Edito Letter From The Editor
Letter from the Production Department:
Dear fans, As the summer’s end grows near, it is easy to be sad or reminisce of those warm, carefree days when school is out of session. But, we here at Ultimate Athlete Magazine are rejoicing! Our favorite time of year is here, and the energy level is high as we present to you our fall volume I issue. In this issue, you’ll find our New York City football preview, inclusive of all the high school football teams in the five boroughs that we think will be making headlines this season. Starting with our cover, check out our article on Lincoln High School’s Ishaq Williams. The senior Railsplitter is one of the nation’s top high school players, and the defensive end will definitely be taking his game to the next level. You can also find feature articles on some of New York City’s other top recruits, such as Fort Hamilton’s Brandon Reddish, Devon Cajuste from Holy Cross, and Al Page from Christopher Columbus. As for top teams, of course there’s Curtis High School, last year’s PSAL champions who are still looking pretty sharp. You can read about more promising talent in the rest of our Top 10 teams, including key players to watch for, and we even provide you with game schedules so you can make sure to mark your calendar to see all the action in person! Also, be sure to head over to www.ultimateathletemagazine.com for bonus material such as web-only articles, videos and slideshows, including pictures that we couldn’t fit in the issue. Have a great season! Sincerely, Jessica Peters
Ultimate Athlete Magazine
JOE LUIS COVARRUBIAS Joe Weinreb director of development Scott “Scotto” savitt senior producer jessica peters graphic editor david stewart graphic & web editor julie bosko administrative assistant carissa ierulli distribution manager richard brooks senior sports editor SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
richard bier james pallitto jerry del priore sean reilly bailey stephens renee keller dr. tom ferraro paul mastronardi joe pietaro sandy sarcona Cover Photos by Andrew Adler Cover GRAPHiC WORK by Joe Weinreb Contributing photographers
andrew adler daniel burnstein asdrubal hernandez
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ultimateathletemagazine.com Ultimate Athlete Magazine (ISSN 1931-5295) is published 12 times a year by Ultimate Athlete, Inc., 40 Woodbine Avenue, Northport, New York 11768. All contents copyright 2009 by Ultimate Athlete, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or part of the content without the prior written consent of Ultimate Athlete, Inc. is strictly prohibited. All logos and trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. Although the writers and the publisher have exhaustively researched all sources to ensure the accuracy and the completeness of the information contained in this publication, we assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. The opinions expressed in all materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Ultimate Athlete, Inc or Long Island’s Ultimate Athlete Magazine.
Fall Volume I
nts FEATURES Features
Fuel the Road Trip
14 Brandon Reddish
Fort Hamilton Player puts Recruiting on Hold
Top Ten Football Teams -1
18 Poly Prep
Top Ten Football Teams -2
20 Holy Cross
Top Ten Football Teams -3
Top Ten Football Teams -4
Top Ten Football Teams-5
30 Fort Hamilton
Top Ten Football Teams-6
32 Erasmus Hall
Top Ten Football Teams-7
34 St. Joseph by the Sea Top Ten Football Teams-8
Top Ten Football Teams-9
40 Moore Catholic
Top Ten Football Teams -10
44 Ishaq Williams All Walk No Talk
50 Campus Magnet Teams to Watch
64 Pro Corner
52 Dewitt Clinton
70 Devon Cajuste
54 Fordham Prep
75 Al Page
78 UA Training
58 Christ the King
82 Sports Psychology
60 St, Francis
Even Better the Second Time Around
Christopher Columbus King of all Exercises
The Secret to Team Building
Teams to Watch
Teams to Watch
Teams to Watch Teams to Watch
Teams to Watch
62 John F. Kennedy Teams to Watch
Photo by andrew adler
Ishaq Williams of lincoln high school zeros in his opponent.
Photo by Andrew Adler
As football season in New York City approaches, players from Tottenville High School work on their defensive plays.
Photo by Daniel Burnstein
Players from Xavier work on their tackling, in hopes that their defense will be unstoppable.
Compe Competition Nutrition
FUEL THE roAd TrIp
By Sandy Sarcona
Road trips are part of an athleteâ€™s life. Sometimes you take a short jaunt to another high school for a game and other times you are traveling to another state for a tournament. Any time you travel it is important to plan the healthiest way to add fuel to energize your body. Without a plan, a stop at a convenience store or a fast food restaurant is the easiest and fastest way to get food when you are hungry, but the high fat, calorie dense selections may slow down your running game. A trip to the grocery store is in order to stock up on quick energy items to keep in your back pack for short excursions to your games. The following high carbohydrate, low fat snacks can come in handy before a competition or for recovery after your event: pretzels, cereal in a box or bagged, fresh fruit (apple, orange, banana or grapes), cereal bars, bagels, or crackers. On a longer road trip or when you play all day in a tournament you should have a cooler to keep items cold: water, sports drink, cheese sticks, sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly or turkey). If you need to get a full meal and you are stuck in traffic on the NJ Turnpike, then a fast food restaurant is your only choice. You can still choose foods with adequate protein and carbohydrates, but lower on the fat content.
