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Recharged and ready

Want to know whether Bok’s football team will win its division this year? You might just find out by the league-opener.

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Stayin alive

The Southern football program has a long-standing history that includes undefeated seasons, Public League and city championships and Thanksgiving Day rivalries against St. John Neumann High.

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Eye on the ball

The St. Maria Goretti soccer team is so serious about winning this season, the players practiced throughout August in 90-plus-degree heat.

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Kicking soccer into gear

When the St. Maria Goretti Lambs open their soccer season next week, a valuable assistant coach will be missing from the sidelines. Marie DiStefano, who coached the Lambs’ junior-varsity team for seven years, decided to leave the post.

But she’ll take on a new position that potentially could help many more soccer players. DiStefano will become commissioner of the Catholic Youth Organization’s brand-new Region 6 soccer league. The South Philadelphia region already has CYO feeder programs for basketball, baseball, softball, football and volleyball. The soccer program is three years in the making and, by the third week in September, the games will begin.

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Hitting for heroes

In his more active days, Gary Spano played adult softball five nights a week at Capitolo Playground. The South Philly native now stays in the game by umpiring for the Amateur Softball Association.

He makes the calls both for local teams and South Jersey squads. One night, while driving over the bridge after a game, Spano started thinking it was time to organize an all-star game involving players from both areas. The contest would be even better if it were for a good cause, he figured.

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Richardson joins Globetrotters

South Philadelphia native and former NBA player Jerome “Pooh” Richardson joined the Harlem Globetrotters’ front office this month to assist the basketball team with scouting, coaching and player development. One of his first assignments will be to evaluate more than 40 players at a Globetrotters camp Oct. 1.

Richardson, an All-City guard at Ben Franklin High, scored 17 points to lead his squad to a 53-49 win over Murrell Dobbins Tech in the 1984 Public League championship game. The athlete went on to play three seasons at UCLA before becoming the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-ever draft pick in 1989.

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X Games

Athletes flew through the air without holding onto their bikes. Others wiped out on their skateboards. Small children demonstrated they could fit in, too, by bungee-jumping through the interactive village. Other youngsters took a much safer route by competing in trivia contests. Teenage girls swooned over the hottest male competitors.

Such were the X Games, chapter VIII.

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Tackling the top

Ed McDuffie is getting plenty of mail these days from colleges across the country. The letterheads include Penn State, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Rutgers and Virginia.

At 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, the St. John Neumann High student isn’t your average high-school senior. McDuffie, of 22nd and Watkins streets, is one of those gifted athletes who dreams — realistically — of playing Division I college football and getting drafted by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Big Wheels

Trailing 5-3 with three minutes left in the Keystone Games’ roller-hockey championship, 12-year-old Nick Droszcz tells his coach, “I promise you we will not lose this game.”

With one second left in regulation, Droszcz’s Burke Jr. Ottakringer team still trails the Pittsburgh Bandits 5-4. But Droszcz makes good on his confident promise when he takes a pass from teammate Alicia Klevecka and scores the game-tying goal.

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Sports

If a high-school basketball team is serious about winning a championship, there is no offseason. Summers are spent playing Amateur Athletic Union tournaments and pickup games at local recreation courts, and doing individual workouts.

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