Philadelphia High School Football

A Look at Brian McCloskey's 14-Year Coaching Career
(1992, 1995-2007) at William Penn Charter School

  This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of championship seasons,
thumbnail sketches of championship teams and the names of All-Inter-Ac/All-City honorees
during Coach McCloskey's 14 seasons.
 . . .
To provide additions/ Thanks!  

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QB Matt Ryan, shown here in 2002, has played for 10 years in the NFL

Brian McCloskey

Coach McCloskey's
All-City Players:
*Played in NFL

Bill Brightcliffe L 1992
Mike Samuel QB 1992
Courtney Batts MP 1992
Tyrone Tolbert Rec. 1995
Larry Storm QB 1995
Steve Ley B 1995
Angelo Vicoli L 1996
Brendan Moore MP 1996
Kyle "Slice" Chaffin L 1998
*Matt Ryan QB 2002
Tony McDevitt LB 2002
Zack Zeglinski MP 2003
Colin Hitschler DL 2004
Eric Muller P 2005
Brendan McNally DB 2005
Eric Muller P 2006
Sean McNally LB 2006
Brandon Shepherdson RB 1992
Angelo Vicoli L 1995
Harold "Hap" Gottehrer L 1996
Pat Larkin RB 1996
Chris Albright K 1996
Matt Gibbs K 1997
Chris Hatcher-McMullen L 1998
James Berry RB 1998
Chris Glowacki MP 1998
James Berry RB 1999
Phil Elbaum K 2000
Tom Reilly LB 1999
Kenny Devenney DB 1999
Kenny Devenney LB 2000
Billy McKinney DB 2000
Aaron Greenfield DL 2001
Sean Singletary MP 2002
Mike Boles L 2002
Jarrod Williams DL 2002
Colin Hitschler DL 2003
R.J. Hollinshead DL 2004
Eddie Bambino Rec. 2007
Pierce Austin DL 1995
John Daly LB 1997
Chris Glowacki DB 1997
Pat Gallagher DL 1998
Zach Golen LB 1999
*Matt Ryan QB 2001
Eric Feinschil L 2003
Biff Gottehrer L 2003
Ryan Nanni Rec. 2004
Paul Sweeney RB 2004
Joe Rauchut LB 2005
Mike Weick LB 2005
Richard White DL 2006
Joe Rauchut LB 2006
Mike McInerney L 2007
Blaise Fullen Rec. 2007
Ryan McGarvey DL 2007
Brian McCloskey
Tribute Page

  Brian McCloskey, an alumnus, coached Penn Charter for 14 seasons (1992, 1995-2007), winning 80 games and seven Inter-Ac League championships (four outright, three shared). He won his first crown in his first season and a triumph over Episcopal was crucial. Here is that story . . .

