By Matthew DeGeorge
It takes about 30 seconds after the coy, “you shouldn’t have” smile and silver balloons spelling out “200” recede into the distance for Mike Doyle to turn the conversation away from himself.
As the Penncrest coach recounts all the figures that led to the 199 wins before Tuesday’s 56-26 pasting of Ridley, the discussion meanders away from the coach’s contributions. It veers toward players and assistant coaches he’s been fortunate to work with. It ambles toward what Doyle calls his “classical training” as a coach, a path studded by notable mentors — Buddy Gardler at Cardinal O’Hara, Herb Magee at Philadelphia University, Jim Boyle and Phil Martelli at Saint Joseph’s.
And finally, Doyle finds himself at the point he really wants to sink his teeth into: How good was his team’s defense today, especially Justin Heidig?
“He was gold,” Doyle said, squarely rooted in his post-game wheelhouse. “He was unbelievable. He has really stuck with it and we were just waiting. I believed in him and knew he was ready for a breakout game.”