Over his seven-year tenure at William Penn Charter School, Demetrius “Meech” Isaac, never neglectful of his family’s sacrifices and support, determined to deliver standout academic and athletic efforts. The 18-year-old proved his intellectual integrity upon graduating from the East Falls-situated facility Saturday and is desiring additional distinction as a diamond occupant through the 29th annual Carpenter Cup.
“I definitely want for us to go far,” the young man said Monday from his home on the 1200 block of South 22nd Street. “Who wouldn’t want to leave as a winner?”
The Point Breeze dweller will don his jersey for the Inter-Ac/Independents team 12:30 p.m. tomorrow at Richie Ashburn Field, 20th Street and Pattison Avenue. If the squad triumphs then and Sunday at the same spot, it will move on to Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, for semifinal action June 19 and a shot at a championship game berth June 20. Having received his roster spot by earning a First-Team All-Inter-Ac nod, Isaac reveres gaining yet another chance to match his might against his peer’s proficiency. While seeking his unit’s first championship in the Phillies-sponsored tournament registers as a gargantuan goal, he ultimately wants to use the experience to nourish his existence as a consummate contributor.
“I’ve never looked to be a superstar who cares more about his numbers than the overall team dynamic,” Isaac said of his sporting nature, which matured through assistance from sites such as the Southeast Youth Athletic Association, Seventh Street and Packer Avenue, and the Marian Anderson Recreation Center, 744 S. 17th St., where, under the tutelage of coach Steve Bandura, he represented the Anderson Monarchs as a baseball, basketball and soccer performer. “I’m definitely into giving my all to help others to improve, and I have so many factors that influence that mentality.”
He initially applied himself so fervently to produce pride within his parents, Ronald and Elizabeth, subsequently adding enthusiasm for being a role model to brother, and current Monarch, Darius, and interest in doing well for his future’s sake. The final element has become especially telling, as he and his patriarch constantly discuss the rewards of finding and retaining perspective.
“Because of a lack of direction, some kids end up being nobodies,” Isaac said. “I want to make use of my gifts and become someone who could leave South Philly, come back and help the community. I know I’ve put in so much work, but there’s so much more to do.”
The encouraged and encouraging teenager has had sports as a component of his course for most of his life and has always seen athletics as being as much of an indicator of one’s diligence and perseverance as they are of one’s talent. He first contemplated his endeavors as simply ways to have fun yet when he began to travel with the Monarchs at age 7, he found his interest exploding and intangibles trumping desires to occupy a few hours with a game or two.
“I knew that I would have to aspire for more from myself for the greater good of my teammates,” Isaac said. “At times, my interest kind of wavered but never my commitment to getting better.”
He considered quitting baseball as an eighth-grader, with basketball having emerged as his primary passion. He brushed aside that idea and received the impetus for his ever-increasing infatuation following his freshman year. As a Phillies Jr. RBI League participant, he traveled to Minnesota for his gang’s semifinal run in the RBI World Series, with the experience again helping to make baseball an everyday pursuit.
“I attended an excellent school and wanted to do whatever I could to make us successful,” Isaac, one of a growing number of South Philadelphians, including teammates Ken Bergmann and Matt Gorman, who have helped to excite the Quakers’ fanbase, said. “I’m also glad I had basketball because I hear of so many kids who go through burnout because of being so involved in one sport. With two at Penn Charter, I had different outlets.”
The Isaacs enrolled their son at the institution based on their constant interest in situating him somewhere where he could thrive. Having attended local schools previously, he fell for his now-alma mater immediately and made many friends happy and opponents frustrated. He garnered Second-Team All-Inter-Ac honors as a hoopster this year, finishing second on his squad and sixth in the league in scoring. Because of Penn Charter’s impeccable reputation for preparing enrollees for postsecondary education, Isaac knew he would find a school, though his clan had been unsure if games would complement classes.
“Nobody really looked at me early on,” he said of athletic programs’ perceptions of him. “I’m fortunate that in time that changed because I’m eager to see how much better I can become as a leader.”
Owing to interest from its baseball and basketball coaches and solid academic credentials, Isaac signed his letter of intent with Chestnut Hill College May 21, deeming his action “a big step,” as he will become the first in his family to attend college. Confessing to being eager for the next four years, he has enthusiasm for business and physics and aspires to find a graduate program for engineering. Aside from the Carpenter Cup, Isaac will prep for more baseball glory next month by again being an RBI League roster member, as will his friend, fellow Point Breeze denizen and recent St. Joseph’s Prep graduate Jawan McAllister. No matter what success his next level pursuits will yield on a field or court or in a classroom, he will always count himself fortunate to have his relatives as his chief cheerleaders.
“Family is number one on my list,” Isaac said of his backers. “They’re better than any baseball I ever hit or basketball I shot.”
Contact Managing Editor Joseph Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 124.