The biggest mistake an athlete can make when traveling is to play on an empty stomach. Your muscles cannot perform without an adequate store of carbohydrate and even your brain needs fuel to think and make decisions. So, plan your food strategy before each event to get the most competitive edge.
ULTIMATE ATHLETE MAGAZINE LONG ISLAND EDITION
etition Go For THE FoLLowING cHoIcEs MorE oFTEN
grilled chicken sandwiches plain hamburgers pizza with regular cheese or vegetable pizza broth-based soups chicken Fajita bean or chicken burrito baked potato with chili, salsa, broccoli fruit salads frozen yogurt JUICE LOW_FAT MILK OR LOW-FAT CHOCOLATE MILK
Fort Hamilton’s Brandon Reddish is arguably one the best high school football players in New York City, and is being heavily recruited by several Division I colleges across the country. Presently, though, Reddish has put the recruiting process on hold in order to concentrate on helping the Tigers win a championship (last one was in 2006), something he has yet to experience while playing at the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, school. “It that’s not much pressure because I’m not really focusing on that,” Reddish said of the multiple college recruiting inquires. “I’m worried about my last year of playing football in high school, so I’m worried about that. When the season’s over, I’m looking forward to the recruitment process. I want to focus on what’s in front of me. I’m not looking into the future.” For now, “My main goal is winning a championship,” he continued. “I want a championship ring.” Last season, number-one seeded Fort Hamilton lost to number-five Curtis High School Warriors 20-19 in the final seconds of their semifinals contest after leading most of the game, leaving the senior receiver/free safety frustrated and even hungrier to capture a title this year, he exclaimed. “It was very disappointing,” the Brownsville, Brooklyn native said. “We have to put games away early so we don’t have to worry about a team coming back, and what ever happened last year, won’t ever happen again.” While returning Tiger players and Reddish have moved on, for the most part, they haven’t forgot last season’s stinging playoff defeat to eventual PSAL champs, Curtis. “We didn’t put it behind us because we are going to use that for motivation for this year,” the 6-foot, 185-pound senior explained. “We don’t talk about it a lot because it’s heartbreaking. But we still have it in our minds that we lost in the last second when we should have put the game away.” Bam, a nickname his family bestowed upon him as youth and one that fits him to a tee because of his game-changing abilities on the gridiron, had an outstanding junior campaign on both sides of the pigskin. Including the postseason, he grabbed 30 catches for 763 yards with five scores. One of his finest performances came in the loss to the Warriors in which he snared six receptions for 133 yards with a pair of touchdowns. The New York Post named the dynamic speedster All-Brooklyn football player of the year as a result of his excellent season. Reddish was also named to NYC’s Outback Steakhouse Empire High School All-Star Challenge squad that defeated Long
Fort Hamilton Star Player Puts Recruiting On Hold To Focus On PSAL Title
By Jerry Del Priore Photos by Daniel Burnstein
Island, 15-10, in its annual game in June. As far as former longtime assistant and new coach Dan Perez, who’s taking over for legendary Tiger coach Vince Laino, goes, Reddish doesn’t feel anything has changed for the football program. “He’s the same as Coach Laino,” he said. “Because everything we do, Coach Perez is making us do the same thing--making us run hard, making sure we do everything right, just like how Coach Lanio would if he was here; all the drills, everything we do. It’s coach Lanio all over again.” For Perez, he’s happy to have Reddish back in the fold at Fort Hamilton. “We got Brandon Reddish coming back; that’s key,” Perez said. “He’s a really good player.” So it’s fair to say, according to Reddish, that the past success the Tigers have experienced should repeat itself, that’s if everything else falls into place and they are able to fill in the voids left by the graduating senior football class, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. “I believe we have the lineman to fill in the spaces,” Reddish said, “so we should be good,” adding that players such as offensive/defensive linemen Ivan Foy and Kevon Foster, James Howell, Rasheem Stroud, Uhuru Abdul Saleem, Robert Thomas and Travon Reid Sequre should be able to step up and produce during the season. And there’s enough depth on the roster to spell the starters and replace them just in case of injuries, he said. “Even if one person should go down, I’m not trying to trying to sound cocky, but our backups are right there, so we have depth,” said the former Mo Better Jaguar standout who played for the Brownsvillebased youth football league as a child. Once the season is over and hopefully for Reddish and the Tigers they have fulfilled their ultimate championship aspiration, the promising studentathlete can concentrate on which college he will decide to attend in the fall. Odds on favor, he will have a bright, prosperous future wherever he winds up.
