Philadelphia High School Football

Strong and Swift . . .

  D'Andre Swift, a 2017 graduate of St. Joseph's Prep, now at the University of Georgia,
is projected to be selected in the first (or maybe second) round of the NFL draft. This page
pays tribute to D'Andre's career with the Hawks and the story at the bottom details the
contributions made by D'Andre's dad, Darren, to Frankford's 12-0 Public League champs
in 1987 . . . 

  Thanks to Ed "Huck" Palmer for his help.

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D'Andre Swift celebrates one of his 78 career touchdowns at St. Joseph's Prep

D'Andre Swift . . .
As a SJ Prep freshman in 2013

Year Opponent Yds
2016 Parkland 318
2016 La Salle 275
2016 North Penn 268
2014 Pine-Richland 220
2015 St. Joseph Reg. (NJ) 217
2016 La Salle 176
2015 Evangel Christian (LA) 176
2016 Pittsburgh CC 161
2015 La Salle 158
2016 Oaks Christian 128
Year Opponent Yds
2016 Oaks Christian (CA) 175
2016 Judge 151
2015 Malvern 118
2014 Parkland 107
2014 La Salle 76
2013 Malvern 73
2013 La Salle 65
2014 Pine-Richland 56
2013 Roman 56
2014 St. Ignatius (OH) 54
Year Carries / Yards TDs
2013 113 / 635 4
2014 137 / 1045 13
2015 164 / 1029 12
2016 149 / 1564 25
Total 563 / 4273 54
Year Receptions / Yards TDs
2013 33 / 424 5
2014 33 / 495 6
2015 22 / 321 4
2016 21 / 405 5
Total 109 / 1645 20
Year Touches / Yards TDs
2013 146 / 1059 9
2014 170 / 1540 19
2015 186 / 1350 16
2016 170 / 1969 30
Total 672 / 5918 74

Scored 470 Total Points
Four TDs on Returns
One 2-Point Conversion

D'Andre Swift's Wonderful Career
At St. Joseph's Prep, 2013-16

This story was written after D'Andre Swift, as a freshman, helped the Hawks win the 2013 Class 4A state championship . . .

By Aaron Carter
  IMAGINE THE pressure that comes with a PIAA state championship football game. Any misstep, fumble, interception, booted ball or botched snap can change the outcome and deny immortality.
  With that as the backdrop, coaches tend to get really conservative, distilling the playbook so that only the uber-trustworthy handle the ball.
Now, imagine giving the rock to a 14-year-old freshman.
  If his name is D'Andre Swift, you would be in good hands. Not only did the St. Joseph's Prep running back lead the team in rushing in Sunday's Class AAAA title win, he also took tops in the season opener. Not a bad bookend.
  "I still just can't believe it," Swift said last night. "Just to be a state champion as a freshman and to send the seniors off like that feels good. "
  Swift finished with 68 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries. A 61-yard, 12-tote performance in Week 1 against Dallas Jesuit in Texas let him know he belonged.
  "When I first got here," Swift said, "I didn't think I could play on the varsity level. "
  He said those early doubts were forgotten after his first touch in August went for big yardage. Swift still gets nervous before every game, but said that initial carry is always the best medicine.
  In the 35-10 clincher against Pittsburgh Central Catholic, one fourth-quarter run, on the state's biggest stage, showed why he belonged.
A John Reid 5-yard sack on fourth down gave Prep the ball at its own 43 with less than 8 minutes remaining.
  Swift took a draw and burst through scrimmage with a linebacker bearing down . . .
  "I know exactly what play you're talking about," he said. "When the hole opened I saw him coming so I kind of leaned to the right and cut left. I knew he wouldn't be able to get me because I saw him out of the corner of my eye. "
  The sharp change of direction buckled the defender, who was left seated on his wallet. Swift was eventually caught after an 11-yard gain.
No matter, three plays later the 5-7, 176-pounder ran for a 35-yard touchdown to help the Hawks gain their first AAAA football title.
  For the season, Swift finished with 635 yards on 113 carries (5.6 per) plus another 424 on 33 catches (12.8 per). Six times in 15 games he led the team in rushing. Add nine TDs (four rushing, five receiving) and you have one reliable youngster.
  "Just for the coaches to trust me with everything is a great feeling," Swift said.
  Maybe it was just reciprocated faith after his parents, Darren and Ayanna, sent D'Andre, somewhat against his wishes, to the Prep after meeting with head coach Gabe Infante and assistant coach Keita Crespina.
  "I didn't want to go," Swift said. "I wanted to go to La Salle. "
  The Northeast native said he was more accustomed to the Explorers after going to most of their games and shadowing at the school. He knew very little about the Prep.
  "I'm so glad we made that decision now," Swift said. "I just think it was a better fit all around. "
  It wasn't a slap at the Explorers, but a respectful nod to mom and dad, who apparently knew best.
  Archbishop Wood's Jarrett McClenton took 40 totes for 238 yards (both PIAA Class AAA title-game records). He also scored twice. According to, the yardage was the best by a District 12 rusher in the PIAA playoffs since Wood's Brandon Peoples went for 230 in 2010 . . . It's hard to determine what this means, but Archbishop Ryan can boast besting two state champs in the same season. Frank McArdle's squad took out Prep and Wood in consecutive weeks earlier this year . . . The Prep's 35-point output was the most allowed by Pittsburgh Central Catholic all season. In fact, the Vikings hadn't allowed more than 21 and only allowed double digits five times (well, now six times).


