By Matt Smith
Archbishop Carroll received a surprise gift when it was informed earlier this week that it had qualified for the District 1-12 Sub-Regional in PIAA Class 3A.
Officially, the Patriots (1-2) are state tournament participants for the first time in program history and will play New Hope-Solebury at Cardinal O’Hara Friday night. That wasn’t the case last Saturday when Carroll lost its PIAA qualifier to Neumann-Goretti, 28-21, and was focused on turning the page this week against Pennsbury and finishing its coronavirus-shortened season with a winning record.
A COVID-19 outbreak forced Neumann-Goretti to postpone in-school learning and effectively bounce its football team out of the state tournament. As a result, Archbishop Carroll replaced N-G in the state tourney.
A similar scenario unfolded locally at Bonner-Prendergast Wednesday. Friars coach Jack Muldoon got the call in the afternoon about one of his players testing positive for COVID-19. The school alerted Chester County Health Department of the positive test, triggering an automatic two-week shutdown of Bonner program. It was heartbreaking news for the Friars, who earned the distinction of being the No. 1-ranked team in Delco two straight weeks following an impressive 3-0 start to the season. The Friars now are left hoping they’ll play again. If there are no more incidents of coronavirus, it’s possible that Bonner-Prendie will play Carroll and Cardinal O’Hara later this month.