Philadelphia High School Basketball
A Look at Dennis Seddon's 22-Year Coaching
Career at Roman Catholic High (1987-2008)
This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of wins in championship games and (at the bottom) the
names of all varsity players during Coach Seddon's 22 seasons. . . . To provide additions/corrections:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Coach Seddon's All-Stars and 1,000-Point Scorers
* - Played in NBA
# - Played in NFL
DAILY NEW ALL-CITY
Dennis Seddon |
Dennis Seddon coached basketball at Roman Catholic for 22 seasons (1987-2008), winning 516 games and 10 Catholic League championships. Six crowns were won in succession (1989-94). In 1990, the Cahillites beat La Salle, in overtime, on a late shot by a future NFL Hall of Famer, Marvin Harrison. Here is that story . . .
By Ted Silary
When Marvin Harrison plays offense in football, two people, minimum, are
close enough to hear his every breath.
League / Overall
1987: 13-1 / 24-7
1988: 9-5 / 17-8
1989: 13-1 / 25-3
1990: 14-0 / 26-4
1991: 14-0 / 28-3
1992: 12-2 / 25-5
1993: 13-1 / 27-4
1994: 12-2 / 24-7
1995: 13-1 / 27-4
1996: 14-0 / 27-3
1997: 10-4 / 18-7
1998: 11-3 / 21-7
1999: 12-2 / 27-5
2000: 13-1 / 25-7
2001: 12-2 / 23-7
2002: 6-8 / 16-9
2003: 11-3 / 19-8
2004: 12-2 / 22-7
2005: 10-4 / 21-9
2006: 13-1 / 26-6
2007: 12-2 / 28-3
2008: 14-0 / 19-6
22 Seasons, 1987-2008
League - 263-45
Overall - 516-128
Appearances Ended in . . .
1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008
1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992,
1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999,
2000, 2001, 2006, 2007
This story about Dennis Seddon was written in 1991 . . .
By Ted Silary
Dennis Seddon knows ceramics.
He also has a good feel for arts and crafts, floor hockey, dance, soccer, tumbling, softball and . . . well, all sorts of neat
For several hours a day, Seddon heads one of the most prestigious high school basketball programs in the country, at Roman
Otherwise, he's Dennis the Playground Worker.
Seddon's full-time job is with the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. He has been stationed for two years at Cohocksink
Recreation Center, in Port Richmond, and he formerly worked at McVeigh.
"Some people know I coach Roman," Seddon said. "But it's not like it's any big deal.
"Last year, somebody put the article where I was chosen Coach of the Year on the board. People said, 'Hey, that's our
Tonight at the Palestra, in the second game of a division-finals doubleheader (North's Kenrick-La Salle at 7, South's
Roman-West at about 8:45), Seddon and his players will continue their relentless pursuit of a third consecutive Catholic League
Like his predecessors, Speedy Morris, who compiled a 347-82 record from 1968 through '81 with six league titles, and Barry
Brodzinski, whose mark was 115-33 from '82 through '86 with two titles, Seddon has the program rolling along.
In five seasons, he has produced a record of 117-23 and two titles.
Yet, unlike his predecessors, Seddon maintains a profile not much higher than the scorekeeper's. Morris drew attention largely
because of his bench histrionics. Brodzinski often made strong, ill-timed statements.
Seddon, in contrast, is almost without ego. He lets his kids play, he rarely throws a sideline tantrum, and when the time comes
to dole out credit, his first words are often, "Which kid do you want to interview? You don't need me, right? "
Every CYO and youth club coach in the city should have Seddon's picture over his desk. He's the little guy who made it big
yet never forgot his roots. His assistants, Jeff Stepp, Rodney Handy and Steve Wermuth, followed the same path.
At North Catholic, Seddon was never quite good enough to make the varsity. After winning an academic scholarship to the
University of Richmond, he was the self-admitted 13th man on a 12-man freshman team. He had done some youth coaching
while in high school, however, and he quickly gravitated in that direction at Richmond.
"When the freshman coach had to go scouting, he'd let me run the practice," Seddon said. "I literally had the keys to the gym."