  This story was written in 2016 after D'Andre earned Catholic League Player of the Year honors in connection with the Daily News All-City Team . . .

By Aaron Carter
  SIMPLY PUT, D'Andre Swift is just different and has been since he was a freshman at St. Joseph's Prep.
Whether it was running through, around or past defenders, the 5-11, 210-pound senior running back always played at a different pace than his opponents.
  Imagine Swift running, catching, scoring and deciphering defenses with the precision, power and speed of a supercomputer while everyone else moved at dial-up speeds.
  Perhaps that is why he will be playing football at the University of Georgia next season.
  As the Daily News presents its 2016 All-City football team, it is also why Swift - the Catholic League Player of the Year - headlines our top honorees.
  This season, Swift led the Hawks to an undefeated season capped by a third PIAA football championship in four seasons.
  For his career, Swift finished with 4,273 rushing yards and 54 touchdowns on 563 carries (7.6 yards per carry). Despite missing significant action in five games this season, Swift still finished with 1,564 rushing yards, 405 receiving yards and 30 total touchdowns (25 rushing, five receiving).
  In the final three games of the season, Swift rushed for 747 yards (249 per game) and nine total touchdowns. Against bitter rival La Salle, Swift gouged the Explorers for 451 yards on 37 carries (12.1 per attempt) and 10 total touchdowns this season.
  Imhotep's Isheem Young - our Co-Public League Player of the Year - prevents touchdowns. He also scores them.
  The 5-11, 195-pound junior defensive back/running back is one of the country's most sought after college recruits with offers from Alabama and Florida State, to name a few.
  This season, Young helped lead an Imhotep defense that finished runner-up in the PIAA 4A title game, only allowed 80 points all season (5.7 points per game) and didn't allow double-digit points until the final two games of the season. Young also scored six rushing touchdowns, intercepted three passes and earned a reputation as one of the state's hardest hitting safeties.
  Germantown Academy linebacker Patrick McGettigan, our Inter-Ac Player of the Year - is also among the state's hardest hitters.
  The 6-2, 235-pound senior will play football at Penn next season. This year, he led the Patriots to a share of the Inter-Ac crown with Malvern Prep. It was GA's first football title since 2004.
  McGettigan led the team with 93 tackles with 12 coming for losses. He also added a sack and an interception and forced two fumbles. His efforts helped the stingy Patriots become perhaps the first Inter-Ac defensive unit to win a share of the title despite its offense scoring fewer points (78) than it gave up (93).
  Bartram quarterback Mahmud Dioubate, our Co-Public League Player of the Year, had little trouble scoring points or racking up yardage for the Braves this season.
  The 6-3, 190-pound junior became just the second player in city history to throw and rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season. West Catholic's Curtis Drake pioneered the achievement in 2008.
  Dioubate coupled 1,856 passing yards and 19 touchdowns with 1,284 rushing yards and 20 ground tallies. He also led the Braves to the Pub's national division championship. And although it lost to Imhotep, Dioubate led Bartram to its first appearance in a Pub title game since 1987.
  Our Coach of the Year award will be shared by St. Joseph's Prep coach Gabe Infante and Cardinal O'Hara coach B.J. "Butch" Hogan.
  Infante led the Hawks to a third PIAA championship (6A this season, and two in 4A) in four seasons, and an undefeated finish at 14-0, just the second Catholic League team to ever accomplish that win-loss record (also La Salle in 1996), according to
  Hogan, an O'Hara alum, became the first PCL coach to lead a team to a perfect regular season record (10-1, 6-0) one season after losing every regular-season game (0-4 in 3A play last year). This season's Blue Division championship also makes Hogan the first coach through the last 60 seasons to win first team All-Catholic honors while playing on a championship team (Red Division in 2000) and then return to coach the same school to a championship.


