Tradition of excellence

Four Cath­ol­ic League cham­pi­on­ships. 

Four Dis­trict 12 titles. 

Fifty-six wins and dozens of Di­vi­sion I schol­ar­ships. 

Yes, Steve Devlin is rack­ing up some im­press­ive num­bers. 

And the Arch­bish­op Wood High School foot­ball coach sure is mak­ing them count. As boss of the power­house foot­ball squad for five years now, Devlin has com­piled an over­all 56-11-0 re­cord. His teams have lost only two league games. 

“I want the kids to be suc­cess­ful on and off the field,” said Devlin. “I want them to have a great ex­per­i­ence play­ing foot­ball and help them to play in col­lege. 

“I’m a big guy in help­ing these kids play in col­lege and get re­cruited,” he ad­ded. “I really en­joy wak­ing up on Sunday and read­ing about what the kids did in col­lege foot­ball on Sat­urday.”

Cur­rently, six Arch­bish­op Wood stu­dent-ath­letes have ac­cep­ted full schol­ar­ships to play for Di­vi­sion 1 pro­grams, in­clud­ing Flor­ida, Rut­gers, West Vir­gin­ia, Bo­ston Col­lege and Temple Uni­versity.

The seni­or-heavy Vik­ings have dom­in­ated the Cath­ol­ic League this sea­son, go­ing 11-1 over­all (3-0 league play). Arch­bish­op Wood has outscored op­pon­ents by an as­ton­ish­ing 448 points and re­cor­ded four shutouts. 

Wood downed Monsignor Bon­ner in the Cath­ol­ic League Class AAA cham­pi­on­ship, 42-14, on Nov. 12, claim­ing its fourth con­sec­ut­ive league title in as many years.  

“It was awe­some (win­ning the cham­pi­on­ship). For me, the Cath­ol­ic League is one of the best leagues in the state,” said Devlin. “It’s a great ac­com­plish­ment to win. There’s a lot of his­tory and tra­di­tion in the Cath­ol­ic League. To win that four years in a row … that is a great ac­com­plish­ment.”

Arch­bish­op Wood’s tough per­form­ance on the field earned the squad a berth in the Dis­trict 12 cham­pi­on­ship game against Dob­bins on Sat­urday af­ter­noon at North­east High School. 

Wood’s Vik­ings un­leashed a beat­ing, slam­ming Dob­bins, 49-0, en route to their fourth con­sec­ut­ive dis­trict title. Seni­or quar­ter­back Joey Mon­aghan com­pleted 12 of 14 passes for 199 yards and four touch­downs. He con­nec­ted twice with seni­or wide re­ceiv­er Kyle Adkins, once with tight end Colin Thompson, and once with Nate Smith. 

Smith, a seni­or wide re­ceiv­er, also re­turned a 62-yard punt for a touch­down in the Vik­ings’ vic­tory. Sopho­more Kend­all Singleton and seni­or Ry­an McMul­lin had rush­ing touch­downs. Ju­ni­or kick­er Nick Visco was 6-for-6 in ex­tra-point kicks. 

Arch­bish­op Wood has one week off be­fore com­pet­ing in the state quarterfi­nals. 

“It’s in­cred­ible,” said Devlin. “It’s something these seni­ors can say: ‘We won four Cath­ol­ic League cham­pi­on­ships and four dis­trict cham­pi­on­ships at Wood.’ That’s quite an ac­com­plish­ment.”

A Somer­ton res­id­ent, Devlin has made him­self a second home at the Warmin­ster school dur­ing his five years with the Vik­ings’ varsity pro­gram. 

Be­fore join­ing Wood, Devlin was of­fens­ive co­ordin­at­or at St. Joseph Pre­par­at­ory School for eight years; the Hawks earned four Cath­ol­ic League titles, in­clud­ing three in a row start­ing in 2001. In fact, Devlin coached in a Cath­ol­ic League cham­pi­on­ship game every year this dec­ade.

His coach­ing roots took hold in North­east Phil­adelphia, where he guided the Somer­ton Youth Or­gan­iz­a­tion foot­ball pro­gram for sev­en years. 

As a high school stu­dent, Devlin played foot­ball at Arch­bish­op Ry­an. In 1988, when Devlin was a first-team All-Cath­ol­ic re­ceiv­er, the Raid­ers won their first Cath­ol­ic League cham­pi­on­ship title in school his­tory. 

Devlin gradu­ated and went on to Ly­coming Col­lege, play­ing with the War­ri­ors for all four sea­sons and gradu­at­ing in 1993. 

“Be­ing able to play and then coach helps in some ways. You’ve been through some of the ex­per­i­ences that they’ve been through,” ex­plained Devlin. “You have been there, through the struggles, so you can use your ex­per­i­ence. When you’re coach­ing, though, it’s a totally dif­fer­ent game. You have to strategize.”

Devlin has proved him­self among the top coaches in the game. He has been named the Phil­adelphia Cath­ol­ic League Coach of the Year (2007, ’09, ’10) and Bucks County Coach of the Year (’07, ’08, ’09). In 2008 — after he guided Arch­bish­op Wood to the PI­AA East­ern State Cham­pi­on­ship title — Devlin was named Pennsylvania Class AAA Coach of the Year and Nike Pennsylvania Coach of the Year. 

And he’s not done yet. This sea­son of­fers some un­fin­ished busi­ness for Devlin’s team.

“We’ve had a good sea­son so far. Hope­fully we still have a couple of weeks ahead of us,” he said. “We want to keep win­ning and play­ing well and stay healthy. We have a lot of great things hap­pen­ing — not only with wins, but with kids go­ing on to play at ma­jor col­lege pro­grams. 

“I love the op­por­tun­ity to mold young men and to teach them about the game of foot­ball, which I con­sider the greatest game out there,” Devlin con­tin­ued. “To see them de­vel­op and have suc­cess and move on to suc­cess­ful lives and ca­reers … that’s what it’s all about.” ••

Ed­it­or Melissa Yerkov can be reached at my­

You can reach at

comments powered by Disqus