sh n i dditio e R s o n o pp lue d n e O B a g r B Th lin s ee a F H
Story By: Richard Bier Photos By: Andrew Adler
New York Football Preview 2010
Curtis High School should be one of the top teams in the PSAL in 2010. Led by a strong group of playmakers, Curtis has the ability to score any time they touch the football. Their success could be determined by whether they can match their physical play from last season. Curtis’ shifty and talented senior tailback, Shaquan Coles, will receive a lot of attention from the opposing defenses. Coles led the city last year with 1598 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. He averaged a very impressive eight yards per carry. The 5’9 175 lbs. running back is a division 1/division 1AA level recruit. Returning senior Tynell Brown is a classic dual threat quarterback. The 5’11” Brown can beat you with both his arm and his legs. With a year of experience as the varsity starter under his belt, Brown looks to improve statistically in all categories and should be counted on more in the passing game. Freshman QB Prince Dukea has been one of Gambardella’s pleasant surprises in camp. The receiving corps is led by senior Wes Foryoh who will be the go to guy. Foryoh has great hands and runs excellent routes. Manning the slot receiver position will be 5’5” 170lbs Andy McCoy. Gambardella expects him to be someone who makes plays for the team. The offensive line will be lead by two seniors. Mike Scrocco will pay left tackle at 6’0” 220 lbs and three year starter Edwin Karneley at right tackle. Scrocco is one of the city’s best offensive linemen. He combines great technique and is very physical. Karneley has been starting since his sophomore year and as a two way starter is one of the most valuable players on the team. The offensive line will also feature junior Paul Scrocco. Newcomers to the offense include sophomore wide receiver’s Armani Hill 6’1” 175lbs and Hassan Martin at 6’3” 170lbs. who both add size to the receiving corps. The backfield will be aided by sophomore Josh Artis at 5’8” 165lbs. Last year’s defense featured one of the nation’s top high school players in defensive tackle Dominique Easley who now plays at University of Florida. Easley was far from a one man show and the team will equally miss the play of James
Timmins who now plays at University of Rhode Island. Timmons led the City last year with 14 sacks and was followed by Easley who had 10 sacks. Leading the defense is senior Sharon Irwin who is a lockdown cornerback. Irwin led Curtis last season with three interceptions and will match up with the opposing team’s best receivers. Joining Irwin in the defensive backfield will be Shaquan Coles and senior strong safety Adeboale Godwin. The linebacker corps has been a very competitive position in camp and features seniors Taykwan Lynch, and Marcus Gayle and they could be joined by newcomer Kyheem Finley. The defensive line will count on the experience of Edwin Karneley to lead the group. Joining him up front will be two newcomers in senior Jorge Felix at DE, and junior DT Tyrell Washington. Last season, what made Curtis the best team in the city was that they were so balanced and could beat you in many ways. They were especially tough on both lines of scrimmage. Curtis had the best pass rush, as their top three defensive lineman combined for 31 sacks. They also had the best running game triggered by a strong offensive line. Coach Gambardella feels that those might be the same keys for a successful 2010 team. “I think we will be competitive, but will we have enough fire power to make a run at the title will depend on how the lines come together to fill the holes. Can we be physical and get pressure on the QB and be able to run the ball,” states Coach Gambardella when asked about the keys to the season.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Curtis vs. Erasmus Sept. 19 - Curtis vs. Lehman Sept. 25 - Curtis vs. Jefferson OCTOBER Oct. 2 - Curtis vs. Canarsie Oct. 9 -Curtis vs. Port Richmond Oct. 16 - Curtis vs. Campus Magnet Oct. 23 - Curtis vs. Wagner Oct. 30 - Curtis vs. New Dorp NOVEMBER Nov. 7 - Curtis vs. Tottenville
Coach gambardella 17
Story By: James Pallitto Photos By: Daniel S. Burnstein
POLY PREP POLY PREP
New York Football Preview 2010
Four years ago, Poly Prep coach Dino Mangiero was given an athlete. Mangiero turned him into an all-city performer. Now a cornerback for Stony Brook University, Devante Wheeler has shed the “quarterback” label he carried during his days at Poly because really, that’s all the term ever was. “(Devante) was a skilled kid that we made into a quarterback,” Mangiero said. “You want to take your best athlete and make him your quarterback.” Often the best athlete on the field, Wheeler guided Poly to a 7-1 record in 2009, accounting for more touchdowns on the ground (six) and on defense (six) than he did through the air (five). Without Wheeler, Mangiero’s doing it again, cutting out the middle man and finding ways to get the ball directly in the hands of his top athlete. The logic’s simple: throwing mechanics can be taught, athleticism can’t. Faton Bauta, a 6’2”, 210-pound junior, is Mangiero’s newest project and the biggest beneficiary of the departures of Poly’s leading rushers from a season ago, Wheeler and Ashton Ghaffaar. An All-Brooklyn fullback as a sophomore, it’s a different position – and sport – that makes Bauta’s transition to quarterback plausible. A threesport athlete for Poly, Bauta’s an outfielder