  Good Genes Help . . .
  D'Andre's father, Darren, was a star fullback for Frankford High's Public League champs in '87. Those Pioneers were the first team in PL history to finish 12-0 . . .

By Ted Silary
  Al Angelo has coached football long enough at Frankford High to know the look of a discontented offensive back.
  "Sometimes," Angelo said, "if a guy is upset because he doesn't feel he gets the ball enough, you can see it in his eyes. He looks at you like he's a little mad. "
  Let it be known: Darren Swift is not to be grouped with the look-givers.
  Though the 5-10, 160-pound senior fullback maintains a much lower profile than halfback Sean Parish in Frankford's explosive wing-T offense, complaints relayed by mouth or eyes are never forthcoming.
  Because of weather conditions better suited for the Iditarod, straight- ahead, low-risk running plays involving Swift were prominent in the game plan Saturday as Frankford battled John Bartram in a Public League semifinal at Northeast's Charlie Icebox - oops, Martin - Memorial Stadium.
  And Swift's ability to make those plays work was central to Frankford's 25-8 victory, which advanced the Pioneers into the Dec. 5 title game against Dobbins.
  Swift carried 16 times for 95 yards and a touchdown, the first time in 10 games this season that Parish (21 carries, 90 yards) was not Frankford's leading ground-gainer. Swift's touchdown, a 25-yarder 9:45 before halftime, put the Pioneers ahead for good (at 14-8). He had a 19-yard reception two plays earlier.
  "I don't think Swift minds that Parish gets the ball 'X' number of times, and he gets it less," Angelo said. "He doesn't pout. He doesn't make faces. His attitude is, 'You call the play. I'll do what you want. Whatever is best for the team. ' "
  In '86, though he received meaningful playing time at defensive back (he now doubles as an inside linebacker), Darren Swift's offensive lot was to caddy for superstar scatback Kevin McCoy.
  "Our offense was different then (under ex-coach John McAneney). We had two halfbacks," Swift said. "This year, when Mr. Angelo took over again, we went with the halfback-fullback-wingback alignment. Mr. Angelo said he was going to make me a fullback. If I wanted to play on offense, I had to accept that job, which I did. I also tried to take on the responsibility of being a team leader.
  "Last year, our team mainly had to depend on one person (McCoy). This year, we've stressed every week how we have to play an 11-man game. A lot of Public League teams are probably bigger, speedier and stronger than us, but I doubt anyone sticks together like us. We help each other out. We never talk bad about each other. If we have to make criticisms, they're always constructive. "
  Darren Swift's family boasts a rich football heritage, both for Frankford (the school) and in Frankford (the neighborhood).
  Swift's grandfather, Theodore Barnes, and his great uncle, Leon Johnston, long ago formed what Angelo says was the first independent football team in the area, the Frankford Wolverines. Swift's cousins, the Millers, have contributed several players to the program - most notably Lawrence, who quarterbacked the '84 championship team and is now a substitute defensive back for Army.
  Darren Swift even lives on Mulberry Street near Margaret, not far from where Angelo grew up.
  "I used to go to some Frankford games when I was little," Swift said. ''When all of us neighborhood guys played sandlot ball, that was always our biggest goal, to play someday for Frankford. We're so glad we're getting the chance to play for Mr. Angelo.
  "Just being around him, you can see why Frankford's tradition is the way it is. He takes an all-around interest in everybody. He stresses studies. He thinks family matters are important. He's like a father to us. We can talk to him about anything. "
  And that can take care of a lot of other things - dirty looks included.
  NOTES: Fullback Charles "Tuna" Adkins (17 carries, 63 yards, touchdown) led Bartram's offense . . . For Frankford, Dave Samuel and Tyrone Garrison had interceptions. Bobby Higginson and Mark Dooling recovered fumbles . . . Bartram jumped to an 8-0 lead, but its early momentum could have been greater. Aquito Young blocked a punt through the end zone for a safety four plays into the game, but an offsides call nullified everything. If the play had stood, Frankford would have been forced to punt or kick from its 20 against the Wicked Wind from the West . . . Bartram coach Tom Bazis, on having lost by 67-14 to Frankford in the playoffs over the last two years (42-6 in last year's final): "Thank God coaching is only my hobby."