October 26, 2018
From a distance, it didn’t seem to mean anything. It was a lazy, weekday summer morning at St. Joseph’s Prep and the Hawks were padding up, checking their hair and making sure that they put in their collective best faces towards the camera lens for their preseason picture day.
In the middle of the throng of swirling players was a rather tall, somewhat baby-faced sophomore, wearing the No. 6, preening like the rest of his teammates, but also doing something else sophomores on national-level high school football teams rarely do.
Kyle McCord was directing. He had an even tone. He wasn’t demeaning. He was rather steady. He was also telling — not asking — his teammates, even the seniors, to get themselves together and to stop the clowning around, reminding them that they had a rigid schedule to uphold. The St. Joseph’s Prep sophomore also received a tacit endorsement has he maturely sent out his orders — his teammates listened.
That says leadership.
And it’s what the 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback has done for the Hawks, ranked No. 12 nationally by USA Today —lead them to a 6-0 start, as they host visiting Archbishop Ryan tonight at 8 p.m. at Widener University for Senior Night.
According to TedSilary.com, McCord has completed 90 of 134 passes for 1,302 yards and 14 touchdowns. McCord, whose father, Derek, played quarterback for Rutgers in the early-1990s, has been pulled from most game this season. That’s because the Hawks have mercy-ruled each one of their Catholic League Red Division opponents and have yet to punt in a Catholic League game.
The Hawks are averaging 40.6 points a game.
At the head of the offense is McCord, who’s received offers already from Michigan, Penn State, Boston College, Arizona, Rutgers, Syracuse, Central Michigan, West Virginia, North Carolina and Temple. Stanford and Clemson will possibly be added to the growing list—along with many others.
“Kyle is not your typical sophomore and he’s been groomed for this by his father, who played Division I football,” said Prep’s highly successful/legendary coach, Gabe Infante. “Kyle’s natural ability, with his father having played quarterback and coaching him all through youth football, has placed him in this position.
“I also think a year in the program helped. He has a guy like [Prep offensive coordinator/co-coach] Tim [Roken] working with him every day and his father, you see the further steps Kyle is taking this year. Tim is a college-level coach, so in many ways, Kyle is benefiting from a strong support system.”
McCord is an extremely accurate passer, with a great arm. Infante loves his pocket presence and poise.
“What I really like about Kyle is that he’s very funny, very personable and very charismatic,” Infante said. “He’s also a very, very good teammate, He has that rare combination where is talent automatically makes him somebody that makes his teammates respect him, because he is exceptional, but the way he is with his teammates makes him very loved.
“The kids love him, but he knows when to be funny, though at the same time, when it’s time to go—he goes. Kyle is going to go anywhere he wants to go. By the time Kyle is a senior, he’s an Elite 11 guy [top 11 high school QBs in the country]. Kyle is good and he’s going to get better.”
Nothing less from the boss is expected.
1. St. Joseph’s Prep (6-0)
2. Coatesville (9-0)
3. North Penn (8-0)
4. Imhotep Charter (5-2)
5. Malvern Prep (7-0)
6. Garnet Valley (9-0)
7. Downingtown West (8-1)
8. Archbishop Wood (4-3)
9. Downingtown East (8-1)
10. Conwell-Egan (9-0)
Under consideration: Academy Park (8-1), Truman (8-1), Penn Wood (8-1), Radnor (7-2), Haverford High (8-1), Spring-Ford (7-2), Perkiomen Valley (7-2), Upper Dublin (7-1), Pottsgrove (9-0).
Follow Joe on Twitter: @JSantoliquito
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports