Wilson plays many roles in Northeast’s championship win

Quadree Wilson had four tackles in Northeast’s win over Olney Charter in the Public League 6A championship. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Quadree Wilson knows a lot about football.

The Northeast High School senior knows what a tight end should do on every play. He knows what a fullback’s responsibilities are. He can tell you anything there is to know about playing defensive end. And he also knows everything there is to know about playing linebacker.

Wilson knows all this because he’s a student of the game. And it’s important he knows all of this because at any given time, he can play all four of those positions.

In fact, he did on Saturday.

“I think I like playing linebacker the best, but I really like playing anywhere if we’re winning,” said Wilson, who lives in Olney. “I usually start at tight end, and play second string on defense, but I get in a lot. I played all four tonight. When I first started playing football, I was a linebacker, but this year we needed defensive linemen and had a lot of linebackers so I moved there. I’ll play anywhere.”

Wilson isn’t worried about where he lines up, he just wants to win. And that made Saturday’s game perfect.

Wilson notched four tackles and did a solid job blocking all night as the Vikings bested Olney Charter 30-0 in the Public League Class 6A championship on Saturday. It marked the fifth straight Public League championship for the Vikings and the sixth straight championship game appearance. It also marked the first championship for Eric Clark as the head coach. Clark took over for coach Phil Gormley prior to last year. 

Because of the pandemic, the Public League didn’t hold a championship when it played its games in the spring.

“It was a good game, we played them earlier in the year and beat them, but they’re a good team,” Wilson said. “I have a lot of friends on the team. I couldn’t play around too much, though. They’re good friends, but refs don’t know that, so I couldn’t talk too much. But I like those guys, we love to compete. We played them twice, so it was fun.” 

Northeast, which will now face St. Joe’s Prep, a 35-7 winner over La Salle in the Catholic League championship game, has made winning championships a routine, but this one was special for Wilson. The last time the Vikings won a championship, Wilson had given up on football.

“It wasn’t in my interest to play anymore, I just wasn’t having as much fun,” Wilson said. “But after I stopped playing, I was bored. I wanted to get back with the team. I just missed it. I stopped playing in 10th grade and came back in 11th grade.

“I was around football still, a little bit. My brother Frank, he’s 12, and I would go to his games. I wasn’t just his big brother, I was the big brother for everyone on his team. If anyone wanted to talk or just have fun, I was around. I’m really close with my brother and I loved going to his games.”

Now Wilson is filling in as the big brother for his teammates.

He admits when he entered high school, he sometimes didn’t take things as seriously as he should, but as he grew older and more mature, he’s changed everything.

The biggest change is now he’s now doing great in his academics. But he’s also grown into a leader on the field.

“When I got to high school, you know when you’re first around people, you’re quiet and you don’t talk a lot,” Wilson said. “But now I talk. I know what everyone is supposed to do and I help them. I also know when to have fun and when not to have fun. I love to play around, but there are times when we need to be very serious. At practice, we have to be serious, and I know when to make sure we’re all serious.

“When I came back, I wasn’t expecting to find the love I have for football, but it was there when I started playing, I saw my ability and athleticism, I felt the love again. The leadership role, I’ve always been a leader and stuff like that. And everyone followed my lead.”

Wilson hasn’t had any colleges offer him a scholarship yet, but he hopes to continue his football career next year.  He hopes to study either business or engineering. If it’s business, he’s already preparing for his career with DECA, a program that preps students in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges.

“It’s a lot like Shark Tank, the show, they give us tasks and we have to do it,” said Wilson, who is planning to play sports in the winter and spring seasons to stay in shape. “We worked with the 76ers, we had to find a way to make the games be more enjoyable after COVID. We came up with having kids come on the court and play against mascots. It’s fun, but you’re learning.”

Before he studies business, he wants to take care of business.

Northeast has lost to Prep in each of the last four city championship games.

“They’re really good, but we think we can beat anyone,” Wilson said. “We’ve won Public League championships, but it’s time we win a state championship. That’s our goal now.”

In other games

Imhotep Charter 44, Frankford 0: The Pioneers saw their undefeated season come to an end with a loss to the powerful Panthers in the Public League 5A championship. Imhotep will meet Father Judge on Saturday at noon at Northeast in the District 12 5A championship. The Pioneers are back in action on Thanksgiving against Cheltenham.