October 17, 2015 |
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It was almost five years ago that Mark Herzlich was an undrafted free agent. The Conestoga High product had already beaten cancer. Now he was trying to reach the NFL. Herzlich turned down an offer to play in a minor league, choosing instead to bide his time until an NFL franchise called. And he got his chance in July of 2011 when the New York Giants invited him to training camp. Herzlich, who starred at Boston College, made the most of it. He made the Giants that summer and has never left.
October 1, 2015 |
STEVE DONAHUE made an assumption when he left Fran Dunphy's staff at Penn to become head coach at Cornell. "I thought I would get great players to come up from Philly, do what we did at Penn," Donahue said. After five years of beating his head against that wall, Donahue discovered a numerical way. "I figured out I had to play differently," Donahue said. "I had to play smarter, I had to play faster. Part of it is attracting kids because it's a fun way to play. " His tenure at Cornell ended with three consecutive Ivy League titles and a 2010 Sweet 16 appearance.
September 29, 2015 |
They endured hours-long lines and security checks, they knelt on asphalt, and most were separated by a sea of humanity from the man who had brought them together. But on a day when the Ben Franklin Parkway was transformed into a grand open-air cathedral, when the raucous atmosphere of Saturday night's celebration yielded to reverence, those present said they were indelibly moved by the experience of attending a Sunday Mass celebrated by Pope Francis. "I could see him light up when he saw babies and little children," said Gloria Martinez, 68, a retired college administrator from Ohio, who said she kept her eyes aimed on the pontiff from the minute he entered the Parkway.
September 12, 2015 |
In the early 2000s, Chip Kelly was the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire and spent part of his summers as a counselor at Boston College's football camp. One of the campers was a tall, slender high school prospect from Penn Charter. His name was Matt Ryan. Kelly and Ryan met each other then, with Ryan creating a reputation as a three-star recruit and Kelly still a little-known college assistant. Kelly did not have much of a chance of recruiting Ryan - "He wasn't really looking at the New Hampshires and the Delawares and the Villanovas at that time," the Eagles coach said - but both tracked each other's careers.
August 3, 2015 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Christian Hackenberg knew the inevitable question was coming. He's had to answer it dozens of times since his sophomore year ended with his redemptive performance in Penn State's dramatic overtime victory in the Pinstripe Bowl. But his dread for it hadn't waned. Wearing shorts and a T-shirt from the Manning Passing Academy, where he worked as a counselor this summer, Hackenberg reluctantly honored a request to again give his thoughts on whether he will consider entering the NFL draft following the conclusion of the 2015 season, when he becomes eligible.
June 6, 2015 |
Brendon Little has been dreaming about playing professional baseball since he was a multi-position performer in the Berwyn-Paoli Little League. "I think it was last summer, when I was playing in front of major-league scouts and getting feedback from them, when I realized it could become a reality," the Conestoga senior said. A 6-foot-2, 200-pound lefthander with a fastball that has been clocked at 95 m.p.h., Little was closely watched by 15 to 30 scouts at games this year. With a huge upside, he could be picked next week in the Major League Baseball first-year draft.
May 27, 2015 |
Of the 256 players drafted into the NFL this year, Brian Mihalik was the tallest. It should not be a surprise he ended up with the Eagles. Mihalik, a 6-foot-9, 302-pound defensive end from Boston College, made his only pre-draft visit to Philadelphia. He was not a surefire draft pick, but the Eagles validated their interest by making him a seventh-round choice. The pick instantly brought to mind Chip Kelly's catchphrase: "Big people beat up little people. " And if it didn't, Kelly reiterated it minutes after the selection.
May 17, 2015 |
Germantown Academy's Zach Burkhart and Jess Zettlemoyer closed the Philadelphia Scholastic Rowing Association season by claiming gold in the boys' and girls' varsity single, respectively, in the City Championships. The seniors, both on the rise, were back on the Schuylkill on Friday, this time looking to excel for the Patriots in the 89th annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta. Under sunny skies and in a strong headwind at the world's oldest and largest high school scholastic event, Burkhart placed sixth in an afternoon time trial in 6 minutes, 22.40 seconds.
April 29, 2015 |
PENN STATE quarterback Christian Hackenberg is widely viewed as a future pro. It also is abundantly clear to one NFL draft analyst that he has some work to do before entering the selection process, which he can do as soon as next year. "He needs to drastically play better than he did [in 2014] if he has any hope of going in the first three rounds," said Russ Lande, president of GM Jr. Scouting and college scouting director for the Big Ten Network, the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and 120Sports.com.
March 19, 2015 |
After he was introduced as Penn's head basketball coach, Steve Donahue looked up at his larger-than-life photo on the scoreboard of the Palestra. Asked for his thoughts, Donahue said, "That's nuts. " Then Donahue made fun of his tie up on the big screen. The new man in charge at this place began ticking off names, "Chuck Daly and Jimmy Lynam and Jimmy Boyle - it's just amazing, the legacy of coaches that have coached here. It's surreal. It really is. . . . I've been very fortunate in my career to be in a lot of different situations.