The Peoples champion has a familiar ring to it around the halls of Archbishop Wood these days.
After a stellar senior campaign that included 1,838 rushing yards and 29 ground tallies, Nasir Peoples also led the Vikings to a 10th consecutive Catholic League crown and the team’s fifth PIAA championship in the last seven years.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Virginia Tech commit also finished with 267 yards and four touchdowns in the Vikings’ rout of Gateway in the Class 5A title game.
His performance this season is why, as we present the 2017 Daily News All-City football team, Peoples is our top honoree.
Perhaps most impressive about his run, Peoples entered the season touted mainly as a defensive back and had only 107 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries in his career at Wood.
Now, he can add his name to the list of great Peoples to walk the halls in Warminster.
Brandon, Nasir’s brother, was a stud rusher in 2011 and helped the school to its first PIAA title. Desmon Peoples, a cousin, graduated with Brandon and was also a great running back. Each ran for more than 1,000 as seniors (Desmon 1,239, Brandon, 1,013).
Speaking of great running backs, all Patrick Garwo did this season was etch his name into the Conwell-Egan record books.
Garwo, a 5-10, 200-pounder, finished with 1,879 yards, besting Steve Slaton’s mark of 1,832 back in 2004. For his career, Garwo finished with 3,037 rushing yards, 41 ground tallies, three receiving scores and an interception return.
Garwo also led the Eagles to a semifinal finish in the PIAA Class 3A playoffs, the farthest the school had ever advanced. The junior has offers from Wisconsin, North Carolina, University of Virginia, Maryland, Syracuse, among others.
In a few years, Malvern Prep junior Keith Maguire could be tasked with tackling Garwo in college someday.
The 6-2, 215-pound linebacker is our top honoree from the Inter-Ac League and has also done something that no other player in the city did this season.
Maguire has offers and interests from North Carolina, Duke, University of Virginia, Pittsburg, Syracuse and several others..
In October, Maguire appeared on ESPN’s Top Plays for his 1-handed touchdown catch against rival Haverford School.
This season, Maguire, who was also named the Inter-Ac MVP by league coaches, finished with 278 receiving yards and five scores on 15 catches. He was also among the top tacklers at linebacker in the league and led the Friars to a second consecutive league title.
Fellow junior Tykee Smith was also among the area’s surest tacklers. But the 5-11, 190-pounder for Public League power Imhotep proved to be more than just a top-notch safety.
In the Panthers’ Class 4A semifinal win against Bethlehem Catholic, Smith finished with 253 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
Perhaps even more impressive, Smith did so the day the team learned its star Penn State recruit, Isheem Young, was arrested for armed robbery.
Smith’s leadership helped the Panthers finish as runners-up in the Class 4A finals to back-to-back champion Erie Cathedral Prep.
This season, Smith finished with 55 carries for 541 yards and 10 touchdowns, adding 13 receptions for 261 yards and five more scores. As a safety, he also added two interceptions and was among the city’s leaders in tackles.
Our coach of the year is Archbishop Wood’s Steve Devlin. The head Viking in charge led his team to a 10th consecutive Catholic League title and its fifth PIAA championship in the last seven years.