coach Paul Sacco said. "He could have given it up. But he'll do whatever he has to do to get out on the field."

Pease isn't 100 percent healthy, but he's getting close. Either that, or he's getting better at dealing with his bum shoulder.

"It's a little of both," Pease said. "I am feeling better, stronger. I'm also getting used to it."

Pease played one of his best games last Friday. He ran for three touchdowns as St. Joseph beat then-No. 6 Atlantic City, 28-25.

"He showed what kind of player he is in that game," Sacco said.

Pease, who lives in Williamstown, broke his right collarbone as a freshman. He dislocated his right shoulder as a sophomore and underwent surgery.

Last season as a junior, he was hampered by a left shoulder ailment. And in his first game as a senior - a 37-29 victory over No. 8 Absegami on Sept. 8 - he dislocated his left shoulder while scoring the first touchdown on a pass from Giagunto.

"That was very frustrating," Pease said.

Pease has battled his latest shoulder injury all season. He hasn't missed a game. He has carried the football 71 times for 361 yards. On defense, he has made 18 tackles and leads the team with two interceptions.

"He's just a tough, tough kid," Giagunto said of Pease.

Pease said he never considered giving up football despite his injuries. He said his father, Mark, once suggested that maybe he should focus on track.

"I told him no way," Pease said. "I just figured I had to fight through it. I never considered that I would stop playing football. I love it too much. I don't mind going through pain to be able to play."

Contact Phil Anastasia at or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at

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