Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Rick O'Brien: Never too early to pick a top 10 for 2013 football

St. Joseph's Prep, Neshaminy, and La Salle should head the list of area powers next fall.

The four championship games in Hershey over the weekend marked the close of the 2012 football campaign.

Before turning our attention to hoops, we present you with our preseason football top 10 for 2013 in Southeastern Pennsylvania, with this year's final record in parentheses.

Of course, a lot could happen between now and Aug. 2: transfers, coaching changes, offseason injuries, etc.

1. St. Joseph's Prep (10-1). The Hawks lose a number of starters, including eight on defense and four offensive linemen, but are expected to return a solid core of skill-position players.

The list is headed by quarterback Chris Martin, running backs Vince Moffett and Olamide Zaccheaus, handyman John Reid, and receivers Jawan McAllister and Cameron Chambers.

The returning starters on defense: Reid, a cornerback and Division I-A recruit; tackle Joe Dumond; and free safety Tom Johnson.

2. Neshaminy (9-4). This year's junior-laden group advanced to the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA semifinals.

The Class of 2014 is led by two-way end Luke Carrezola, running back-linebacker Denny Lord, receiver-safety Cole Creighton, defensive tackle Alex Nicolas, and cornerbacks Devon Brown and Trokon Buesmaill.

Key for the Redskins is finding a QB who can keep defenses from focusing on stopping the rushing efforts of Lord and company.

3. La Salle (12-2). Even with the loss of Sean Coleman and many others, the five-time Catholic League Class AAAA champs should again make noise.

Jimmy Herron, a do-everything type, is a candidate to replace 2,500-yard passer Chris Kane. Jordan Meachum, who had 50-plus touches this year, should get help in the backfield from fellow junior-to-be Ryan Brady.

A defense that lost eight starters will count on up-and-coming linebacker Zaire Franklin; end Ryan Coonahan; and backs Steve Hudak, Mike Koller, and Nick Buckley.

4. Coatesville (13-3). If Jay Stocker turns out to be the type of thrower Emmett Hunt was, success should continue.

On offense, the Red Raiders will bring back 1,700-yard rusher Daquan Worley, tight end Tyler Burke, guard Titus Richards (6-foot-3, 290 pounds), and tackle Collin Raysor (6-6, 290).

The rock-solid Burke will be joined on defense by fellow linebacker Devonte Suber; middle guard Mike Boykin; strong safety Isaiah Flamer; and Worley, a cornerback.

5. Imhotep Charter (14-1). David Williams is leaving, but the cupboard is not bare for Albie Crosby and the Panthers.

The Class of 2014 includes speedy handyman Deandre Scott; linebacker Steve Denby; safety Nyeem Thrones; and two-way linemen Tyrone Barge, Taleem Muhammad, and Gordon Thomas.

Also expected back are a pair of current sophomores: QB Andre Dreuitt and halfback Nasir Bonner.

6. Archbishop Wood (12-3). The top priority for the Vikings is replacing five of seven regulars from an imposing offensive line.

The good news is that QB Tom Garlick has three seasons ahead of him, Josh Messina and Jarrett McClenton return to the backfield, and Ryan Bates (6-5, 260) and Deion Oliver (6-5, 275) are experienced linemen.

Expected back on defense are Messina, an end; Jake Cooper, who can line up at linebacker or along the line; and backs D.J. Brinkley and Kendall Singleton.

7. North Penn (6-4). The Knights, while hit hard by graduation, will no doubt replenish and be a factor in 2013.

Austin Shearer gained experience at QB this season, fullback Luke Berry is a bruising type, and Frank Tranzilli (6-1, 270) is a rising offensive lineman.

8. Cardinal O'Hara (5-5). From the looks of it, the Lions should score points in bunches next year.

QB Dashawn Darden will be joined on offense by a trio of speedsters: Thaddius Smith; Lamont Veal; and Camden Catholic transfer J.T. Blyden, formerly of Avon Grove and Bishop Shanahan.

9. Spring-Ford (12-3). The Rams made waves this season, winning their first playoff game and advancing to the Class AAAA district final.

Expected returnees are quick tailback Jarred Jones, handyman Tate Carter, wideout Gary Hopkins, tackle Mason Romano, tackle-linebacker Robby Varner, and linebacker Andy Lovre-Smith.

10. Downingtown East (10-1). The probable nucleus for the 2013 Cougars is 1,100-yard rusher Ryley Angeline; 6-3, 265-pound lineman Alec Petrillo; and cornerback Brandon Feamster.

Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Abington (8-4), Central Bucks South (10-2), Garnet Valley (8-3), Pennridge (12-2), Pennsbury (9-3), Ridley (11-1).

Rick O'Brien: The Inquirer TOP 10


Team Record

Last week's rankings in parentheses.

1. Coatesville (1) 13-3

2. La Salle (2) 12-2

3. St. Joseph's Prep (3) 10-1

4. Arch. Wood (4) 12-3

5. Downingtown East (5) 10-1

6. Spring-Ford (6) 12-3

7. Pennridge (7) 12-2

8. Pennsbury (8) 9-3

9. Episcopal Acad. (9) 10-0

10. Imhotep (10) 14-1

Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Central Bucks South (10-2), Interboro (11-3), Neshaminy (9-4), Pottsgrove (11-1), Ridley (11-1), West Chester Henderson (9-4).

- Rick O'Brien