and pitcher for the baseball team. “We’ve been doing everything in our power to make him a passer,” Mangiero said. “He’s got a really strong arm. He’s just such a great athlete.” What Bauta lacks at this stage in his development – the ability to read defenses, the result of off-seasons spent on the basketball court and baseball field, not the film room – is the strong suit of his counterpart under center, junior Kevin Gebon. A more traditional quarterback, Gebon saw action in the second half of many games last season. Though the timeshare for the coming season has not yet been determined, Mangiero’s certain Poly will employ a dual-quarterback approach. “Faton is a really exceptional running back,” Mangiero said. “We want to have the ball in his hands. We’re going to do some of this wildcat stuff to get the ball in his hands, but we’ll be able to
keep defenses off-guard having more of a passer when Kevin’s in there. “We’re still up in the air with who is going to start and how much each is going to play quarterback. But it’s nice to have that flexibility.” Regardless of who’s taking snaps, the offense figures to rely heavily on its rushing attack, with junior Michael Bernardez serving as the change-of-pace back. The run-oriented approach, however, isn’t for a lack of weapons on the outside. Both 6’3” and three-year starters, Alex Buford and Malik Rodriguez offer huge targets for both Bauta and Gebon. “You’re going to have to cover those guys out there,” Mangiero said. “If teams don’t play a high safety or teams are going to play us man-to-man, then we have to use their height and skill.” While Bauta’s progress as a passer will likely determine whether Mangiero opens up the offense, nothing will be done to harness the junior’s athleticism on the other side of the ball. As he is in the offensive backfield, Bauta’s joined by Gebon at linebacker. Like Wheeler before him, Bauta’s a two-way star for Poly, a fact which is painfully obvious to ball carriers and receivers that venture over the middle. “He’s a monster,” said senior captain Qadir Forbes. “He definitely picks up the slack for all the young guys. Whenever we need some leadership, we know we can go to him and he’ll step up.” With Wheeler gone, it’ll be needed on both sides of the ball.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Poly Prep vs. Surrattsville Sept. 25 - Poly Prep vs. Peddle OCTOBER Oct. 1 - Poly Prep vs. Valley Forge Military Oct. 9 -Poly Prep vs. Wyoming Seminary College Prep Oct. 16 - Poly Prep vs. Benedictine Oct. 23 - Poly Prep vs. Hill School Oct. 30 - Poly Prep vs. Hun School
Coach Mangiero 19
Story By: Sean Reilly Photos By: Andrew Adler
HOLY CROSS HOLY CROSS
New York Football Preview 2010
For the storied Knights of Holy Cross High School, last season was a success even by their high standards; a 7-3 record, a deep playoff run, and the top Catholic League ranking among their achievements. Head Coach Tom Pugh, who has run the program for nearly 40 years, proudly points out that the team’s season only ended in the CHSFL semifinals at the hands of powerhouse St. Anthony’s, which has only a handful of losses to league opponents in the last 20 years. Just two weeks prior to that, the Knights lost a close game to the Friars in regular season play, but nonetheless are keenly aware of their ability to threaten a perennial favorite. This season Holy Cross is looking to fill in gaps made by loss of a highly talented group of last year’s seniors, and fully utilize a promising group of returning players to hopefully again fare well within the league standings. Among the dilemmas faced by the team this year is the question of who will helm the offense, with two men tightly vying for the starting quarterback role; junior Yianni Gavalas and senior Kevin Durkan. Coach Pugh feels Gavalas may have the better arm, but notes Durkan is more composed under center. “He’s a tough Irish kid. Nothing’s gonna rattle him,” Pugh said of Durkan, though he conceded they’ll likely both take a considerable number of snaps this year. Somewhat more pressing is the fact that the defensive line lost two men to Division One schools this year; Chris Bratwaite to the University of Virginia, and Dale Codrington now of Bryant University. Pugh notes that middle linebacker Shaquille Frederick and the retuning core will now
have to pick up the slack, which they seem happy to oblige. “We’re gonna be a really tough team this year,” Frederick, a senior, said. His sentiments were echoed by one of the returning figureheads on the opposite side of the ball, fellow senior offensive guard Michael Lana. “We’ve been working really hard to get it together,” Lana said. Fortunately for the Knights, another key returning prospect is already a proven go-to guy, wide receiver Devon Cajuste. The Stanford University-bound senior is coming off a record setting season in which he caught for over 900 yards. The talented yet modest Cajuste feels he owes his success in large part to Lana and the rest of the team, whose bond he describes as tantamount to a brotherhood. “I’ve got to thank the line and the quarterbacks, because I couldn’t be who I am without them,” he said. Despite the talent, camaraderie, and enthusiasm present on his upcoming roster, Pugh’s immediate goals for the season are surprisingly muted. “Right now our focus is to just get through our first two weeks alive,” he joked, referring to the annual “Battle of the Boulevard” game against local rival St. Francis Prep and then a showdown against St. Anthony’s the following week, both of which will be televised this year. “After that, we’ll have a better sense of where we are as a team, and we can focus on the season going forward,” he added.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 17 -Holy Cross vs. St.Anthony’s Sept. 25 - Holy Cross vs. Kellenburg OCTOBER Oct. 2 - Holy Cross vs. Iona Prep Oct. 9 -Holy Cross vs. Fordham Prep Oct. 16 - Holy Cross vs. Holy Trinity Oct. 23 - Holy Cross vs. Chaminade Oct. 30 - Holy Cross vs. Mt. St. Michael Academy
