Philadelphia High School Football

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  In 1994, Monsignor Bonner won its first Catholic League championship since 1961 and,
as of the end of the 2019 season, the feat had not been matched. 

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After Bonner won the 1994 CL football title . . . L to R, QB Mike Mitros and receivers Frank
Serratore, Chris Hemmert, Greg "Bubba" Bernhardt and future NFLer Anthony Becht. With
 them is offensive coordinator Wally Rutecki, a first team All-City receiver for Bonner in 1978.

Bonner's 1994 Roster
First Last Year
Leon Armour Soph
Brian Auld Sr
Chris Barrow Soph
Chris Beaty Sr
Anthony Becht Sr
Greg Bernhardt Sr 
Jude Blessington Sr
David Bradley Sr
Bill Brannick Sr
Jon Bystrek Sr
Tim Campbell Jr
Pat Carroll Soph
Bill Collins Jr
Dave Cook Soph
Sal Costanzo Soph
Luke Cunningham Soph
Joe Daly Soph
Ed Dath Sr 
Fred DeBerardinis Soph
Brian Dejewski Jr
James DelPizzo Jr
Nick DeLuca Jr
Nick DiCoca Soph
Scott Dreger Soph
Alan Ebling Jr
John  Falkenstein Jr
Greg Fisher Sr
Carlo Fitti Jr
Brian Fleming Sr
Matt Giello Jr 
Chris Hemmert Sr 
Jason Hotchkiss Sr
Scott Hunter Soph
Abdul Irby Sr
Jeff Jones Jr
Joe  Kerwood Sr
Robert Kolb Jr
Jack Kollhoff Jr
Eric Kuchler Jr
Mike Kukla Soph
Brian LaBuono Jr
Phil LaGrossa Sr
Steve Laughlin Sr
Steve Mancini Sr
Pete Manzoni Jr
Mike McCalla Soph
Mike McCarry Jr
Brian McCoach Soph
Damon McGonigle Jr
Bryan McGowan Soph
Sean McHugh Soph
Paul McHugh Soph
Pat McKenna Sr
James McMullan Jr
Mike Melvin Sr 
Mike Mitros Sr
Brian Morrow Jr
Brendon Murphy Soph
Joe Naimoli Jr
Dan Noll Soph
Brian Oakes Sr
Seamus O'Brien Sr 
Michael O'Neill Soph
Tom  Oropeza Sr
Mike Pisale Jr
Wes Porter Jr
Mike Powderly Sr
Michael Quinn Sr
Kevin Quinn Jr
John  Reavy Soph
Steve Regan Sr
Albert Ricci Soph
Brendan Riley Soph
Leo Roberts Soph
John Rufo Sr 
John  Schiazza Jr
Frank Serratore Sr
Joe Sgro Soph
Coln Smyth Soph
Bob  Staffieri Sr
Mike Sweeney Sr
Bill Tathan Jr
John Whalen Sr
Please report any misspellings . . . Thanks!

Monsignor Bonner's 1994Catholic League Football Champs
This story was written after coach Mike "Stump" Coyne's Friars, who started the season 0-2, blanked Carroll, 21-0, to win the championship for the first time since 1961 and finish 11-2 . . .

