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SPORTS
August 27, 2016 | By Rick O'Brien, STAFF WRITER
It's the dawning of a new era for high school football in Pennsylvania. That's because the PIAA voted last October to expand to six classifications and shorten the season by one week at the end. Districts have the option of playing two scrimmages, or a scrimmage and a game the second week. Since most District 1 and 12 squads chose the latter, football arrives in earnest this weekend. The early start features a handful of intriguing nonleague games. One of the best is Saturday night's tilt between visiting Perkiomen Valley, which is ranked No. 12 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Inquirer, and No. 13 Downingtown West at Kottmeyer Stadium.
SPORTS
August 27, 2016 | By Rick O'Brien, STAFF WRITER
La Salle's outlook for this season significantly changed when Isaiah Jones, a dual-threat quarterback and talented defensive back, went down with a season-ending knee injury just before the start of training camp. "He was really poised to be a big threat," Explorers coach John Steinmetz said of the athletic junior. "We're going to miss him a lot. " With little time to get fully acclimated to his starting role, senior Tom LaMorte will be under center for La Salle at 7 p.m. Friday in the nonleague opener at North Penn.
NEWS
August 23, 2016 | By Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer
Marquis Weeks, a retired NFL running back, calls his new job as the head football coach at Conestoga High School a "dream come true. " But allegations of hazing and assault that rocked his alma mater last year - and ultimately led to his hiring - have been an ongoing nightmare for one of the nation's most highly ranked school districts. His predecessor resigned in March, and the entire coaching staff was ousted, after the Chester County district attorney charged three senior football players with assaulting a 14-year-old freshman player in the locker room.
SPORTS
August 23, 2016 | By Rick O'Brien, STAFF WRITER
The area is brimming with quick, physical, and explosive running backs heading into the 2016 campaign. St. Joseph's Prep senior D'Andre Swift, one of the most dynamic and versatile performers in Southeastern Pennsylvania football history, heads the list. With the 5-foot-9, 215-pounder playing a leading role as a dual-threat back and kick returner, the Hawks have gone 30-9 and captured a pair of PIAA Class 4A state titles over the last three seasons. "He's just special," Prep coach Gabe Infante said.
SPORTS
August 22, 2016 | By Phil Anastasia, STAFF WRITER
It was Timber Creek Regional High School football at its electrifying finest. Devin Leary to Ezrah Archie. Touchdown. Leary to Archie again. Touchdown again. Harold Coleman around right end. Touchdown. Jerome Gibson around left end. Touchdown. "They're good," St. Joseph coach Paul Sacco said after the clash of two of South Jersey's best teams in a scrimmage on Wednesday afternoon. "They're really good. " Everybody knows the Chargers are good. They are the defending South Jersey Group 4 champions.
SPORTS
August 19, 2016 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Don Cherry had played in Lincoln Financial Field before last Thursday's exhibition opener for the Eagles, but it wasn't quite the same thing when he was there with the Villanova Wildcats. "This was a pretty amazing experience, all around," Cherry said after the game ended, after he had played about a third of the snaps at middle linebacker for an NFL team, after the kid who couldn't land a Division I scholarship kept his professional ambitions alive. "It felt great to match up against some of the kids I didn't get to play against in college.
SPORTS
August 17, 2016 | By Rick O'Brien and Phil Anastasia, STAFF WRITERS
High school football practice in Pennsylvania and South Jersey officially started Monday, with the sound of pads hitting pads in steamy conditions. "I think the kids are happy to get going for real," La Salle coach John Steinmetz said. "It's a grind, but they enjoy getting out there and competing. " The first whistle blew just before 8:30 a.m. at Cinnaminson as the team tried to beat the heat with an early-morning practice. "Just glad to get out here and get to work," Cinnaminson coach Mario Patrizi said.
SPORTS
August 14, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER
Entering training camp, Temple appeared to have some questions about its secondary. But during the early portion of practice, coach Matt Rhule seems pleased with the play of his defensive backs, especially his safeties. "The safeties are playing at a high level," Rhule said on Friday after the first of two steamy practices. One of the big changes was moving junior Sean Chandler from cornerback to safety in an attempt to allow him to make even more big plays. Known as "Champ," Chandler made plenty of big plays at corner, with four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, last year.
SPORTS
August 11, 2016 | By Mike Kern, STAFF WRITER
PRESEASON MEDIA polls are nothing more than hopefully educated projections and a place to start. A year ago, coming off a 2-8 season and with a new coach in longtime assistant Ray Priore, Penn's football team was picked to finish sixth in the Ivy League, the lowest it had been voted in more than two decades. So the Quakers proceeded to win their last six games - which meant going on the road in November and handing defending champion Harvard its lone loss - to get their first title since 2012.
SPORTS
August 9, 2016 | By Adam Hermann, STAFF WRITER
PURE BLUE blanketed the Philadelphia sky on a Wednesday morning in late July. Eagles defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao walked toward the practice field at the NovaCare Complex. As he neared a line of faint white paint, the back of an end zone, he slowed and dropped to his left knee, his fist balled and resting on his forehead. He stayed in the crouch for 15 seconds. His teammates kept walking to his left and his right. Then Vaeao pushed off the ground and strapped on his helmet. This has been his routine since he started playing football in high school.
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