Coach Pugh 21
Story By: James Pallitto Photos By: Andrew Adler
New York Football Preview 2010
It had happened to Lincoln earlier in the season. Same team. Same tune. Leading Fort Hamilton 8-0, Lincoln turned the ball over and turned an early lead into a halftime deficit. They wouldn’t score again, dropping a 29-8 decision. Fast-forward to the city quarterfinals. On the road against the then-undefeated Tigers, the Railsplitters again jumped ahead 8-0. A fumble recovery on Fort Hamilton’s next possession found Lincoln deep in Fort Hamilton territory, poised to seize the momentum it squandered during the regular season. Five plays later, six points were put on the board – for Fort Hamilton. A four-and-out by Lincoln followed by a Fort Hamilton touchdown on the next play had swung the pendulum in the Tigers’ favor. The rest is all too familiar to Lincoln coach Shawn O’Connor. “It kind of exposed how much harder we have to work,” O’Connor said. “You have to pay attention to more details. You have to score when you’re inside the red zone. When they turn the ball over, you have to take advantage of those opportunities.” Fort Hamilton did. Again, they took the lead before the half. And again, Lincoln failed to respond – and score – the rest of the game. “It broke our hearts,” said Ishaq Williams, Lincoln’s All-City defensive end, regarding the 36-8 defeat that ended his season. “We worked hard last season, but we took that as motivation to come out here this season and do much better.” A mere two years removed from a 1-8 season, the Lincoln program has thrust itself into contention for top honors in the city. “We look to be in the championship game and home for the playoffs,” Williams said. Williams isn’t the type prone to hyperbole or hype. He avoids boasting with the ease he does blockers. Yet, if there’s one Railsplitter with a right to set standards high, it’s the U.S. Army All-American nominee. However, despite the dozens of Division-I offers addressed to Williams, it’s a less-heralded senior who figures to have a profound effect on Lincoln’s success. Rotchill Medor, a senior offensive lineman pushing nearly 380 pounds, is the lone holdover on an offensive line in transition. Though Lincoln lost only six starters to graduation, four flanked Medor in the trenches last season. “He’s really a big part of the puzzle,” O’Connor said. “He’s gotta bring those youngsters around. I think he’s up to the challenge.” Along with seven others, Medor has been a fixture in the starting lineup since his sophomore year.
“He’s been through a lot,” O’Connor said. “He’s a hard worker. He was here all the time during the summer and the spring with those guys, mentoring them. I want to see how he does during the heat of battle now with them.” While O’Connor hasn’t named the replacements, the four will be called up from last year’s junior varsity squad. Evidenced by the junior varsity’s 9-1 record last season, O’Connor’s concerned with chemistry transferring, not talent. Both, however, will be necessary if Lincoln has plans for a deeper postseason run. While O’Connor plans on implementing a run-heavy offense consistent with past years, he’ll be doing so without last season’s leading rusher, running back Doug Butler. “It’s definitely a concern,” said O’Connor, regarding Butler’s departure. “The guy that’s going to be stepping in there, Kareem Folkes, I really have confidence in.” Also jumping from junior varsity, Folks will be charged with replacing Butler’s 1,451 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. “Our other running back was our quarterback,” O’Connor said. “He’s a very good athlete. When he’s got the ball in his hands, we can do a lot of things with him. He’s a dangerous player.” Entering his third season under center, quarterback Andrew Vital will be as important to his team’s success as his last name suggests. A year ago, Vital complemented Butler in the backfield, posting 984 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Williams, Vital’s main vertical threat on offense, is confident the team’s returning 16 starters can compensate for the lack of experience along the line. “Experience is great,” Williams said. “We obviously know the game, know the physicality. We’re ready to compete.” Though Fort Hamilton’s not on the schedule, it looms as a likely opponent in the postseason, should Lincoln make the deep run Williams anticipates. Getting there, however, may largely depend on how quickly the new line adjusts to the speed and physicality of the varsity game.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Lincoln vs. Port Richmond Sept. 19 - Lincoln vs. Campus Magnet Sept. 25 -Lincoln vs. Madison OCTOBER Oct. 2 - Lincoln vs. Boys & Girls Oct. 10 -Lincoln vs. Midwood Oct. 16 -Lincoln vs. Clinton Oct. 23 - Lincoln vs. Erasmus Hall Oct. 30 - Lincoln vs. Canarsie NOVEMBER Oct. 2 - Lincoln vs. New Dorp
Coach O’Connor 25
Story By: Richard Bier Photos By: Andrew Adler
