PASSING ALONG some city high school football tidbits . . .
Drew Loughery, it turns out, never did throw his final pass for La Salle. In fact, he'll be firing more as early as this afternoon.
After pacing the Explorers to the 2009 Class AAAA state title, and finishing his career with 5,355 yards and 50 touchdowns, Loughery enrolled at West Chester and opted not to play football.
But roughly a half-dozen times this season, usually on Tuesdays because his class load is light (one, in the morning), he has made the 50-odd minute drive to Wyndmoor to operate the opposition's offense.
"I was around a lot in the summer, then helped the team through training camp, and it just made sense to keep doing this," said Loughery, whose brother (two-way end '03) and father (QB '70), both named Bill, also played for La Salle. Yet another Bill, his grandfather, also attended La Salle ('45), though he didn't play football. "I don't wear pads and I don't get hit - and the guys like to kid me about that - but I do my best to give the defense a good look.
"Being a player was one thing. Being able to help the team this way, it's just another plus. It has to be a loose commitment because I'm still in school, but I like being around the team and just checking out what's going on and hearing about new things from the coaches."
Hmm. Is Loughery eyeing a coaching career?
"A lot of people have been asking me that," he said, laughing. "I don't know how things are going to go. For right now I'm sure enjoying this and I don't plan on stopping any time soon."
Last school year, Loughery played for a flag-football team that won West Chester's intramural championship.
"I played a little quarterback," he said. "But mostly I was just in it to have fun, so I was moving all over [positionswise]."
One thing Loughery has not yet done: sign autographs before/after practice.
"I just go back there as a normal guy, and that's how I get treated," he said. "The seniors were my teammates 2 years ago. It's fun being around them again."
Right before the AAAA quarterfinal with La Salle, Nazareth's cheerleaders unveiled a large sign (maybe 8 x 15 feet) that read, "La Salle. You are gonna need a Hail Mary." The players then burst through it as they charged onto the field. So much for separation of church and state . . . With 3:52 left in the third quarter, many of La Salle's fans gave the referees a standing ovation for finally calling a penalty on Nazareth. The first eight flags had gone against La Salle, as would four of the last five . . . In its AA quarterfinal vs. Pen Argyl, West Catholic was called for 12 penalties of 10 yards or more (two were declined). Somehow, PA was squeaky clean . . . In a 41-22 triumph over Pottsgrove in a AAA quarterfinal, first cousins Desmon and Brandon Peoples raised their Wood rushing yardage total to 4,076. Desmon (Rutgers) now owns 2,255 yards and 41 TDs while Brandon (Temple) sits at 1,821/26. Desmon played at St. Joseph's Prep as a soph and his career totals read 3,305/51 . . . Citing increased responsibilities at the school, Marc Wilson has resigned as Imhotep Charter's coach. He was 48-31 during the Panthers' seven seasons of Pub membership and 50-38 in eight campaigns overall . . . With eight points against Allentown Central Catholic in a AAA semifinal Friday night, 7 o'clock, at Northeast, Wood will claim the No. 2 spot in city history. Carroll rang up 584 in 2000. West Catholic's 775 points in '08 (48.4 average) could remain No. 1 forever . . . With 3 yards vs. North Penn in a AAAA semifinal Saturday, noon, at Northeast, La Salle's Matt Magarity will reach 3,000 career passing yards. He's 209-for-385 and 37 TDs. He'll become the fifth Explorer in the 3,000-yard club, joining Brett Gordon (6,837), John Harrison (5,810), Drew Loughery (5,355) and Mike Lynch (3,069). Gordon, Harrison and Loughery are 1-2-3 in city history . . . Jim Algeo, Lansdale Catholic's recently retired coach, served as a sideline reporter for a cable outfit that televised Wood-Pottsgrove . . . Coaches Steve Devlin (Wood) and Brian Fluck (West Catholic) once were assistants at SJ Prep under Gil Brooks. This fall, in his first year as head coach at Camden Catholic, Brooks steered his team to a state final . . . After watching Wood need just three plays, then seven, then four to score its first three TDs vs. Pottsgrove, a suburban reporter quipped, "These guys just can't sustain a drive."