By Ted Silary
  Mike Mitros has feet.
  If that pronouncement surprises and you think that you truly pay attention to high school football, for shame.
  Yes, Mike Mitros, Monsignor Bonner High's senior quarterback, was the kid who used his strong right arm to become the city leagues' all-time leader in career passing yardage this season.
  But what did you think, that his legs had been transplanted from Herman Munster? That all he could do was ploddingly backpedal? That sometime later in life he'd have to settle for becoming a cigar store Indian?
  When the Friars didn't drive opponents crazy with passing this season, they mostly relied on an option attack. And when that happened, Mitros showed his other skills.
  Intelligence. Ballhandling. Savvy. Toughness . . .
  Before a large and often raucous crowd at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High, Mitros last night threw one touchdown pass as Bonner squashed Archbishop Carroll, 21-0, to win its first Catholic League title since 1961.
  The aerial score came last. Beforehand, Mitros rushed for a pair of touchdowns.
  We're not talking cheapie sneaks. We're talking dashes of 32 and 35 yards, which enabled Mitros to register 109 yards on 14 carries.
  After the clock wound down, after Bonner's faithful streamed onto the field to slap backs and shake hands and unleash war whoops into the brisk air, much of the talk centered on how the Friars had depended much more on runs than passes.
  Coach Mike "Stump" Coyne mentioned that Mitros, based on what he'd seen while preparing for snaps, had often called audibles out of pass plays into running plays.
  "The way they were playing defense, they made it tough to pass," Mitros said. "To take control, we had to run more often.
  "That's in our scheme. We've run the option for how many years now? I can't be afraid to take a hit. We were going to keep running until they took it away from us. "
  Mitros's first score came on Bonner's first series. After sliding past the line of scrimmage with minimal difficulty, he brushed off the most serious attempt at a tackle, by linebacker Paul Hernandez near the 10, and cruised into the end zone.
  His second score came on the first possession of the second half. On third and 4 from the Carroll 35 - four plays after the Patriots were hit with a killer flag (they had 12 men on the field as Bonner prepared to punt and a whistle was blown for a 5-yard penalty when it became obvious that no one was making an effort to leave) - Mitros showed good footwork on a counter option and streaked in untouched.
  Tom Oropeza, who played part-time at guard and starred at linebacker, called Mitros the toughest kid he knows.
  "When he comes down the line of scrimmage," Oropeza said, "you better have three guys waiting for him, if not more. "
  Coyne was a bit more expansive.
  "Head, heart; Mike's got the whole thing," he said. "This kid plays like a lion.
  "Colleges are missing out on a helluva player. Just because he's not 6-4 . . . Delaware's going to take a look. I hope the kid gets something nice. He deserves it. " 

  continued right below . . .

MB Non-League Opp.
13 Bethehem Catholic 52
16 Upper Darby 20
19 Glen Mills 18
  Catholic South 7
20 O'Hara 21
55 Roman 0
33 West Catholic 0
34 Kennedy-Kenrick 0
33 SJ Prep 8
41 Neumann 21
35 Carroll 6
  Catholic Playoffs  
19 O'Hara 7
33 McDevitt 14
21 Carroll 0

7-0 SD, 11-2 Overall


Chris Hemmert

Mike Mitros QB
Anthony Becht Rec.
Pat McKenna DB
Brian Morrow L
Brian "Sluggo" Fleming L
Jon Bystrek P
Tom Oropeza LB
Chris Hemmert Rec
Anthony Becht Rec
Mike Mitros QB
Pat McKenna DB
Brian Morrow L
Brian "Sluggo" Fleming L
Pat McKenna DB
Jon Bystrek P
Tom Oropeza LB
John Whalen C
Brian Morrow L
Chris Hemmert WR
Anthony Becht TE
Mike Mitros QB
Dave Bradley RB
Brian "Sluggo" Fleming DL
Tom Oropeza ILB
Pat McKenna DB

Jason Hotchkiss


Chris Beaty



  Passingwise, the 6-1, 190-pound Mitros was 5-for-14 for 102 yards. The highlight was a  perfectly thrown 66-yard bomb to sprinter Frank Serratore. He finished his career 315-for-595 for 4,869 yards and 41 TDs, another city- league mark.
  As always, Mitros heaped lavish praise on his linemen - center John Whalen, rotating guards Brian Oakes, Brian Morrow and Oropeza, rotating tackles Brian ''Sluggo" Fleming, Jason Hotchkiss and Greg Fisher, and tight end Anthony Becht. As well as on honorary lineman/fullback Jon Bystrek, who managed 52 yards of his own on eight carries.  On many of his totes, Mitros did not have to glance at the trail back as he sauntered along the line of scrimmage. No reason to. No one was there to challenge him, to make him pitch.
  "People don't realize how good our line is," Coyne said. "Those kids aren't only big, they're good athletes. "
  For Carroll, the evening was filled with frustration. Getting shut out and
rarely moving the ball is one thing. Blowing a number of decent chances is another.
  On six of their eight possessions, the Patriots made advancements inside Bonner's 30, only to be stymied.