By Ted Silary

  The Samuel family was pretty good to Frankford High football.
  Bill Samuel played there in the early 1960s, then sent his first three sons, Bill, Jim and Dave, to Frankford.
  But, hey, these are the '90s. Not all things are as they once were.
  Mike Samuel, a 6-2, 190-pound junior and son No. 4, plays for Penn Charter. Yesterday, as the Quakers surprised host Episcopal Academy, 23-10, in an Inter-Ac League classic that ended in almost total darkness at 5:16 p.m., he played more than ever and better than ever.
  At quarterback, Samuel completed 9 of 19 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown, and rushed 13 times for 55 yards and another score. At strong safety, a position he had played only sparingly beforehand, Samuel made six tackles, including two for losses, as the Quakers muffled the usually explosive Churchmen.
  But what about Frankford? What about tradition? What about risking your brothers' wrath?
  "I never planned on going to Frankford; no special reason," said Samuel, who attended St. Martin of Tours grade school, then spent a year at Cardinal Dougherty. "When an offer to attend Penn Charter came along, my father decided the education would be too good to pass up. It was a whole new opportunity. My brothers didn't mind."
  Episcopal entered play with 205 points in six games (34.2 average), the city's third-leading rusher in tailback Jeff Steigerwalt (126.5 yards per game) and a huge weight advantage. In response, Tom Coyle, the defensive coordinator for interim Penn Charter coach Brian McCloskey, switched from a 4-4-3 to a 4-3-4 defensive alignment and made Samuel the extra defensive back with a special assignment.
  "I went to whatever side the fullback (Dave Tozzi) lined up on," Samuel said. "We wanted to stop Steigerwalt. My job was to force the play inside."
  Steigerwalt, who gained 46 yards on 13 carries, was held below 50 for only the second time in the last two seasons. PC also did the honors a year ago. Midway through the third quarter, Steigerwalt hurt his right shoulder when Samuel tripped him for a 4-yard loss. Steigerwalt carried four times thereafter, and even scored, but the trainer finally shut him down midway through the fourth quarter.
PC's defense included ends Bill Brightcliffe and Mike Sposato, tackles Andrew Martina and Tory Olshansky, linebackers Justin Toner, George Vokolos and Matt Marquess and backs John Garvey, Chuck McGivern, Courtney Batts and Samuel.
  "We knew they'd try to power us," Samuel said. "So, we went at them full force. We stepped things up and dominated. I took on (the added responsibility) as a challenge. The whole defense did a great job."
  The strong-armed Samuel, who also pitches, is becoming a complete quarterback. He was always a fine ballhandler. Now, his improved footwork
  continued right below . . .  

Inter-Ac League
1992: 4-0
1995: 3-1
1996: 3-1
1997: 2-2
1998: 4-0
1999: 2-2
2000: 2-2
2001: 3-1
2002: 4-0
2003: 3-1
2004: 3-1
2005: 3-1
2006: 5-0
2007: 2-3
Total: 43-15
1992: 6-1
1995: 6-3
1996: 4-4
1997: 4-5
1998: 6-2
1999: 4-5
2000: 5-4
2001: 4-5
2002: 8-1
2003: 6-2
2005: 7-3
2006: 8-2
2007: 5-4
Total: 80-44
1992: Outright
1996: Shared
1998: Outright
2002: Outright
2003: Shared
2004: Shared
2006: Outright

700 RUSHERS Yards Year
James Berry 1,184 '98
Sean McNally 1,067 '06
James Berry 893 '97
Pat Larkin 850 '96
Zack Zeglinski 848 '03
Brandon Shepherdson 784 '92
Tony McDevitt 726 '02
Paul Sweeney 703 '04
700 PASSERS Yards Year
Larry Storm 1,810 '95
Brendan McNally 1,247 '05
James Hannah 1,096 '03
Matt Ryan 1,048 '02
Mike Samuel 1,001 '92
Matt Ryan 992 '01
John Ryan 985 '07
Matt Ryan 944 '00
James Hannah 724 '04
300 RECEIVERS Yards Year
Tyrone Tolbert 918 '95
Steve Ley 591 '95
Billy McKinney 551 '00
Sean Singletary 409 '02
Eddie Bambino 369 '07
Kevin McGarvey 352 '05
Ryan Nanni 336 '04
Kamal Marell 319 '03


and toughness have enabled him to become a factor on triple options in PC's one-back set. It helps, of course, that Batts, a
senior slotback and wideout, is the city's best athlete and that junior Brandon Shepherdson is also a running-receiving stalwart.
  "Teams pay so much attention to Courtney," Samuel said. "They have to honor 'Shep,' too. If they bite on Shep through the
line and they're still worried about Courtney (who often goes in motion and trails Samuel), it gives me an alley."
  Samuel's 51-yard touchdown pass to Shepherdson, followed by a conversion pass from Batts to McGivern, gave the Quakers
a 17-3 lead with 8:05 left in the third quarter. Steigerwalt's 7-yard touchdown run drew Episcopal closer, then the home fans
went wild midway through the fourth quarter when Mike Abate (8-for-22, 121 yards) hit Ernie Lowe with an 18-yard TD pass.
  One problem. Abate was clearly beyond the line of scrimmage. After a 5-yard penalty, Sposato applied fierce pressure and
Vokolos made an interception.
  As PC played keepaway, Samuel came up with clutch keepers on successive third-down plays. Batts then swooshed for a
46-yard score on another reverse with 1:52 -- and next-to-no daylight -- left.
  "I enjoy running the ball," Samuel said. "Any way we can gain yardage . . . I'm out there to win."