After returning to Philadelphia, he coached grade school (Ascension) and youth club ball. Seddon's Little Club teams, stocked
mostly with future North Catholic stars, including Brodzinski, won numerous area and city championships.
When Iggy Brodzinski, Barry's brother, became North's head coach for the '80 season, Seddon came on board as an assistant.
He switched to Roman in '82, when Barry replaced Morris.
When Brodzinski resigned, Seddon worried the school might seek another name person.
"Over 20 people applied for the job," Seddon said. "But we thought we had proven ourselves, recordwise, with the freshmen
and JV, and I felt comfortable with the relationships I had developed around here. I felt I was as qualified as anybody; if not
more so because of the relationships I had with the younger kids.
"I'm very fortunate. I have the best coaching job in the city of Philadelphia. I'm happy every day I walk in here. I love the
people, the building. It's a special place. "
When one of his players has a problem, Seddon, the true older-brother figure, works doggedly to find a solution.
He knows what it's like to feel alone, as if there's nowhere to turn. He also knows life can be cruel.
Between '81 and '87, Seddon endured seven operations on his nose. A form of cancer, rhinophyma, produced a series of
cysts that in time caused his nose to swell to the size of a small child's fist.
In his first season as Roman's head coach, Seddon coached while wearing a baseball cap pulled tightly over his forehead.
"Sure, subconsciously, I was trying to hide it," he said. "People's first tendency is to look at faces. It would make them
uncomfortable. I just dealt with it.
"I can breathe fine now. The doctors think it's under control. I go once a year for a cancer screening."
Sophomore forward Gus Wagner, whose brother, Josh, starts at point guard, already has a deep appreciation for Seddon,
coach and man.
"When he gets mad, he doesn't yell or scream," Wagner said. "He talks things out. He'll correct you in a nice way. It makes
you want to do right even more.
"He gets to know his players on a personal level. Any time you have a problem, you can go to him. He's helped Josh a
number of times."
Said starting wing guard Marvin Harrison: "On and off the court, he does whatever he can for us. He tells us what we have
to do and keeps our minds sharp along the way. If we need (scolding), he does it individually. No one likes to be hollered at
in front of 500 people."
This story was written in the fall of 2008, when Dennis retired . . .
By Ted Silary
The manner did not surprise.
When Dennis Seddon yesterday announced his retirement after a wildly successful, 22-year run as Roman Catholic High's
basketball coach, he did so not while standing behind a lectern, peering over a thicket of microphones.
He made a telephone call, and simply said, "Well, it's time. "
Rumors of Seddon's impending departure persisted throughout the summer and into the fall. Whenver he was asked about
them, he laughed and came out with quips such as, "I'm having a press conference tomorrow? What time should I be there?"
But now, rumor is fact, and the Catholic League is losing a gem. The more he produced, the less he seemed to realize it.
"It was always about the team," Seddon said. "I cringed any time I saw a reference to 'Dennis Seddon's basketball team.'
This was always Roman Catholic's basketball team. It was always about the players. I just happened to be there."
Said Delaware assistant R.C. Kehoe, a mid-'90s point guard for Seddon: "He's a terrific person. Every coach should take a
page from his book. It was always about the team and the school. Not him. "
Seddon went 516-128 for an .801 career winning percentage. He ranks second in city history behind William "Speedy"
Morris - 557-137 (.803) in 23 seasons at Roman, Penn Charter and St. Joseph's Prep - in that category, and also barely trails
Morris in wins per season, 24.2 to 23.5.
Seddon stands alone in Catholic League championships, with 10, highlighted by a six-season run from 1989 to '94, and his
playoff winning percentage (.784, a record of 40-11) is mighty darn close to his overall number.
This decision, he said, is based strictly on time - not enough of it.
Last May, Seddon was appointed to a supervisory position at Cione Playground in Port Richmond. He'd earlier spent 10
years apiece as a staff member at Shissler in Fishtown and Cohocksink in Port Richmond.
"In my current position," Seddon said, "I have to be around earlier in the afternoon, and there's just more responsibility,
"I could make it to only a couple of our summer-league games, and once we got through this first month of school, I could
see that my chances to get to Roman in the afternoon were limited. From the time standpoint, it just wasn't going to work
anymore. I couldn't give 100 percent."
