By Rick O'Brien


Dennis Decker shined as a quarterback at Ridley, throwing for 2,738 yards and 31 touchdowns while leading the Green Raiders to the PIAA Class AAAA state championship game in 1990.

This year, Decker, always one to take on a challenge, replaced John Waller, who went 79-21 in eight seasons and claimed a District 1 title, as the top man in football-crazy Folsom.

Decker more than lived up to expectations. The rookie boss guided his alma mater to a 13-2 record, a share of the Central League crown, and the District 1 crown. His Green Raiders knocked off previously undefeated North Penn, 19-10, in the district final.

For his efforts, Decker is The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania football coach of the year.

Ridley, whose only regular-season slip-up was a 20-14 home loss to Garnet Valley in Week 9, advanced to the state semifinals before bowing to eventual champion La Salle, 35-7.

The runners-up for coach-of-the-year honors were La Salle's Drew Gordon, Archbishop Wood's Steve Devlin, and Avon Grove's Marvin Dooley.

The rest of the all-Southeastern Pennsylvania football team will be announced on Sunday. Check it out.