This story was written after Brian coached PC to the 1998 Inter-Ac crown . . .

By Ted Silary
  It was the spring of 1995 and James Berry, star running back for a Frankford Chargers pound team, lifelong fan of
Frankford High football, was deciding where to go for high school.
  He chose . . .
  Northeast. Northeast?!
  "At Frankford, [franchise halfback] Eddie Gaskins was already a star and had [three seasons] to go,'' Berry said. "If I'd
gone there, I wouldn't have gotten a chance to run the ball until this year.
  "Eddie was the motivation for me to go to another school. To make a name somewhere else.''
  These days, James Berry is making a name for himself at a high school other than Northeast, where he only spent one
year. Saturday, he added bold, italic type and even capital letters.
  As visiting Penn Charter trampled Germantown Academy, 48-27, to win an outright Inter-Ac League title for the first
time since 1993 and raise its edge in the series to 70-31-11, JAMES BERRY rushed 27 times for 346 yards and five
  Berry's yardage total ranks No. 2 in city-leagues history, trailing only a 379-yard effort by Cardinal Dougherty's Lawrence
Reid in 1975. The Inter-Ac record had belonged to PC's Brandon Shepherdson - 344 vs. GA in '93.
  Berry, a 5-6, 165-pound speedster, added 36 yards on two returns. He played 3 1/2 quarters before being yanked by PC
coach Brian McCloskey.
  "Quickly. A passing thought,'' McCloskey said, when asked whether he considered letting Berry finish the game. ``If he
gets the record when it's still a game, great. The game was over. There was no need to put him back in there.''  
  Said Berry: "I'm not disappointed about missing the record. Not at all. I just wanted to win the game, win the
  Berry's scores covered 17, 77, 84, 86 and 5 yards, and he was touched (briefly, at that) on only one of them. PC's line
included center T.J. Mullineaux (son of Frankford coach Tom Mullineaux), guards Pat Gallagher and Tom Reilly, tackles
Chris Hatcher-McMullen and Kyle ``Slice'' Chaffin and tight end Tom Pomrink. Fullback Joe Nejman added 70 yards and
a TD on 12 carries while Chris Glowacki scored on a flanker reverse.
  "I owe it all to the linemen,'' Berry said. "Most of those long runs came on tosses where I could sweep or cut it inside.
Their blocking made things easy.''
  While attending Northeast in the 1995-96 school year, Berry played football for the nationally famous Little Quakers
pound team.
  "I didn't know anything about Penn Charter,'' he said. "But some of the Little Quakers coaches are also Penn Charter
coaches. They talked to me about coming to Penn Charter and getting me set up for financial aid. Coming from a public
school, everything was different - kids, teachers, workload. But I've worked and gotten help and I've taken advantage of
the opportunity. Repeating ninth grade helped me for football, too.''
  After receiving the Geis Memorial Award (game MVP) in a midfield ceremony, Berry was swarmed by his mother,
Carol Leaks, and his uncle and grandfather, both named John Berry. James's uncle, Eric Leaks, was a first team Daily
News All-City lineman in 1980 for - you got it, Frankford.
  Today at school, meanwhile, Berry expects his linemen will be looking for a reward.
  "Whatever they ask for, I almost gotta get it,'' he said, smiling.

This story was written in 2002 after Brian claimed another title with a future NFL
star as his quarterback . . .

