Al Crosby grew up in Philadelphia and football has always been a big part of his life. One of his coaches was Leroy Keyes, a former Philadelphia Eagle. Keyes is the reason why Crosby became a football coach.
"He was my very first football coach. I watched him and how much he cared about young people," Crosby said. "I found myself feeling the same way for these young guys. I wanted to watch these young people get the opportunity to make it to college. It has always been a passion of mine."
Coach Crosby is in his fifth season as the head coach at Neumann-Goretti High School. Coach Crosby has coached for the past 22 years, and 11 of those years he spent at his alma mater, West Catholic High School, as an assistant coach. Last year, Coach Crosby was selected as the Eagles High School Coach of the Year. This week, he is being honored as our Eagles High School Coach of the Week, presented by Hyundai. Coach Crosby has led the Saints to multiple championship titles and his team is en route to winning another.
"We had a great start to the season so far and we're getting ready for our playoff run," said Coach Crosby. "Coming off of a COVID year, it's been extremely tough for these young people who have fought through so much adversity. This year my guys had the opportunity to come in every week and get better and better. And they did."
The Saints are 7-1 this season, but even with a winning record, Coach Crosby knows how hard it can be to keep his players motivated with all of the distractions going on in the community.
"One of the biggest things is to always be alert and aware of everything that's going on. The last two years have been extremely tough, especially when you talk about everything going on in the City of Philadelphia," Coach Crosby continued. "These young guys are watching people their age that they know pass away. It's tough, it's a challenge every single day. Every moment for these young people, it's almost like they're taking a chance every day."
Coach Crosby loves being able to watch his players work for something they love. Something that makes his players so special is how they are constantly working to be the best students, athletes, and just people.
"They want to be great. They want to be in a position where they can go to college. They want to be in a position where they're able to reach their highest goals. They're great people," Coach Crosby said. "When we talk about our student-athletes, everyone from the administration to the janitors talk highly about our players, and how they carry themselves. I think that's one of the things that makes our guys so unique. They want to be great young men, as well as being great students and great athletes."