Seddon fell just short of lasting through '09, which had been his intent after the '04 season resulted in a third consecutive
disappointment - not even a visit to the semifinals.
"I set five goals to accomplish," he said.
Get back to the title game. Check. Make sure the cupboard would not be bare upon his departure. Check. Return the
program to national prominence. Check. Arrange return trips (as happened in December '04 and '06) to a prestigious
pre-Christmas tournament in Hawaii. Check.
"The fifth thing I wanted to do," he said, "was mentor somebody who'd be able to keep things going. And that has
happened with [JV coach, varsity righthand man] Chris McNesby."
How the opening will be filled is undecided.
"He deserves it," Seddon said. "He'll do a great job."
When asked whether he felt melancholy, Seddon at first said, "Don't know. Too early to tell."
He then added: "I'm not. We accomplished a lot and had fun along the way. We won. We lost. Hopefully, the kids feel
like I do, that we got as much out of the experience as we could."
While Seddon intends to become involved in coaching Special Olympics basketball, he hopes to remain with Roman in
an advisory capacity.
He's especially excited that '95 grad Lari Ketner, who advanced to the NBA (as did Seddon-era Cahillites Marc Jackson,
Rasual Butler and Eddie Griffin), has joined Roman's staff as an assistant.
"That's 32 former players who've gone into coaching," he said.
Even there, he couldn't bring himself to add the qualifier, "of mine."
Dennis Seddon . . . Still humble after all of these amazing accomplishments.
Recaps of victories in
Catholic League championship games . . .
At the Palestra
Roman 66, La Salle 56
Jim O'Rourke fired away for 25 points, including eight of Roman's final nine, and Ruben Colon had 11 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks. Mike McKee sprinkled nine assists and Alan Watkins scored 14 points. La Salle got 17 points from Chris Lazorcheck and trailed by just one, 54-53, with 2:20 left.
At the Palestra
Roman 64, La Salle 62 (ot)
With 0:10 left, Marvin Harrison took a pass from Mike McKee (nine assists), sped down the left side of the lane virtually unmolested and flipped in a lefthanded layup at 0:06. La Salle called time at 0:03 and then missed two shots, Chris Lazorcheck's three and Ernie Koschineg's hurried follow. Roman was the first CL team to storm through division and playoff action unbeaten since Neumann in 1965. Bernard Jones shot 12-for-18 and 6-for-9 for 30 points, tying the title-game mark set in 1988 by Bonner's Brian Daly. Jones added 13 rebounds. Mike Watson had 18 points. Koschineg scored 24 points for La Salle.
At the Palestra
Roman 70, La Salle 36
Marvin Harrison (nine rebounds) and Bernard Jones totaled 18 points apiece and Mike Watson added 11 points and 14 rebounds as Roman won its 44th CL game in succession (regular season and playoffs). The Cahillites won their 14 division games by an average score of 83-48 and their three playoffs by an average score of 77-45. No one reached double figures for La Salle.
At the Palestra
Roman 77, Dougherty 68
Kyle Locke, a 6-6 senior forward, exploded for 39 points — most in CL playoff history — as the Cahillites won their fourth title in a row. Locke shot 11-for-17 and 17-for-18 and added eight rebounds. James "Flame" Lewis notched 15 points, seven boards and 5-8 Dwayne "Sugar" Hill plucked a game-high 11 rebounds. Dougherty's Cuttino "Cat" Mobley scored 28 points to finish with 42.8 percent of his team's 166 playoff points. The Cards used two sets of twins — starters Dan and Ed Kearney and subs Shawn and Brian Simkins.
At the Palestra
Roman 62, North 55 (ot)
Marc Jackson accumulated 22 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks and Dwayne "Sugar" Hill added 17 points, eight assists and three steals as Roman won a fifth consecutive title under coach Dennis Seddon to match a feat that had been done only once in CL history — by Roman from 1924 to '28. There was no scoring in the final 2:30 of regulation and then Jackson passed to Mike Tabb for the first two baskets of overtime. Joe Harvey (14) and Matt Comey (13) paced North.