New York Football Preview 2010
Coach James Munson begins his ninetieth season as Head Coach of Tottenville with high expectations. Last season, the team was just minutes away from a City Title only to lose to Curtis High School in the fourth quarter. Munson returns some very talented players including the city’s best wide receiver tandem of junior Alvin Cornelius and senior Shaban Shatku who each caught twenty passes last season, and had six and four touchdowns respectively. Cornelius has the talent to be one of New York’s top recruits next year. Pat Murphy, Justin Ortiz and Thomas O’Donohue will all see plenty of action in four receiver sets. At 6’3” Murphy could emerge as a very good possession receiver in contrast to the big play abilities of Cornelius and Shatku. Munson expects big things from his featured running back, senior Gil Mendoza who takes over from last year’s starter Marvin Staten who took his talents to University of Akron. Munson feels that if you key on Mendoza, the receivers will hurt you, and if you key on the receivers, Mendoza will hurt you. The quarterback position has shaped into one of the more interesting battles of training camp. Sophomore Brandon Barnes is the more athletic player, while junior Tim O’Carroll is a better pure passer. Munson expects to settle on one player by the end of training camp. The offensive line has plenty of size and depth. Junior left tackle Lewis Carey at 6’3” 270lbs, and right tackle Dominic Spagnola at 6’2” 280lbs will be able to open up holes for Mendoza. Seniors Damiano Cammarata and Louis Calcetterra will be the starting offensive guards. The defense will be young and talented. Junior Ken Couglin will start at linebacker at 5’11 220lbs., junior Joe Scelzo is an opposing defensive
tackle at 6’3” 300lbs, and junior Niheem Chavis is a tall safety at 6’2” 170lbs. They will be joined in the secondary by two way starters Shatku and Cornelius. Scelzo is already receiving interest from Division One football programs including Rutgers and Syracuse where his future is likely going to be as an offensive guard. New starters to the defense will include senior defensive lineman Jamie Nichilo, and Joe Ianno who are both around 5’10” 230lbs, junior linebacker Austin Moccia, and senior linebacker Pete Hernandez. Sophomore Augustus Edwards at 6’3” 190lbs has a huge upside and should work his way into the starting lineup during the season. Special teams should be solid with Pat Murphy handling the punting and Shaban Shatku handling kickoffs and field goals. The punt and kickoff returns will be shared by Gil Mendoza and Alvin Cornelius. Last season, Tottenville was one of the biggest surprises in the PSAL as they advanced into the City Championship. The team continually improved and may have played their best football in the playoffs. With a strong cast of returning players, this year’s team can beat you playing physical football or take advantage of their size and athleticism. Coach Munson seems cautiously optimistic. “This team has great talent but I need to see more leadership from the seniors for us to be successful. Last year’s team had great leadership and average talent and we overachieved. They came to play on game day and if this year’s team can have that same mentality, we will be tough to beat,” states Munson.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Tottenville vs. Canarsie Sept. 19 - Tottenville vs. Madison Sept. 25 - Tottenville vs. Grady OCTOBER Oct. 2 -Tottenville vs. Sheepshead Bay Oct. 10 -Tottenville vs. Boys & Girls Oct. 16 - Tottenville vs. New Dorp Oct. 23 - Tottenville vs. Port Richmond Oct. 30 - Tottenville vs. Wagner NOVEMBER Nov. 7 - Tottenville vs. Curtis
Story By: Jerry Del Priore Photos By: Daniel S. Burnstein
FORT HAMILTON FORT HAMILTON
New York Football Preview 2010
Last year, the Fort Hamilton Tigers went 9-0 during the regular season, garnering them the top seed in the PSAL. After steamrolling Grand Street Campus and Lincoln High Schools, respectively, it looked as if the Tigers would make another trip to the championship, as they led most of the way in their semi-final game against Curtis High School. But with under a minute to play, Warrior quarterback Tynell Brown scored on an eight-yard scamper with 31 seconds remaining in the contest to bring his team to within a point. Then, Curtis head coach Pete Gambardella decided to go for the two-point conversion, which was successful, giving them the eventual 20-19 victory over Fort Hamilton. The defeat left then-assistant and now new head coach Daniel Perez, who is taken over for longtime coach Vincent Lanio, who recently retired, despondent. “That game was heartbreaking, especially looking back now knowing that was coach Lanio’s last game,” Perez said as his team practiced at Fort Hamilton for the upcoming campaign. “To lose with pretty much no time left, on two point conversion, after we pretty much had the lead most of the game, it was real heartbreaking.” Nonetheless, with a longstanding winning tradition with Lanio at the helm, Perez, a disciple of the former coach, doesn’t plan on changing much as far as coaching philosophy goes, he said. And he’s chomping at the bit to make his own mark at the Bay Ridge school. “It’s definitely an honor, and I know I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” the former Fort Hamilton alum and football player said. “I just want to have a good career here at Fort Hamilton. I’m a young guy, and I just started. I just can’t wait.”