  They got thrown backward on fourth down. They fumbled on fourth down after making a reception. They lost 2 yards on third down, then had an incompletion on fourth. They fumbled on first down (Oropeza recovered and the 66-yard TD pass followed immediately). They backtracked 18 yards because of a holding penalty, then had to punt and dropped the snap. They fumbled away a pitchout . . .
  Andrew Tamaccio went 16-for-29 for 198 yards. Corey Hill made seven catches for 90 yards. Pete Hinckle (6-93) was in that same neighborhood. But the rushing attack was held to 53 yards on 25 carries.
  "Our defense worked two hours a day for 10 days on what they'd be doing in that wing-T," said Oropeza, who made six tackles. "We were ready. They did some passing on us, but it was mostly underneath stuff. "
  "We didn't think they should score against us," Mitros added.
  What does he know, you might be thinking, about defense? Well, he also went the distance at safety, where he made seven tackles, recovered a fumble and uncorked some vicious hits along with cornerback Pat McKenna.
  Bonner, the first South team to win the championship since 1985, closed with 11 wins after starting with losses to Bethlehem Catholic, 52-13, and Upper Darby, 20-16. From week No. 3 on, they never scored fewer than 19 points for offensive coordinator Wally Rutecki.
  "Losing our first two was disappointing," Oropeza said. "But we used it for positive motivation. "
  Said Mitros: "This means a great deal. A lot of people said we couldn't do this. "
  Maybe they were the same people who said that Mike Mitros could only throw.


  This story was written after the Friars bested Bishop McDevitt, 33-14, in a semifinal  . . .

By Ted Silary
  Jon Bystrek has no idea what Consumer Report might say about the 1989 Plymouth Acclaim.
  All he knows is, he drives one and it has helped him to remain at Monsignor Bonner High.
  Bystrek, a 6-foot, 200-pound senior, is a fullback, punter and return man for the Friars, who on Saturday night bested Bishop McDevitt, 33-14, in a closer-than-that Catholic League semifinal at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High.
  As last school year ended, Bystrek had every intention of leaving Bonner and went so far as to register at Chichester.
  "The tuition at Bonner was going up again; they were stopping the busing from 'Chi' to Bonner; I had an '84 Cavalier with a lot of miles on it; I was thinking about gas and insurance; Chi is only a five-minute walk from my house - it just seemed like there were a lot of reasons to transfer," Bystrek said.
  "But then I talked with my dad (John). He made some good points. Even though he said it would be a hassle to drive that half-hour every day, he said it would be worth it in the long run to stay around my friends. "
  Then Mr. Bystrek sweetened the pot.
  "He said he knew someone that wanted the Cavalier, and that he'd get me another car," Jon said. "He's helping me with gas and insurance, though I did make some money cutting grass and working at Phillies camps and now I work bingo at Bonner. The miles are piling up on the Plymouth, too, but it's dependable. "
  Bystrek scored twice against the Lancers. After Levar Talley (21 carries, 106 yards) ran 3 yards for the game's first touchdown, Bystrek fielded the kickoff and motored 86 yards for what he said was the first return touchdown of his life. Later, he added a 16-yard run for a score and played a part in the game's most interesting play.
  With the teams tied, 14-14, late in the third quarter, Bonner set up for a 41-yard field goal attempt by quarterback Mike Mitros. One snag: Mitros is not Bonner's kicker. After accepting John Whalen's snap, Bystrek, the holder, moved to his right and pitched back to Mitros.
  Under heavy pressure, and while running straight toward the sideline, Mitros fired a BB - off his back foot, no less - toward the end zone. Chris Hemmert made a leaping catch and Bonner was ahead for good.
  "If we think (a trick play) is not going to work, Steve Mancini just shifts from the wing back to kicker," Bystrek said. "Mike thought we had a chance to score on the pass, so we went with it. "
  Said Mitros: "I saw Chris waving and just threw it. I knew if I kept it high, he'd be sure to get it. I didn't see it. I got buried. "
  Mitros finished 10-for-15 for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Careerwise, he is 310-for-581 and holds city-league records for yards (4,767) and touchdowns (40). St. Joseph's Prep's Frank Costa, now at the University of Miami, passed for 4,660 yards from '87 to '89. Earlier Saturday, Germantown's Spencer Whetts had thrown two touchdown passes in a Public League semifinal to momentarily tie Mitros at 38.
  Meanwhile, under his shoulder pads, Bystrek wore a T-shirt toasting a school other than Bonner. Like fellow seniors Mancini, wideout Frank Serratore and lineman Brian Oakes, Bystrek attended St. James before its closing in June 1993.
  "I've worn it for the last six or seven games," Bystrek said. His father and uncle, Stan, are St. James grads. So is his brother, Stan, who in 1990 was a second team Daily News All-City catcher and is now in the Marine Corps. ''St. James is not going to go down, ever. It's in all of our memories. Don't get me wrong. My heart and head are at Bonner, but a part of St. James is always with me. "
  Bystrek's favorite sport is baseball, in which he is also a catcher. He has heard from Drexel and hopes to receive more interest now that he has raised his score on the Scholastic Assessment Test to 990.
  "Growing up, I've met some great teachers," he said. "I think I want to be a teacher-coach."


