Roman Catholic senior Chaney has plenty of motivation

Posted: August 29, 2014

MAYBE HAVING a short memory as a defensive back isn't always the best thing. Not when one missed play can motivate you through those long, hot and tiring offseason workouts.

Roman Catholic senior John Chaney remembers well. As a junior last season, Chaney was one-on-one with a receiver from St. John's (Washington, D.C.) in the Cahillites' third game of the season. Nothing fancy, just a streak route.

Chaney remembers running stride for stride and looking back to find the ball before colliding with the receiver and falling to the ground. The catch was made, and the contact also sent the receiver to the turf, which prevented a touchdown.

"From then on," Chaney said, "after that, it was just straight motivation."

"You just have to be a playmaker right there," he continued. "That's all it comes down to. When the ball is in the air, it's like, 'Who's the better athlete?' And it all relies on technique."

With the 2014 high school football season upon us, hundreds of players from the Catholic, Public and Inter-Ac leagues will, like Chaney, have opportunities to exorcise last year's demons, defend titles or simply get back to the game they love.

"I've been looking forward to this since seven-on-seven back in the spring," Chaney said. "Since we started practice I've just been waiting for it, and the time has come . . . "

First up for Roman will be Malvern Prep, at 7:30 p.m. today in Wildwood. Led by first-year coach Aaron Brady, the Friars will be skippered by a non-Pellegrini for the first time in 36 years since Kevin Pellegrini stepped down at the end of last season after replacing his father, Gamp Pellegrini, who coached for 31 seasons.

As for Chaney, a 5-9, 185-pound cornerback from Mt. Airy, his offseason ethic earned him a team captain nod along with seniors A.J. Frazier (wide receiver), Sam Payne (linebacker/tight end) and Gavin Wiggins (offensive/defensive lineman).

Chaney said his summer workouts entailed frequent one-on-one battles with Frazier and conditioning/strength training with stud defensive lineman Manny Taylor, a Rutgers commit.

Trips to the Level Forty Training and Performance Center in King of Prussia and work with speed trainer Tony Fulton were also staples of the routine. Can't forget technique work with St. Joseph's Prep defensive backs coach Keita Crespina, the defensive coordinator of Chaney's seven-on-seven squad, PA Playmakers, coached by Imhotep Charter's Albie Crosby.

All the hard work and competition suited Chaney just fine; after all, he comes from competitive stock. The grandson of longtime Temple basketball coach and Philadelphia legend John Chaney, the Roman Catholic senior is still looking for a college scholarship.

"Everything he says, I just take it to heart no matter what," Chaney said of his grandfather. "Even though he coached basketball, I know I can still [apply] what he says to football."

The proud grandson's own basketball days didn't last long.

"I used to [play] back in grade school, but when football came around, I got bored with basketball," he joked. "I love the contact in football."

So far, he is still looking for an official offer, but Chaney says he has gotten looks from some I-AA schools.

However, at least for now, it sounds like it's not so much where he goes, but that he goes.

"Right now, I would take anywhere," Chaney said. "I know some people want to think only about D-1, but if any school comes in and offers me, I would love it because it would be a free education."

On the air

St. Joseph's Prep's WSJP Student Broadcasting Club is preparing for its first broadcast this Sunday from Chicago as the football team plays Mount Carmel. You can listen to all of the action live beginning at 1 p.m. (EDT) at

On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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