Football: Providence thrives on multisport athletes
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org June 22, 2012 7:20PM
Providence’s Jake Godfrey. | File photo
One in an occasional series
on SouthtownStar-area athletes
and teams gearing up for the 2012-13 high school season.
Updated: July 25, 2012 6:44AM
Providence football coach Mark Coglianese, also the boys track and field coach, says having athletes who compete in more than one sport is a positive.
Of course, that also means summer workouts can be a hit-and-miss proposition.
“Our junior quarterback, Jake Godfrey, we may not be seeing much over the summer because of baseball,” Coglianese said during the University of St. Francis 7-on-7 Passing Jamboree last week at ATI Field at Joliet Memorial Stadium.
Godfrey, expected to start under center in the fall, was one of the top four pitchers as a sophomore on coach Mark Smith’s deep staff in the spring.
Godfrey’s primary targets will include sophomore Miles Boykin, a contributor on the varsity basketball team as a freshman last winter, and senior Chad Weaver, a returning starter at wide receiver who finished third in the state in the Class 2A pole vault in the spring. Cody Kirby was a contributing receiver a year ago, and senior Kevin Ward, primarily a safety, finished fifth at state in the 400-meter run.
Weaver and Ward were members of the 400-meter relay that finished eighth in the state.
“We hope Miles Boykin will be a playmaker,” said Coglianese, whose team finished 6-4 last season, suffering a 23-16 first-round playoff loss to Wheaton Warrenville South. “With Chad Weaver a returning starter and Cody Kirby making a lot of catches, we have some people for Godfrey to throw to. He’s a dropback passer with a strong arm. And he did start one varsity game last year because of injuries.”
Boykin, who said he is “getting more looks for football than basketball right now,” smiled when asked if he minds catching Godfrey’s fastball.
“I think I have the hands to catch it,” he said. “He’s got a cannon and he’s very accurate. As long as he gets it there, it’s OK with me if he throws it hard.
“More than catching the ball, my focus is on my route running and getting my blocking down.”
During the 7-on-7, Boykin took a few snaps and threw a few passes, just so the coaches could see whether he would be an option in an emergency.
“I ran a few Wildcat plays back in middle school,” Boykin said.
Regardless of how much Providence’s passing game clicks, the key offensively may be senior tailback Brandon Price.
“Price is maybe 5-8 and about 180,” Coglianese said. “He’s not tall and when he runs he stays low. We hope he can be a horse for us. He committed himself to the weight room in the offseason. He is one of the quickest backs we’ve had.”
The Celtics have a history of running their tailback early and often. No reason to change that.
“If Price gets it 30 times a game, that would be great,” Coglianese said.
Where Providence will look completely different is on the offensive line.
“Our offensive line all graduated,” Coglianese said. “We won’t have anywhere near the size we had last year, and we will be inexperienced there.”
The Celtics have the Fordon cousins, Brian and Jack, back at linebacker and Ward is one of three regulars returning in the secondary. So the defense figures to hold its own.
“We play JCA and Minooka this year, then go into the conference (Catholic League Blue),” Coglianese said. “Last year we got off to a 4-0 start and then got into the Blue (and lost three straight). Hopefully, we will be able to get a few early wins again.”
“Our league gets us ready for all else,” Boykin said. “I’m looking forward to making a deep run into the playoffs.”