By Ted Silary
  Just once this season, did Matt Ryan feel like asking permission to fire the football 30 to 40 times?
  "Surprisingly not," he said with a laugh.
  When people know a quarterback has accepted a Division I-A scholarship even before his senior season, they expect
him to ring up big numbers.
  Ryan could have, but he was more focused on earning a ring.
  The 6-5, 205-pound Ryan is bound for Boston College. He'll go there as a champion.
  Saturday, visiting Penn Charter (8-1 overall) dumped Germantown Academy, 35-21, to capture the Inter-Ac League
title at 4-0 and raise its edge in the nation's oldest continuous scholastic football rivalry to 72-33-11.
  Ryan was not exactly busy. He wasn't even overly productive, passing 7-for-11 for 34 yards.
  All he mostly did was hand off to senior tailback Tony McDevitt, then marvel and applaud.
  Ryan was satisfied, even ecstatic, as a bit player - a shade beneath his usual status as one of the guys - in his final
game. That spoke volumes.
  "It's nice to put up big numbers, don't get me wrong, but it's more important to win," Ryan said. "I love to win. I find
that much more enjoyable than worrying about statistics.
  "How can I complain? We're 8-1. We're the Inter-Ac champs. We showed great balance on offense and look what it
got us. "
  Ryan finished the season 64-for-125 for 1,048 yards and 12 touchdowns. Given the chance to be pass-happy, he might
have doubled that output. Junior wideout Sean Singletary radiates special. Receivers John Samuel and Rob Hitschler
also have talent.
  "Matt is so unselfish," said coach Brian McCloskey, a former star QB at PC and Ursinus. "He's not concerned with
numbers. He just wants to win.
  "Maybe I'm too conservative. In my early days, I had a strong belief that if you had a great quarterback and one great
receiver, hey, you couldn't be stopped."
  He laughed. "Maybe I got influenced too much by Bill Gallagher [PC's ex-coach, later McCloskey's assistant and a
running back in his playing days]."
  McDevitt, a 6-foot, 205-pound senior headed to Duke for lacrosse (and maybe football), scorched GA's defense early
and often, carrying 26 times for 328 yards and four TDs (of 61, 38, 48 and 22 yards). He lost a fifth when the referees
ruled he fumbled just before reaching the end zone.
  It was the third time in 10 years a PC runner joined the 300-Yard Club against GA. Brandon Shepherdson (344 in '93)
and James Berry (346 in '98) were the first two to frolic.
  The grunts: center Colin Hitschler, guards Chris "Chips" Johnson and Jarrod Williams, rotating tackles Mike Boles,
Eric Feinschil and Richard Bryan. The fullback was Paul Sweeney.
  "We knew we'd come out and use the run, maybe to set up the pass," McDevitt said. "But if the run keeps working,
you've got to stick with it.
  "Having Matt Ryan back there is such a big deal. Teams can't put eight, nine people in the box. He'll throw the lights out."
  Ryan said of McDevitt: "It's unbelievable to see the moves he makes and how hard he runs. It's like he refuses to go
  Committing early, Ryan said, gave him an opportunity to relieve pressure and focus solely on PC's season. He had
wonderful QB tutoring from McCloskey and assistant Mike Samuel, a former PC and Wisconsin star. McCloskey's
brother, Chuck, another aide, was also a QB (at North Catholic.)
  Ryan's uncle, John Loughery, also a PC whiz, played QB at Boston College just before Doug Flutie.
  Then there's Mike Ryan, Matt's brother. He was Malvern Prep's QB in '98 and '99.
  "He wanted to come to PC, but wound up there," said Ryan, who lives in Exton and is also a vital cog in basketball
(forward) and baseball (shortstop). "As soon as he got out of Malvern, he gave me permission to try to beat them."
  In three starting seasons, Ryan went 204-for-408 for 2,984 yards and 22 TDs.
  "I feel like I have tons of room to improve, but that I've made good strides," he said. "Definitely so in the leadership
area. Like coach says, games have peaks and valleys. As the QB, you have to take the team through that."
  And pursue a letter (W) more than numbers.

  Below are the players who earned first team Coaches' All-Inter-Ac honors during
Brian McCloskey's 14 seasons as the coach at Penn Charter.

