Before we begin packing for a two-night stay in Chocolatetown, we present the list of top safeties in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
When compiling this top 10 list, we considered tackling ability, cover skills, and potential to succeed at the next level.
1. DeAndre Scott, Imhotep Charter, Jr., 5-foot-10, 180 pounds. Athletic and quick, Scott has received a "soft offer" from Tennessee. The strong safety has also drawn interest from Miami, South Carolina and Temple.
2. Phil Mitten, West Chester Henderson, Sr., 6-2, 185. In helping the Warriors advance to the PIAA District 1 Class AAA final, Mitten registered 88 tackles, including 42 solos, and three interceptions.
3. Rasaan Stewart, Perkiomen Valley, Jr., 6-1, 175. Stewart, a two-way standout, was the driving force behind the Vikings' 7-3 campaign. At quarterback, he threw for 1,617 yards and 11 touchdowns.
4. Renz "Rodeo" Compton, Frankford, Sr., 5-10, 160. Compton, also a wide receiver, aided the Pioneers' run to the Public League Class AAAA championship. He had three interceptions.
5. Joe DeMaio, Cardinal O'Hara, Jr., 5-11, 175. For his play at free safety, DeMaio earned first-team all-Catholic League Class AAA honors.
6. Isaiah Flamer, Coatesville, Jr., 5-10, 180. For the Red Raiders, who are within a win of a Class AAAA state championship, Flamer has been solid at strong safety.
7. Chris Morgan, Haverford School, Sr., 6-1, 185. Morgan, with four interceptions, was a first-team all-Inter-Ac League pick. He also contributed as a wide receiver.
8. Steve Veal, Central Bucks South, Sr., 5-7, 140. Veal, a versatile performer for the Titans, was involved in 82 tackles, including 55 solos. He posted four interceptions.
9. Dan Sherry, St. Joseph's Prep, Sr., 6-2, 200. With Sherry at strong safety, the 10-1 Hawks yielded only 8.1 points per game during the regular season.
10. Christian Crane, Council Rock South, Sr., 5-11, 175. The Golden Hawks struggled this season, but Crane was a bright spot on both sides of the ball.
Twenty others to watch, listed alphabetically: Gordon Bentley, Wissahickon, Sr., 6-1, 180; John Berthsci, Archbishop Wood, Sr., 6-0, 180; Adam Burke, West Chester Rustin, Sr., 5-10, 190; Brendan Caine, Conestoga, Sr., 5-9, 155; Joe Carlini, Malvern Prep, Sr., 5-9, 165; Shimeek Carter, Northeast, Sr., 5-7, 170; Cole Creighton, Neshaminy, Jr., 5-9, 180; Travis Daywalt, Spring-Ford, Sr., 5-11, 185; John Devine, Council Rock North, Sr., 5-11, 165; Fulani Freeman, Simon Gratz, Sr., 6-5, 205; Tom Johnson, St. Joseph's Prep, So., 5-11, 185; Jordan Majors, Malvern Prep, Jr., 6-2, 180; Riley Michaels, Pottsgrove, Jr., 5-8, 155; Matt Robinson, Father Judge, Sr., 6-2, 180; Dan Smyth, Springfield-Delco, Sr., 6-0, 185; Quadeem Starkes, Imhotep Charter, Jr., 6-1, 185; Ian Strain, Episcopal Academy, Sr., 6-0, 175; Micah Stutzman, Pennridge, Jr., 6-1, 180; Rene Villafane, George Washington, Sr., 6-0, 175; Ryan Yenchick, Phoenixville, Sr., 5-9, 165.
Local ties. District 3's Wyomissing, located across the river from Reading, ousted Imhotep, 35-13, Saturday in a Class AA state semifinal.
Spartans head coach Bob Wolfrum, in his 26th year, grew up in Somerton. His father, Andy, played offensive guard for Frankford. In 1940, he helped the Pioneers capture the City Title with a 13-0 shutout of West Catholic at Franklin Field,
Andy Wolfrum, who went on to play at Bucknell and Temple, later coached at Frankford under Worthington "Odie" Surrick.
Quotable. Tom McClain, who recently ended a 52-year career as a football official, on what's next for him after hanging up his referee stripes: "I'm going to go to banquets and tell jokes."
McClain, always quick with a quip, mostly refereed District 12 games. The 72-year-old's final assignment was Northeast's 14-12 win over Central on Thanksgiving Day.
Extra points. Imhotep tailback David Williams has narrowed his list of college choices to four: South Carolina, Arizona State, Ohio State, and Miami. . . . Against Wyomissing, Panthers cornerback Najee Goode made nine tackles, including six solos. Next in line was linebacker Brandon Chatmon (six, four). . . . Like Roman Catholic wide receiver Will Fuller, Wyomissing's Alex Anzalone, a 6-3, 235-pound fullback and linebacker, is headed to Notre Dame. "Will and I have spent time together," said Anzalone, projected to play inside linebacker for the Fighting Irish. "He's going to be my brother."