Varsity Football’s Extraordinary Season

This past fall, Bishop McDevitt’s football team won the District 12 Championship against Jenkintown, after winning against KIPP, and made their way toward the State Championship playoffs. Although the team’s season record may not have as many wins as they would like, the players are still proud of their efforts and the victories they did achieve.

“I am proud of the team for beating the teams we lost to last year. Those were very satisfying wins against Carroll and Neumann Goretti,” says Max Bryson ‘17.

Although the Lancers faced a pretty tough season, they managed to make it through. Bryson continues, “Our toughest opponent was the West Catholic Burrs. Their team [was] filled with skilled and strong players. I thought we played well against them even though we lost. The hardest loss we faced was against Steinert High School in New Jersey. We came back from a two touchdown deficit and in the closing seconds we thought we could score but we didn’t pull out the win. We learned to not give up no matter […] the score […]. You can easily get back into a football game and win if you play your best.”

Despite some difficult losses during the season, the team’s post season seemed to make up for lost time and victories.  After defeating KIPP and Jenkintown, the Lancers kept the ball rolling, advancing week by week.

According to the McDevitt community, this football season has been the most exciting one yet. Senior football player, Tyler Shelton, says, “The end of the season was very exciting. Not just on my behalf, but also the rest of the football team and the Bishop McDevitt community. From my freshman year to junior year, I have never witnessed a state playoff run and the energy it brings to a school.”

The first round of the State Championship playoffs was against Marian Catholic, whom McDevitt defeated 35-19. “Our competition was at its highest level,” says fellow team member Vince DiLeo ‘16. Although this school appeared to be a strong opponent, the Lancers used their speed and skill to make the difference.

Soon enough, McDevitt’s football team made its way into the Quarterfinals against Old Forge. The week leading up to the game was extremely exciting and energized. Bishop McDevitt, full of momentum, was ready to keep going and earn the title as the State Champions.

Senior art major, Ashley Monteiro, created a school-spirited comic in anticipation of the Varsity football team’s big game. Which you see featured in this post.

Despite all the anticipation and excitement, for some team members, the game against Old Forge was their darkest. The Lancers came close, but fell short of the semifinals. Lawrence Richardson ‘19 says, “We were doing so great, but when the score started to get bad we just put our heads down.”

Although the Lancers did not advance to the State Championship, they still managed to earn the title of District 12 Champions. To be the first ever McDevitt football team to earn this title and make it as far as they did, the team, as well as the McDevitt community, is certainly proud. 

This year has not only been a big year for Bishop McDevitt’s football players, but for one of their coaches as well. Coach Pat Manzi has accepted his induction into the McDevitt Hall of Fame. “It’s certainly an honor. There’s some pretty outstanding people in the Hall of Fame and I guess it’s fitting now that I’m retiring from coaching. After forty-five years, it’s a fitting way to end my career,” Coach Manzi says.

While Coach Manzi will be retiring from coaching, he will still remain a teacher at McDevitt. Giancarlo Kelly ‘18, says, “I think Mr. Manzi deserves being inducted into the Hall of Fame. After forty-five years of coaching, he’s definitely earned that honor. It’s hard to do what he’s done throughout his career.”

Coach Manzi’s induction into the Hall of Fame will take place on Saturday, February 6th at Williamson’s Restaurant.  (For more student reactions to Coach Manzi’s induction and retirement, please see the following article).

All in all, the Bishop McDevitt Lancers have had a great football season. Winning four playoff games, they hold the record for the most post-season wins in McDevitt history. The team and the school community are proud of the work they have put in and are looking forward to the next season!

Penny Ruffin, ’16

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