At the Palestra
Roman 60, North 53
Lari Ketner produced 20 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, sub Will McKnight added 16 points and R.C. Kehoe hustled for nine assists and six steals as the Cahillites won yet again. The teams combined for 48 turnovers. North's Chris Heck hit four threes en route to 23 points while guard Dennis Comey added 10 points and 14 rebounds.
At the Palestra
Roman 57, Carroll 47
Donnie Carr (19), Jakub "Jimmy" Juskowiak (15) and Rafi Stevens (13, 10 rebounds) led in scoring, R.C. Kehoe distributed six assists and Curtis King rejected five shots as the Cahillites claimed their seventh title in eight years and 15th in 28. Dennis Seddon, the coach for 10 seasons, won his 250th game. Tom Dearborn (20) and Martin Ingelsby (15) paced Carroll.
At Temple's Apollo
Roman 68, West 45
Eddie Griffin, a 6-8 junior, totaled 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks as Roman won its seventh title of the decade and eighth in 11 years under coach Dennis Seddon. Griffin finished the playoffs with 68 points, 36 rebounds and 23 blocks. Point guard Mustafa Bey (five assists) was the only senior in the Cahillites' nine-man rotation. Sophs Tamal Forchion (12 points), Brent Welton (a career-high nine off the bench) and John Huggins (eight) combined to shoot 13-for-15. For West, Ronald Banks scored 17 points and Greg McCleary had 12 points, 10 rebounds.
At Temple's Apollo
Roman 58, Neumann 55
After enduring a mostly frustrating season, sub John Huggins had 15 points and four assists in 26 minutes and made a steal and two free throws with 32.4 seconds left to provide a 56-53 lead. Neumann's Brandon Brigman (follow) and Roman's Brent Welton (two foul shots) traded scores, then Neumann's Cantrell "Man-Man" Fletcher barely missed a buzzer-beater from the right side of halfcourt. For Roman, Michael Wild (17 points) hit three treys, Tamal Forchion grabbed 14 rebounds and Eddie Griffin had 15 points, 10 boards, six blocks. Five Pirates scored from nine to 13 points while Fletcher had seven assists and Brigman had 13 boards. Robert "Beattie" Taylor (pronounced) and David "Meatball" Crawford (mild) played with limps after suffering ankle injuries. Both schools' rooters threw trash at each other and Roman's net-cutting ceremony was delayed by 10 minutes.
At the Palestra
Roman 59, Neumann-Goretti 56
Just when it appeared the Cahillites were dead meat, with just under six minutes left, they overcame a 10-point deficit by roaring to 11 consecutive points in 1 minute, 40 seconds, and wound up scoring 17 of the game's final 21 points. The win gave 21-year coach Dennis Seddon his 10th title, eclipsing the CL record of nine by Roman's Billy Markward in the 1920s and '30s and preventing N-G's Carl Arrigale from capturing his fifth in seven years. Roman went ahead for good, at 56-54, with 2:22 left as members of the team's two sets of twins did the honors: Will Kirkland (also Wes) scored on a pass from Pitt signee Bradley Wanamaker (also Brian). Will Kirkland was the defender in '06 when Derrick "D.J." Rivera hit his game-winner; he said he wasn't himself for a whole month afterward. Bradley Wanamaker had 17 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Wayns (13), Will Kirkland (12) and Brian Wanamaker (10) also scored in double figures. N-G's leaders were Syracuse signees/best buddies Rick Jackson (20 points, 18 rebounds, six blocks) and Antonio "Scoop" Jardine (11 assists). Jackson's three-game playoff averages were 22.7, 14 and six. Will Kirkland sank the first of two free throws at 6.4 for a 62-59 lead. Teammate Courtney Stanley grabbed the rebound of the missed second shot, then clanked two FTs of his own. N-G's Jamal Wilson rebounded and passed ahead to sixth man Mark Hatty, who hit the rim with a 24-foot, right-wing trey at the buzzer. As the Cahillites began to celebrate, roughly a half-dozen, liquid-filled plastic bottles were fired onto the court from high above N-G's bench. Roman's contingent sought refuge in the locker room, then later returned to accept the plaque and cut down the net.