L Andrew Martina 1992
Rec. Courtney Batts 1992
QB Mike Samuel 1992
RB Brandon Shepherdson 1992
DL Bill Brightcliffe 1992
DL Mike Sposato 1992
LB George Vokolos 1992
L Angelo Vicoli 1995
Rec. Tyrone Tolbert 1995
QB Larry Storm 1995
DL Pierce Austin 1995
LB Brendan Moore 1995
DB Steve Ley 1995
L Angelo Vicoli 1996
L Harold "Hap" Gottehrer 1996
RB Pat Larkin 1996
LB John Daly 1996
DB Brendan Moore 1996
L Chris Fox 1997
L Kyle "Slice" Chaffin 1997
LB John Daly 1997
DB Chris Glowacki 1997
L Chris Hatcher-McMullen 1998
RB James Berry 1998
RB Joe Nejman 1998
DL Kyle "Slice" Chaffin 1998
DL Pat Gallagher 1998
LB Tom Reilly 1998
DB Chris Glowacki 1998
DB Barry Mahabee 1998
DL T.J. Mullineaux 1999
LB Zach Golen 1999
LB Tom Reilly 1999
DB Kenny Devenney 1999
L Alex Collins 2000
DL Aaron Greenfield 2000
LB Kenny Devenney 2000
DB Billy McKinney 2000
L Stu Brown 2001
L Brian Henley 2001
QB Matt Ryan 2001
RB Tony McDevitt 2001
DL Aaron Greenfield 2001
L Colin Hitschler 2002
Rec Sean Singletary 2002
QB Matt Ryan 2002
RB Tony McDevitt 2002
DL Mike Boles 2002
DL Jarrod Williams 2002
LB John Samuel 2002
DB Rob Hitschler 2002
L Eric Feinschil 2003
L Biff Gottehrer 2003
Rec R.J. Hollinshead 2003
RB Zack Zeglinski 2003
DL Colin Hitschler 2003
DB Kamal Marell 2003
Rec Ryan Nanni 2004
Rec R.J. Hollinshead 2004
RB Paul Sweeney 2004
DL Colin Hitschler 2004
LB Joe Rauchut 2004
L Steven Levinson 2005
Rec Kevin McGarvey 2005
QB Brendan McNally 2005
DL Drew Fullen 2005
LB Joe Rauchut 2005
LB Mike Weick 2005
Rec Ed Bambino 2006
RB Sean McNally 2006
DL Richard White 2006
DL Drew Fullen 2006
DL Ryan McGarvey 2006
LB Joe Rauchut 2006
LB Sean McNally 2006
L Mike McInerney 2007
Rec Eddie Bambino 2007
Rec Blaise Fullen 2007
DL Ryan McGarvey 2007
DB Kelvin "KJ" Johnson 2007


Recaps of Championship Seasons

Penn Charter (4-0-0)
  With Bill Gallagher on sabbatical, Brian McCloskey filled in and produced a titlist. In the finale, the visiting Quakers topped GA, 28-21, as Courtney Batts returned the opening kickoff 78 yards for a score and Brandon Shepherdson added three rushing TDs and 139 yards on 19 carries. Episcopal placed second at 3-1-0.
Malvern (3-1-0)
Penn Charter (3-1-0)

  In a memorable final weekend, Malvern defeated Owen J. Roberts, 24-16, in a non-league game to make Gaspare "Gamp" Pellegrini the winningest coach in city-leagues history at 185-114-9. At the same time, PC fell to 3-1-0 by losing at GA, 9-6. Pellegrini was not aware of PC's loss until he saw a Sunday newspaper.
Penn Charter (4-0)

  The visiting Quakers trampled GA, 48-27, in the finale and James Berry replaced PC's Brandon Shepherdson (344 in '93) as the second-best, one-game rusher in city-leagues history; he posted 346 yards and five TDs on 27 carries. Episcopal went 3-1 for second.