QB Mike Mitros
  Jon Bystrek Dave Bradley Mike Mitros
  Rushing Rushing Passing
Non-League Car. Yds Car Yard C-A Yds
Bethlehem Catholic 2 11 13 24 16-28 231
Upper Darby 5 16 12 34 17-35 215
Glen Mills 7 21 8 145 15-25 193
Catholic South            
O'Hara 1 0 10 54 16-25 286
Roman 6 55 8 127 2-4 35
West Catholic 3 20 7 31 13-20 152
Kennedy-Kenrick 2 14 11 52 6-12 120
SJ Prep 3 (-6) 5 32 14-27 212
Neumann 4 46 4 36 14-21 200
Carroll 4 22 9 127 11-23 157
O'Hara 4 22 11 40 11-22 219
McDevitt 6 36 11 48 10-15 172
Carroll 10 52 3 10 5-14 102
  TOTALS 57 309 112 760 150-271 2294
  TDs 5 3 23
  Rushing TDs     11
  Anthony Becht Mike Hemmert Frank Serratore
  Receiving Receiving Receiving
Non-League Rec Yds Rec Yds Rec Yds
Bethlehem Catholic 4 45 6 60 2 92
Upper Darby 8 115 9 100 0 0
Glen Mills 5 94 8 89 0 0
Catholic South            
O'Hara 6 118 5 60 4 98
Roman 0 0 0 0 0 0
West Catholic 5 54 5 76 0 0
Kennedy-Kenrick 2 55 2 35 1 26
SJ Prep 1 11 7 95 1 9
Neumann 3 28 7 81 0 0
Carroll 3 67 6 73 1 8
O'Hara 4 53 4 94 1 25
McDevitt 4 103 2 26 1 17
Carroll 1 14 1 9 1 66
  TOTALS 46 757 62 798 12 341
  TDs 3 9 6
  Kicker Steve Mancini scored 36 points -- 30 K, 2 FGs

  This story was written after the Friars bested Cardinal O'Hara to finish first in the Southern Division at 7-0 . . .