The Tigers will be relying on the tandem of Ivan Foy and Kevon Foster to solidify the offensive line, which lost a few players to graduation. Junior quarterback Marvin Centeno will be replacing prolific signal-caller Frank Lanio (son of former the coach), who will be playing at SUNY Maritime this fall. Running back Wesley Sumpter will be shouldering the bulk of the running duties for Fort Hamilton this season. The Tigers’ best returning player in 2010 will be outstanding defensive back/receiver Brandon Reddish, who has several top colleges vying for his gridiron services next fall. “We got Brandon Reddish coming back; that’s key,” Perez said with conviction. “He’s a really good player.” As a receiver Reddish’s soft hands helped him pull down 21 receptions for 490 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season. On the defensive side, he shut down the opposition’s passing game, while recording 36 tackles, two interception and two fumble recoveries. More importantly, though, the offensive line remains Perez’s main concern. However, he still feels Fort Hamilton has what it takes to be competitive in the PSAL. “We just have to build continuity with our offensive line because we lost almost our whole offensive line from last year. We also have a new quarterback, but we’re going to be good. We’ll get better as the season goes along” The Tigers open up the season at Tottenville on Saturday, September 11 at 1:00 p.m.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Fort Hamilton vs. Wagner Sept. 19 - Fort Hamilton vs. New Dorp Set. 25 - Fort Hamilton vs. Roosevelt OCTOBER Oct. 2 - Fort Hamilton vs. Clinton Oct. 10 -Fort Hamilton vs. Campus Magnet Oct. 16 - Fort Hamilton vs. Boys & Girls Oct. 23 - Fort Hamilton vs. New Utrecht Oct. 30 - Fort Hamilton vs. Sheepshead Bay NOVEMBER Nov. 7 - Fort Hamilton vs. Wagner
Coach PEREZ 31
Story By: Jerry Del Priore Photos By: Daniel S. Burnstein
ERASMUS HALL ERASMUS HALL
New York Football Preview 2010
After going 5-4 in 2008, no one expected Erasmus Hall to have the season it had in 2009. The Dutchmen started off the season by annihilating defending champs Port Richmond, 36-19. Then, they went on to win their next seven games before losing to Tottenville. All the while, Erasmus still struggled to garner the respect it deserved from the media, fans and opposition alike. Even head coach Danny Landberg was a little astonished by his team’s success. “I was little surprised,” Landberg said at a preseason practice at the Parade Grounds in Brooklyn. “As a coach, you’re almost like a pessimist, because you never think your good is good enough.” Fortunately for the Dutchmen, his boys were more than good enough, as they went 8-1 during the regular season, earning the number two seed in the PSAL playoffs. Erasmus defeated Midwood and Sheepshead Bay, respectively, in the first two rounds of the postseason, but lost to Tottenville in the semifinals, ending their spectacular year. As much as their outstanding campaign surprised Landberg, he wasn’t totally shocked by the Dutchmen’s run, since they poured seemly every ounce of pain and perspiration they had into their practices and games and maintained a healthy outlook throughout in order to achieve success. “We worked really hard, harder than we ever had before,” he exclaimed. “And our kids were very focused and there was that desire to win, to boot. I think, more than anything, our attitude was really positive last year, and it benefited it us.” Linebacker Elijah Burgos, cornerback Devon John, defensive end Felix Small and Johnathon Yearwood, who have all graduated and will be gracing college gridirons this fall, provided the leadership for the Flatbush, Brooklyn school last season, something Landberg said the team will surely miss.
“As much talent as we think we might have,” said the former Erasmus student-football payer, “it doesn’t matter if we have no one to lead and get the other kids going when adversity strikes.” Two of the biggest reasons why the Dutchmen racked up the victories were quarterback/safety Wayne Morgan and running back Shaquell Jackson, who combined for 1313 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, and are being counted on by Landberg to pick up the leadership slack. Morgan, a junior this season, threw for 570 yards and nine more scores in 2009. Jackson, a junior as well, ran for 6.26 yards per carrier. With another year of experience underneath their pads, Landberg said, they should be an even more potent tandem come football time. “I expected them to well; I didn’t expect them to do as well as they did,” the passionate coach said of Morgan and Jackson’s play. “But that’s what happens with hard work and confidence.” Though elated with last year’s results, Landberg’s not resting on his squads’ past laurels. His ultimate aspiration is to play for and win the PSAL championship at Midwood Field in December. “I was ecstatic how we played last year, but now it’s a different level,” he said. “Now that we reached that plateau, it’s time to take it to a different level. You have to have a goal set every year, and set your standards higher every single year. We’re here to win, and winning is the one thing. We’re trying to go to Midwood on December 5th.”
