- Cheltenham High School
Panther Senior Gridders Participate in “Combine” Showcase
This past weekend, more than a dozen senior Panther football players participated in the Beyond the Field Senior Showcase, a combine of sorts for football players unable to play this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, at Black Hawk Field just off the Temple University campus.
Panthers and student-athletes from Philadelphia Public League teams, Harry S. Truman, Academy Park, Chester, Chichester, Interboro, Norristown, Penn Wood, Reading and Catholic League schools West Catholic and Father Judge were put through the paces in front of more than 40 football coaches from 32 different programs. Fifteen high school coaches - nearly half of whom have coached in at least one state championship game - worked with the players, who had the opportunity to record times for the 40-yard dash, pro shuttle, vertical jump and also performed on the field drills. Participants followed strict COVID-19 precautions – including temperature checks and masks.
“Going into the combine on Saturday I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said senior Zach Gaffin. “My mind was set on doing what I do and focusing on myself so I could put myself in a good position. As the day went on, I was cheering for everyone and encouraging everyone to give it their all. I realized everyone was there fighting and grinding for the same reason.”
Other participating Panthers included Amani Ezell, Michael Sullivan, Nasir Carson, Darren Bennett, Nathaniel Felix, Yaseer Jenkins, Dion Michaels, Tavon Mills, Jaquan Paige, Joseph Thomas, Dwayne Williams, Martin Latimer III, Sam Sykes, Amir Watson and Tyzeem Kinney.
“There are a ton of people who got involved in this, and they really stepped up to help these kids,” coach Ryan Nase told the “Northeast Times.” “Me, (Frankford coach) Bill Sytsma and Nick Lincoln, who coached at Imhotep and now at Del Val, took the lead to get it organized.”
The Ertz Family Foundation and Maxwell Football Club stepped up to sponsor the event, and All Sports Testing handled the performance testing of speed, agility, reaction and jumping using the most accurate, state of the art equipment and technology.