By Ted Silary
  The name is Brian Fleming, but you can call him "Sluggo. "
  Almost everyone calls him that, including his parents and most of his teachers.
  One might guess that Fleming, a two-way tackle for Monsignor Bonner High's football team, is known as Sluggo because someone once thought he bore a resemblance to the character in the comic strip "Nancy. "
  "I don't even know about that Sluggo," Fleming said.
  Here's the story: Fleming was woefully slow as a youngster. He fared so poorly in neighborhood races, in fact, the other kids decided he was as slow as a slug.
  "I was about 8 years old when they started calling me Sluggo," Fleming said. "I didn't like it at first. It took a couple of years for it not to bother me. "
  These days, Fleming carries 275 pounds on a 6-2 frame. He'll never compete in a 100-meter dash, but don't call him slow.
Yesterday, in a battle of league unbeatens, Fleming starred on both sides of the ball as Bonner pounded visiting Archbishop Carroll, 35-6, to finish 7-0 and win the regular-season championship in the Catholic League Southern Division.
  The Friars will meet fourth-place Cardinal O'Hara at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High in a first-round playoff. Carroll faces St. John Neumann on Friday night (same site and time).
  Fleming's hole-opening helped the Friars generate 345 yards in total offense. On defense, he made five tackles (two for losses) while helping limit Carroll to 194 yards, 98 of which came after the score was 28-0.
  "I prefer defense," Fleming said. "You get to make plays. I wouldn't say my strength is chasing down quarterbacks on rollouts, but if he drops straight back, I can push my way in there and get him. I get a pretty good burst off the line. "
  Though Bonner's offense - headed by quarterback Mike Mitros and receivers Chris Hemmert and Anthony Becht - has received gobs of attention (no wonder, with a 35.9-point league average), the defense has been equally effective.
The Friars have allowed 63 points in league play (9.0 average) - most after the issue has been decided.
  Carroll assistant John Maguire told Bonner coach Mike "Stump" Coyne afterward, "I know your offense is strong, but your defense is what sets the tone. "
  Yesterday, Bonner's defense featured ends Chris Beaty and Mike Sweeney, tackles Joe Kerwood and Fleming, rotating nose guards Greg Fisher and Brian Morrow, linebackers Tom Oropeza, Eric Kuchler and Phil LaGrossa, cornerbacks Greg Bernhardt and Pat McKenna and safety Mitros.
  Yes, Mitros. He did double duty for the first time since the preseason because Brian Auld was out with an injury.
"Somebody had to be out there," Mitros said with a shrug. "It wasn't hard. I didn't have to run deep in coverage too much. "
At quarterback, Mitros completed 11 of 23 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns, a pair of 7-yarders to Hemmert. The second, which came on a left- to-middle slant with 3 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the third quarter, enabled Mitros to break the city-league career record for touchdown passes, with 37. Germantown Academy's Coley Murphy had set the mark just last fall.
  "I didn't give the record much thought," Mitros said. "It was going to happen one of these weeks. "
  Said Fleming: "Our offense is there every week. We can move the ball. Defense is where we put most of our focus. We dedicate ourselves to that. We expected a real dogfight from Carroll. We expected to move the ball, but we thought they might be moving it right along with us. "
  Aside from having an interesting nickname, Fleming, who maintains a 3.5 grade-point average, has a refreshing approach to being recruited.
  "It doesn't matter what level I play at in college," he said. "Any level would be fine.
  "Whatever (attention) comes, comes. All I know is that I want to keep playing. I'm having too much fun to give up the game. "

  Recaps of Playoff Games . . .

Bonner 19, O'Hara 7
    Mike Mitros ran for two scores and passed 11-for-22 for 219 yards and a TD. Chris Hemmert (4-94) and Anthony Becht (4-53) led the receivers.
At Plymouth-Whitemarsh
Bonner 33, McDevitt 14
    Mike Mitros passed 10-for-15 for 172 yards and one TD each to Anthony Becht (4-103) and Chris Hemmert. The Friars broke a 14-14 tie when Mitros, not the kicker, lined up to attempt a 41-yard field goal and then took a flip from Jon Bystrek, the holder, and threw a 23-yard
scoring pass to Hemmert. Bystrek ran for one TD and scored another on an 86-yard kickoff return. McDevitt's LeVar Talley ran 21 times for 106 yards and a TD.
At Plymouth-Whitemarsh
Bonner 21, Carroll 0
    Passing whiz Mike Mitros surprised Carroll by running for 109 yards and TDs of 32 and 35 yards on 14 carries as Bonner won its first title since 1961. Mitros also passed 5-for-14 for 102 yards and a 66-yard TD -- a city-league record 41st -- to Frank Serratore. For Carroll, Andrew Tamaccio passed 16-for-29 for 198 yards, mostly to Corey Hill (7-90) and Pete Hinckle (6-93).