Before heading off to play football at Kutztown, Eric reflects on his time at Father Judge High School.
Earl Volz loves to give out hits.
The 6-foot, 265-pound offensive and defensive lineman from Father Judge High School helped the Crusaders in the trenches. But he also dished out hits in another way.
“I spend a lot of time in the weight room and I became close with the baseball coaches,” the Lower Mayfair native said. “I’m also really good friends with Nick Gatto, and he’s on the baseball team. They needed a manager, so I did it.
“I didn’t know what I was doing at first with the (score) book, they had to teach me everything. But once I learned, I took it really serious. I would only give them a hit if they got it. I also helped them stretch. I did whatever they needed me to do.”
On Saturday night, Volz took a break from writing about hits and started administering them again as he helped the Non-Public team defeat the Public squad in the City All-Star football game 34–12 at Northeast High School.
Volz chipped in on both sides of the ball to help Non-Public, which trailed 12–7 early before reeling off 27 straight points to cruise to victory.
On the Public League side, Frankford’s Jameer Brooks was awarded the Sportsmanship Award.
“I thought I played well on both sides of the ball, but I think we all played well on both sides of the ball,” Volz said. “It was nice to have a game to play with my friends again, and it’s good to play in all-star games.
“It wasn’t too tough to say goodbye. We all had the emotional game when we played together for the last time during the Turkey Bowl. I was happy to play with the Judge guys and wear the helmet again. I wish we could play together forever because we’re all best friends. But this wasn’t hard, this was just fun, it was a chance for more fun.”
For Volz, football is almost always fun. He’s been an All-Catholic selection twice for his play on the defensive line, but there were times this year when he couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated.
A high ankle sprain cost him three games.
Those frustrations remained after he returned to the lineup.
“I missed games against St. Joe’s Prep, Archbishop Ryan and Chestnut Hill (Academy),” said Volz, whose team was with 1–2 without him, and 5–4 with him in the lineup.
“I came back early, and when I got back it was harder because I still wasn’t feeling great and I was playing both ways. It took me a long time to get back to full strength,” he said.
Volz did eventually return to form, and Kutztown University liked what it saw.
Kutztown recruited him to play football, and next year he’ll continue his career there.
“I loved everything about it,” Volz said. “It also has a great coaching staff who really made me feel at home. They welcomed me. I’m just looking forward to getting up there and playing football.”
He’s also excited about the school.
Volz is unsure about what he’ll study, but he has a few options.
He could potentially go in as a double major, studying accounting and secondary education. He has plans for each of them, but he could decide to do something different altogether.
“I like accounting because I’m really good with numbers, but I also think education would be good because I like people,” Volz said. “Plus, if I do that, I could someday be a football coach. I know I want to stay around the game.”
Before he goes to college, he’ll spend the summer down the Shore.
“I’m working as a bouncer at Keenan’s in Wildwood,” Volz said. “It’s a great job. I know a lot of people who go there because a lot of them are Judge graduates. I don’t think it will be too hard. I’ll make sure people aren’t causing trouble, but I don’t think they will.”
He’ll also spend a lot of time working out.
Playing at the college level is much different, but Volz is a workout warrior and he plans on doing whatever he can to be strong enough for college football.
“I’m going to miss playing at Judge, especially playing with the guys on the team,” Volz said. “Dom (Carey, a fellow Judge lineman) was like a brother to me. I wish we could play together forever. I wish I could play with all of them forever. They’ll do their thing, and I’ll do mine. But we’ll always be friends.
“I just want to be as ready as possible. I’ve been working out since the end of football season. I’m glad we had the all star game, but now I’m getting ready for what’s next.” ••