Penn Charter (4-0)
  The visiting Quakers received a rousing performance from Tony McDevitt -- 26 carries, 328 yards, four TDs -- to best GA, 35-21, and take the crown. It was PC's third 300-yard effort vs. GA in 10 seasons. The other guys were Brandon Shepherdson (344 in '93) and James Berry (346 in '98). Sean Singletary made two interceptions. For GA, junior Sean Grieve passed 12-for-24 for 145 yards and two TDs to become the I-A's season passing leader at 1,821. Malvern was second at 3-1.
Gtn. Academy (3-1)
Malvern (3-1)
Penn Charter (3-1)
  The pennant race resulted in a triple tie for the first time since 1959 and the same three teams did the honors. Malvern went to3-1 with a week remaining in a 35-21 win over Haverford. Andrew Mackrides contributed 188 yards of rushing-receiving along with 17 points. A week later, PC bested GA, 22-16, as Zack Zeglinski ran 19 times for 131 yards and a TD. Also, he scored the winning TD on a 39-yard punt return shortly after losing a fumble on the GA 2.
Episcopal (3-1)
Gtn. Academy (3-1)
Penn Charter (3-1)
  In a rather incredible development, the five-team league crowned tri-champions for the second consecutive season. On the final weekend, Episcopal bested Haverford, 37-7, and PC forced the triple tie by besting Episcopal's conquerer, GA, by a score of 13-12. Paul Sweeney rushed 31 times for 164 yards and Ryan Nanni, normally a receiver, was efficient at QB. In Episcopal's win, Brian FitzPatrick ran for 213 yards and earned acclaim as the leading one-season QB rusher (1,512) in city history.
Penn Charter (5-0)
  Though the league's size was increased, with Chestnut Hill competing in I-A football for the first time since 1972, the possibility of a triple tie existed heading into the final weekend. The Quakers erased those thoughts by winning at Germantown Academy, 21-10, as Sean McNally rushed 27 times for 132 yards and two TDs. Ed Bambino, who began the season at QB, caught a 75-yard scoring pass from John Ryan 2:05 before halftime, giving PC a 14-7 lead. For GA, Alex Holcombe ran for 83 yards and one TD on 25 carries. He finished the season with 329 carries (including a city record of 53 the week before against CHA) for 1,765 yards and 23 TDs. Malvern went 4-1 for second.

Thumbnail Sketches of Championship Teams
Brian McCloskey
4-0-0, 6-1-0
Andrew Martina, L
Courtney Batts, Rec.
Mike Samuel, QB
Brandon Shepherdson, RB
Bill Brightcliffe, DL
Mike Sposato, DL
George Vokolos, LB
1996 (shared)
Brian McCloskey
3-1-0, 4-4-0
Angelo Vicoli, L
Harold "Hap" Gottehrer, L
Pat Larkin, RB
John Daly, LB
Brendan Moore, DB

Brian McCloskey
4-0-0, 6-2-0
Chris Hatcher-McMullen, L
James Berry, RB
Joe Nejman, RB
Kyle "Slice" Chaffin, DL
Pat Gallagher, DL
Tom Reilly, LB
Chris Glowacki, DB
Barry Mahabee, DB
Brian McCloskey
4-0-0, 8-1-0
Colin Hitschler, L
Sean Singletary, Rec.
Matt Ryan, QB
Tony McDevitt, RB
Mike Boles, DL
Jarrod Williams, DL
John Samuel, LB
Rob Hitschler, B
2003 (shared)
Brian McCloskey
3-1-0, 6-2-0
Eric Feinschil, L
Biff Gottehrer, L
R.J. Hollinshead, Rec.
Zack Zeglinski, RB
Colin Hitschler, DL
Kamal Marell, DB
2004 (shared)
Brian McCloskey
3-1-0, 7-3-0
Ryan Nanni, Rec.
R.J. Hollinshead, Rec.
Paul Sweeney, RB
Colin Hitschler, DL
Joe Rauchut, LB

Brian McCloskey
5-0-0, 8-2-0
Eddie Bambino, Rec.
Sean McNally, RB-LB
Eric Muller, P
Richard "Biggins" White, DL
Drew Fullen, DL
Ryan McGarvey, DL
Joe Rauchut, LB