Paul VI Looking to Improve on Last Football Season

by Marc Narducci | Aug 28, 2020
Paul VI Looking to Improve on Last Football Season
Last season Paul VI’s football team went 1-9 in the first year under veteran coach Dennis Scuderi. This was a job he has coveted for a while, but a lack of depth hurt the Eagles. 
 
There were several talented front-line players, but once some injuries hit, the Eagles didn’t have the depth to compete.
 
In addition, they were playing in a difficult division. Four teams from the Paul VI’s division qualified for the playoffs. There were no easy games. 
 
If there is any consolation, Paul VI had its most success toward the end of the season. The Eagles beat Bishop Eustace, 21-20 in a consolation game. Then on Thanksgiving the Eagles lost to Camden Catholic, 22-14 in a game that was tightly contested between these two rivals. 
 
Scuderi said the late-season showing was good and that the team was working hard in the offseason, but then came COVID-19, throwing all teams for a loop.
 
“What really hurt was that we couldn’t bring in kids who were looking to possibly attend out school,” he said.
 
It has also made summer workouts challenging.
 
Football teams went through three phases this summer. Phase One was basically conditioning, keeping people six feet apart. There could be no more than 10 players in a group. 
 
Phase Two there could be up to 30 players in a group.
 
“That was good because you could put wide receivers with wide receiver, lineman with lineman and so on,” Scuderi said. 
 
Phase 3, the teams could use footballs.
 
“There we could work on our passing and rushing offense,” Scuderi said.
 
There will be no coaching for two weeks beginning on he 28th and Scuderi and many coaches worry about what their team will look like upon their return. Will the players be in football shape?
 
This is just part of the difficult in coaching during the pandemic.
 
That said, Scuderi is thrilled to be coaching. He has previously been a head coach at Camden Catholic and St. Augustine and had great success at both places. 
 
Early in his coaching career he was the defensive coordinator for the 1981 Paul VI team that went unbeaten and won the South Jersey Parochial A title. 
 
This season Scuderi again has some talented skill players. Senior Joe Gledhill was the starting quarterback last year and the Eagles added junior Declan Williams, a transfer from Bishop Eustace and son of former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams. 
 
Whichever of Gledhill and Williams doesn’t play quarterback, they will still be on the field somewhere, according to Scuderi, at receiver or running back. Both should also play on defense. 
 
Other key skill players include wide receiver-defensive back Logan Clark and wide receiver-linebacker Nick Ocampo. 
 
Paul VI will open Oct. 2 against Cherry Hill East. 

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“It’s been crazy getting ready,” Scuderi said. “The kids have been out all summer working hard and they deserve a lot of credit.” 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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