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October 29, 2021

PhillyVoice high school football Top 10: Chichester is winning for the first time in over a decade

high school football top 10 High School Football
Chi-chester helmet Submitted photo/for PhillyVoice

The history of losing has been a long one at Chichester. It’s believed that the Eagles haven’t had a winning season since 2005. Chichester hasn’t won the Del-Val League since 1996. The Eagles haven’t played in nor won a district playoff game in over a decade.

Entering the 10th and final week of PIAA District 1 playoff standings, it’s Chichester sitting at No. 1 in the District 1 Class 4A standings with a 5-2 record. It’s this version of the Eagles that finally beat league rival Interboro for the first time in over 20 years.

And it’s Chichester, under first-year head coach Ed Buck, which has become one of the biggest surprise teams in all of Southeastern Pennsylvania this season.

There was a time, very recently, when anyone that had “Chi” on its schedule would automatically mark it off as a victory.

That’s all changed this year for the Eagles, who are led speedy junior Staring Reaves, a 5-9, 170-pound junior tailback and cornerback, 6-foot, 160-pound senior tight end/running back Eddie Swinton, 5-11, 175-pound senior quarterback Idrees Holloman, and 6-foot, 180-pound senior middle linebacker/tailback Zyair Bush.

Talk about a fairytale season.

The goal for Buck was to finish over .500 this season. He’s received more than he or anyone thought would happen. This is a team whose quarterback was home-schooled last year, with no discernible football background, and Reaves, the starting tailback, who was rarely used last year.

“I keep hearing from a lot of the older teachers in the building that this is the first time we’ve done this in so long, and first time we’ve done that in so long,” Buck said. “We beat a really good Chester team last week (14-0) with defense, and the last couple of weeks our defense has played out of their minds.

“For us to shutout Chester is remarkable.”

If Academy Park beats Chester this weekend, Chichester would share the Del-Val League title with the Knights, but if Chester wins, Chichester would win the Del-Val outright for the first time since 1996.

The Eagles will get a huge challenge tonight (7 p.m.) at Bishop Shanahan (6-3), which is currently the No. 3 team in District 1 4A. It could be a playoff preview of what’s to come.

“We talked to the kids about changing expectations and how we were just hoping to be over .500,” Buck said. “The expectations are different now. We want to win a district championship at this point. A lot of these kids aren’t used to this success. The coaching staff has changed our expectations, and hopefully the kids will continue to change theirs.

“I’m hopeful we’re on the right path.”

It looks like it.

The PhillyVoice Area Top 10

Week of Oct. 29, 2021

1. La Salle (7-1)

2. St. Joseph’s Prep (5-2)

3. Imhotep Charter (6-1)

4. North Penn (9-0)

5. Malvern Prep (5-2)

6. St. Augustine Prep (NJ) (7-1)

7. Cedar Creek (NJ) (9-0)

8. Garnet Valley (9-0)

9. Archbishop Wood (5-3)

10. Millville (NJ) (7-1)

Under consideration: Quakertown (9-0), Holy Spirit (NJ) (3-4), Downingtown East (8-1), Neumann-Goretti (6-1), Woodbury (NJ) (8-0), St. Joseph (NJ) (7-2), Ocean City (NJ) (8-0), Ridley (8-1), Coatesville (8-1), Perkiomen Valley (7-2), West Chester Rustin (7-1).

The PhillyVoice Southeastern PA Top 10

Week of Oct. 29, 2021

1. La Salle (7-1)

2. St. Joseph’s Prep (5-2)

3. Imhotep Charter (6-1)

4. North Penn (9-0)

5. Malvern Prep (5-2)

6. Garnet Valley (9-0)

7. Archbishop Wood (5-3)

8. Coatesville (8-1)

9. Neumann-Goretti (7-1)

10. Quakertown (9-0)

Under consideration: Downingtown East (8-1), Ridley (8-1), Perkiomen Valley (7-2), West Chester Rustin (7-1), Strath Haven (8-1), Unionville (8-1) Conestoga (7-2), Central Bucks West (7-2).

Pre-snap Look Week 10

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has been writing for PhillyVoice since its inception in 2015 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on Twitter here.