November 30, 2018
Marvin Harrison Jr. watched the process almost from the beginning, so he had an idea what it was going to look like before it was revealed to the world. He just needed to peek in a mirror to know the characteristics of Marvin Harrison’s bronze bust, save for the mustache, before it was placed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio — because Harrison resembles his father.
Only the son is at least four inches taller than his father, and probably much faster than his dad was at the same age. What’s more is Harrison Jr., a 6-foot-3, 175-pound St. Joseph’s Prep sophomore wide receiver, is still growing and may reach 6-5.
Harrison Jr. has already received offers from Florida and Syracuse, where his father played, and it’s a list, like him, that promises to grow.
For now, Harrison Jr. has a larger focus — that’s getting the Hawks back into the PIAA 6A state championship, which takes another step this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Altoona’s Mansion Park Stadium, where St. Joe’s, 11-0, gets a chance to avenge last year’s 41-21 state title loss to Pine-Richland (11-2) in this year’s state semifinals.
“The goal is to be the best team in the state and among the best in the country, and it’s something we want to keep going,” said Harrison Jr., who’s caught 38 passes in 11 games for 570 yards and nine touchdowns in limited playing time, since he rarely played into the fourth quarter because the Hawks blew out so many teams this season.
Harrison Jr. knows the pressures that comes with carrying the same name of a Hall of Famer, playing the same position. But the son embraces the shadow that comes with the territory. What’s scary is the son could be better than his dad.
“I like it, and the shadow is there, you can’t get rid of it, so my dad keeps telling me and makes it clear to be the best person and best player that I can be,” Marvin Jr. said. “He likes to stay clear and let me do my thing. My dad stresses to be precise and pay attention to the little things and practice hard.
“I keep it simple and try to be better every day. I embrace being Marvin Harrison Jr. I’m sort of used to it by now. What was pretty cool is I got a chance to watch the whole process of when they created my father’s bust for the Hall of Fame. I just can’t grow a mustache like my dad yet.”
1. St. Joseph’s Prep (11-0)
2. Coatesville (14-0)
3. Imhotep Charter (10-2)
4. Malvern Prep (11-0)
5. Archbishop Wood (9-3)
6. North Penn (13-1)
7. Garnet Valley (12-1)
8. Downingtown West (11-2)
9. Upper Dublin (12-1)
10. Conwell-Egan (13-1)
Under consideration: West Catholic (12-2), Downingtown East (10-3), Penn Wood (11-2), Academy Park (9-3), Radnor (9-3), Neshaminy (8-4), Pottsgrove (12-2), Truman (10-2), Quakertown (9-3).
It looks like St. Joseph’s Prep and Coatesville, the area’s two top teams from the start of the season, appear to be on a collision course. Coatesville won its second-straight PIAA District 1 championship last Friday with a sterling 42-13 drubbing of a good North Penn team, behind 172 yards rushing and three touchdowns from star Aaron Young and 125 yards rushing and a TD from junior quarterback Ricky Ortega.
Throughout the playoffs, Coatesville is averaging 42.5 points a game, while giving up a mere average of 12.2, while St. Joe’s has been crushing everyone in its path, averaging 38 points a game while yielding 10.2. The Hawks have faced the tougher opponents, and this Saturday’s state semifinal game won’t be any different, when they travel to Altoona to play District 7 champion Pine-Richland (11-2). The Rams, coached by Eric Kasperowicz, are the defending PIAA 6A state champions, defeating the Hawks in the 2017 state finals, 41-21.
Coatesville will face Harrisburg, which were throttled by the Red Raiders, 37-6, in the season opener for both teams. Coatesville coach Matt Ortega warns that this is a different, more improved Harrisburg team than the one Coatesville faced three months ago. So are the Red Raiders.
The feeling among the Coatesville faithful is if a team is going to knock off St. Joe’s Prep, ranked No. 9 nationally by USA Today and No. 18 by MaxPreps, this is the year to do it, considering the Hawks’ young nucleus.
For what it’s worth to the general high school football fan, this Friday marks a bitter confrontation for the Ohio Division II state championship between the undefeated Archbishop Hoban Knights (14-0) and those Massillon Washington Tigers (14-0). You may ask why anyone in Southeastern Pennsylvania may have any interest whatsoever in this game? Easy, Washington is the team that dressed 96 players and ran up the score on local Sun Valley, 101-6, when the Vanguards visited the gracious folks of Massillon, Ohio, back on October 12.
Let’s see if there is any truth behind the saying what goes around comes around.