Below are the players who helped
Dennis Seddon claim 516
wins and 10 Catholic League championships
in 22 seasons as the coach at Roman Catholic. The year indicates the player's final season. Most
were seniors. Some transferred and some were underclassmen who did not play in the following season.
|Bill Carr||1987||Arthur "Yah" Davis||1995||Joe Clancy||2002|
|Che Perry||1987||Chris McNesby||1995||Jon Duperon||2002|
|Chuck Veterano||1987||Cliff Harris||1995||Tyree Wallace||2002|
|Clayton "Stink" Adams||1987||Drew Swift||1995||Calvin Jones||2003|
|Eugene Smith||1987||Lari Ketner||1995||Charlie Squitiere||2003|
|Paul Johnson||1987||Lavelle Ellison||1995||Chris Stepp||2003|
|Dave Robinson||1988||Mike Ford||1995||Kevin Hightower||2003|
|Ed Jenkins||1988||Ronnie Conway||1995||Aaron Hester||2004|
|Kenny Hayward||1988||Tamir Harbin||1995||Andre Sloan-El||2004|
|Maynard Merriman||1988||Will McKnight||1995||Brett Johnson||2004|
|Nate Thomas||1988||Donnie Carr||1996||Charron Fisher||2004|
|Alan Watkins||1989||J.D. Dodds||1996||Khalil Ferguson||2004|
|Cliff Smith||1989||Jakub Jaskowiak||1996||Malik Easterling||2004|
|Jim O'Rourke||1989||Mike Corkery||1996||Scott Mascio||2004|
|Rob Williams||1989||R.C. Kehoe||1996||Anthony King||2005|
|Ruben Colon||1989||Alan Stevens||1997||Billy Lally||2005|
|Tyrone "Tyke" Bacon||1989||Chemar Withrow||1997||Bobby Jordan||2005|
|Bill Dougherty||1990||Curtis King||1997||Dan DiBerardinis||2005|
|George Jackson||1990||Dennis Hobbs||1997||Jarrett Burks||2005|
|Jim McGeehan||1990||Juwan Justice||1997||Malik Perry||2005|
|Kenny Tymes||1990||Kenyatta Bey||1997||Devon White||2006|
|Mike McKee||1990||Mike Canady||1997||Lonnie Perry||2006|
|Bernard Jones||1991||Rafi Stevens||1997||Mike Ringgold||2006|
|Jeremy "Saddle" Lawimore||1991||T.J. Leis||1997||Ray "Doodles" Sims||2006|
|Jeremy Smith||1991||Don Miller||1998||Rockeed McCarter||2006|
|Josh Wagner||1991||Mike Montgomery||1998||Sean Joynes||2006|
|Marvin Harrrison||1991||Rasual Butler||1998||Bradley Wanamaker||2007|
|Mike Watson||1991||Rich Ennis||1998||Brian McBeth||2007|
|Bill Shank||1992||Eric Davis||1999||Brian Wanamaker||2007|
|Zachary Crawford||1992||Gianpaolo Giampaolo||1999||Leroy Evans||2007|
|Danny Harris||1992||Mustafa Bey||1999||Mark Reeves||2007|
|James "Flames" Lewis||1992||Tim Hogan||1999||Nick Doggett||2007|
|Kyle Locke||1992||Anthony Miller||2000||Aaron Brown||2008|
|Aaron Holloway||1993||David Levetter||2000||Anthony Mayo||2008|
|Dennis Bohn||1993||Eddie Griffin||2000||Courtney Stanley||2008|
|Dwayne "Sugar" Hill||1993||Emil Buccilli||2000||Kevin Regan||2008|
|Greg Alexander||1993||Marcus Gantt||2000||Maalik Wayns||2008|
|Justin "Gus" Wagner||1993||Mike Wild||2000||Quasim Jones||2008|
|Marc Jackson||1993||Tim Mahon||2000||Rakeem "Rahk" Brookins||2008|
|Mike Tabb||1993||Brent Welton||2001||Rasi Jenkins||2008|
|Eugene Small||1994||Jim Kelly||2001||Scott Stratton||2008|
|John Atkinson||1994||Joe McCourt||2001||Wes Kirkland||2008|
|Kendall Norman||1994||John Huggins||2001||Will Kirkland||2008|