Roman Catholic’s Jordan Montgomery and Jameial Lyons bought in and helped rebuild the Cahillites program

Roman Catholic soccer coach Rick Prete thought of a memory that resonated in that year’s senior class, and there were two moments that stood out: getting the team to trust him, and then seeing that same belief in each other.

“Last year showed us that talent isn’t the only thing it takes to get the job done,” Prete said. “As they watched them mature and stick together and build chemistry, they were ready to do things for the team. Imagine the team that helped spark our culture here.”

That culture led to nine seniors being celebrated at a signing day event on Wednesday. Gathered at the school’s Howard Center, undergraduates and parents showed their support for the Class of 2023 recruits who put pen to paper.

Jameial Lyons, one of the state’s top edge rushers, heads to Penn State. Austin Ramsey, a three-star offensive tackle who signed with the University of Kentucky, and linebacker Jordan Montgomery remain at Temple.

Other Cahillite signatories include: Jason Patterson (Duquesne), Mao Howell (Lock Haven), Richard Mosley (Stonehill College), Zahir Harris (Eastern University), Rakeem Refile (Lock Haven) and Jamir Robertson (Central Connecticut State). ).

“It’s a very gratifying moment, but it’s difficult because we’re losing a great group this year,” Prete told the nine seniors and the crowd. “We are a very close-knit football family here. I’m going to miss just seeing these guys walking around school and it’s going to be tough.”

» READ MORE: Jameial Lyons committed to a position change to become Penn State’s future edge rusher

For a team that finished 3-7 last season and 9-3 this year, Prete couldn’t help but pay tribute to some executives in Lyon and Montgomery, both in their junior years following Bishop McDevitt of Wyncote’s closure to the school came .

The two were among other students who transferred to the Roman Catholic program to take their football career to the next level. But the hardest part, Prete said, was building a new culture that started with trust — and Lyons and Montgomery.

“It was just a total buy-in from them,” Prete said. “When the newcomers see guys like Lyons or Montgomery ready to play an offensive position or run harder in practice, they know that if these guys have to do it, I have to do it. Their influence has helped us the most.”

Whether it’s encouraging the team to lift during a drill or staying later to work on drills, the two have provided a foundation and standard for the program.

Prete, who met Lyons in the winter of his sophomore year when he weighed about 220 pounds, knew then that the now 6ft 4, 255-pounder would have a future as an edge rusher. In addition to size, Lyons embodied high motor skills and a high IQ from an early age.

“He’s a first-round pick,” Prete said. “He will be one of the best defenders in the country. I think he’s such a unique talent. I’ve never seen anything like this, a kid of this physical build who can do anything.”

» READ MORE: Jameial Lyons committed to a position change to become Penn State’s future edge rusher

Montgomery told the crowd he wanted to be a “hometown hero” in Temple and set an example for the youth.

“I’m trying to change Temple,” Montgomery said. “I’m trying to turn the whole program around. I want to take it back to where it won bowl games and made recruits come. I want to do more.”

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound unranked candidate, who had offers from Maryland and Syracuse, originally played inside the defensive line at McDevitt, but Prete, with his smaller physique, noted that Montgomery would be better suited as a linebacker in a hybrid role .

“Temple stole a player like that,” Prete said. “With his size and his speed and his physicality, I think he offers so much versatility. He can edge out from that linebacker position and bring down the quarterback. He will be a player of great impact.”

The turnaround that made Roman a playoff team that season came as a result of dedication, time, and a willingness to connect.

» READ MORE: Roman Catholic high school football team gets help from local union

Prete first saw this mid-season last year. McDevitt and Roman’s children came together and built their own chemistry as they took home a 27-20 win over La Salle College, whom Roman had not beaten in several years.

“It had a lot to do with that group,” Prete said, pointing to the nine seniors. “As they watched it grow and when we beat La Salle, they all looked at each other like, ‘We could do this.'”

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