PIAA Class 5A state semifinals
District 12 Archbishop Wood (9-3) vs. District 7 Penn Hills (14-0), at Chambersburg, 7 p.m.
District 1 Upper Dublin (12-1) vs. District 3 Manheim Central (13-0), at Wissahickon, 7 p.m.
PIAA Class 4A state semifinals
District 12 Imhotep Charter (10-2) vs. District 11 Bethlehem Catholic (11-3), at Northeast, 7 p.m.
District 3 Bishop McDevitt (13-1) vs. District 10 Cathedral Prep (11-3), at Mansion Park Stadium in Altoona, 7 p.m.
PIAA Class 2A state semifinals
District 12 West Catholic (12-2) vs. District 4 Southern Columbia (14-0), at Northern Lehigh, 7 p.m.
District 7 Steel Valley (13-1) vs. District 10 Wilmington (12-1), Ambridge High School, 7 p.m.
PIAA Class 6A semifinals
District 1 Coatesville (14-0) vs. District 3 Harrisburg (12-1), at HersheyPark Stadium, 1 p.m.
District 12 St. Joe’s Prep (11-0) vs. District 7 Pine-Richland (11-2), at Mansion Park Stadium in Altoona, 1 p.m.
On Thursday, the Maxwell Football announced its 2018 Mini Max High School Award winners for the state of Pennsylvania. The 63 players selected (listed below) are from schools located in Districts 1,3,11 and 12 in the eastern half of the state. Players were nominated by their coaches throughout the 2018 season and were evaluated based on criterion that includes; football performance, academics, and community service.
The Mini Max Award recipients will be honored at a dinner to be held on Thursday January 10, 2019 at the Drexelbrook Catering Ballroom in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. The awards dinner is open to the public and tickets are available on the Club's website www.maxwellfootballclub.org.
The Maxwell Football Club will select one player from the group of Mini Max winners as the winner of the Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year. The Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year will be announced on January 10, 2019, at the Awards Dinner.
Keith Hudoka, Abington
Gavin Shor,t Annville-Cleona
Connor Bishop, Archbishop Wood
Brandon George, Berks Catholic
Dalton Daddona, Beth. Catholic
Tristan Wheeler, Beth. Freedom
Trevor Harris, Beth. Liberty
Lawrence Richardson, McDevitt
Nasim Cooper, Bonner-Prendie
Evan O'Donnell, C.B. East
Matt Norris, C.B. South
Austin Fleegal, C. Dauphin East
Cade Pribula, Central York
Marcus Winfield, Cheltenham
Aaron Young, Coatesville
Alex MacKenzie, Conrad Weiser
Patrick Garwo, Conwell-Egan
Dylan Ceslak, C.R. North
Nick Gallo, C.R. South
Jared Plessinger, Cumber. Valley
Raymond Christas, Dallastown
Luke Davis, Downingtown East
Ethan Parvel, Emmaus
Jack Purcell, Episcopal Academy
Elijah Wroten, Germantown Academy
Broc Grosser, Halifax
Mark Custer, Hatboro-Horsham
Asim Richards, Haverford School
Cormac Houpt, James Buchanan
Cade Lafferty, Jenkintown
Dylan Dailey, Jim Thorpe
Sean Daly, La Salle
Matt O'Connor Lower Merion
Keith Maguire, Malvern Prep
Tyler Fick, Manheim Central
Jack Rodenberger, Manheim Township
Colin Ferry, Marple Newtown
Daniel Briggs, Mastery North
Cory Joyce, Neshaminy
Topher Taylor, New Hope-Solebury
Jake Walton, North Penn
Cole DeFranco, Notre Dame
Aidan Hayward,, Owen J. Roberts
Ethan Brader, Palisades
Adam Piston, Parkland
Todd Barr, Pen Argyl
Edward Saydee, Penn Charter
Jonathan Post, Pennridge
Austin Rowley, Perkiomen Valley
Ryan Bodolus, Pottsgrove
Nick Levinsky, Quakertown
Elijah Workinger, Red Lion
Jacob Kamp, Salisbury
Tim Weaver, Saucon Valley
Austin Homan, Schuylkill Haven
Austin Moyer, Souderon
Eric Glass Jr., Spring Grove Area
Max Perry, Springfield-Montco
Nick DelRomano, Spring-Ford
Zach Bouggess, St. Joseph's Prep
Zach Gardner, Twin Valley
Mark Picariello, Upper Merion
Michael Gray, W.C. East
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