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Erasmus Hall vs. Curtis Sept. 19 - Erasmus Hall vs. Grand Street Campus Set. 25 - Erasmus Hall vs. Sheepshead Bay OCTOBER Oct. 2 - Erasmus Hall vs. Kennedy Oct. 10 -Erasmus Hall vs. Roosevelt Oct. 16 - Erasmus Hall vs. Canarsie Oct. 23 - Erasmus Hall vs. Lincoln Oct. 30 - Erasmus Hall vs. New Utrecht NOVEMBER Nov. 7 - Erasmus Hall vs. Brooklyn Tech
Coach Landbuerg 33
Story By: Richard Bier Photos By: Andrew Adler
ST. JOSEPH ST. JOSEPH
New York Football Preview 2010
Saint Joseph by the Sea brings an old school mentality and attack to their opponents. In an era where many teams play high flying offenses like the Spread and Westcoast, St. Joe’s prefers to run the ball three yards at a time. The mentality is that you know what is coming, and now try to stop it. The quarterbacking duties will be handled by junior, Matt Bowers. Bowers is a three sport athlete who started as a sophomore on the school’s League Championship baseball team. According to Coach Manos, Bowers is a “heady player, with a strong arm and is a dual threat as a runner.” One of the hardest tasks for St. Joe’s is to replace their star running back combination from last season. Lyle McCombs, NYC Player of the Year, is currently a freshman at the University of Connecticut and Andrew Armato is a freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The new running back tandem did their best to answer any doubts of their abilities as starters in their first game. Senior Captain Christopher Murphy rushed for 220 yards and one touchdown, and junior John Diaz rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns in a 42 to 14 victory in a nonconference win over Pius X. Both backs will also handle extra duties as the return men on special teams. Coach Manos feels that Murphy could play Division 1 football next year. Paving the way for Murphy and Diaz is senior fullback Michael Petrino along with an undersized offensive line. The guards are junior Joseph Cestaro at 5’9 172 lbs., and senior Adam Vischio at 5’6 178lbs. The tackles are seniors Connor McGee 5’11 195 lbs, and Robert Minlionica 5’8 220lbs. The center is senior Francesco Totino 5’10 225lbs. Individually the offensive line does not boast any superstars but they are a blue collar group that plays together. The offense uses dual tight ends, no wide receivers. The tight ends are senior Chris Bartoloni and junior Douglass Heins. The tight ends will need to produce as both blockers and as receivers to keep the better teams honest in their alignments.
St. Joe’s standard defense is a 3-5. With eight men in the box, they do their best to take away the run and force teams to throw the ball. The line consists of two athletic senior defensive ends; Nicholas Altieri 6’2 177 lbs. and. Dan Morrow 6’1 181 lbs. Manos feels that Morrow is another Division 1 prospect. The nose is senior Michael Rodsky, who is switching to the defense from the offensive line. The wide bodied Rodsky at 5’8 250 lbs compliments the ends very well. On special teams, Morrow handles the kicking duties and Altieri is the punter. Coach Manos feels the strength of this year’s team will be the linebackers including his two hybrid safeties. The starters include two three year starters in seniors Philip Corhan 5’11 189lbs, Joseph Martelle (captain) 5’10 225lbs. playing alongside senior Adam Madeo 5’11 160lbs. The strong safety is John Ruiz 6’ 175lbs., and junior Anthony Santo is the free safety at 5’6 155lbs. The secondary is manned by cornerbacks, senior captain John Favale, senior Joseph Roman, and junior Ryan Smith. The coach puts a lot of pressure on this unit not to give up big plays. Last season, St. Joe’s was having an excellent season but injuries may have kept them from winning the Catholic League title. Manos feels that in order to win, the team needs to stay away from injuries. “The bigger schools like St. Anthony’s (Long Island) can replace injured players as they have bigger rosters, we don’t have that luxury,” states Manos.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -St. Joseph vs. Pius X Sept. 18 -St. Joseph vs. Fordham Prep Sept. 25 -St. Joseph vs. Chaminade OCTOBER Oct. 2 -St. Joseph vs. St. Francis Prep Oct. 8 -St. Joseph vs. St. Anthony’s Oct. 16 -St. Joseph vs. Iona Prep Oct. 23 -St. Joseph vs. Monsignor Farrell Oct. 30 -St. Joseph vs. Kellenburg
Chris Murphy and John Diaz definitely give St. Joe’s a potent running attack, but all things need to go right for the team to get to the next level and play for a championship. One thing is for sure, you are not going to outwork this team.
Coach manos 35
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Story By: Richard Bier Photos By: Daniel s. Burnstein
New York Football Preview 2010
Coming off a losing season, it is rare to have a team with high expectations, including competing for a AAA Catholic League Championship. Yet, that is exactly the situation that the Xaverian High School football team finds itself in. With a 2-0 start including beating perennial power Chaminade on the road, Xaverian seems to be poised for a big season. Expectations for this team started during the summer. Xaverian played in several 7 on 7 tournaments that showcase skilled players in the passing game. At these tournaments, it became very apparent that Xaverian had a good mix of experienced veterans and athletic sophomores and juniors. The team is led by co-captain quarterback Greg Rando. The 5’11” 175lbs senior play caller has the ability to beat you with both his arm and his legs. Rando’s best quality might be his leadership skills that will be especially important with a young team. The running game is led by a pair of explosive sophomores, Isaiah Kearney 5’9” 175lbs and Laray Smith 6’1” 175lbs. Both backs are explosive and they make it difficult to key on one player. They are also the type of athletes that should improve as the season progresses. Xaverian could have the best group of receivers in the city. Rando has two tall possession receivers in senior co-captain William Badyna at 6’2” and junior Sean Binckes at 6’3”. The team’s best college prospect might be sophomore Kendall “Speedy” Thomas who can stretch the field and who is the team’s big play receiver. Senior cocaptain Tushaun Plummer will be used at both a
wide out and running back. The offensive line is led by offensive guard, senior Christopher Aiello. Aiello is 5’11” 265lbs. and is the most experienced of the lineman. The rest of the offensive line is comprised of mostly juniors who are all tough solid football players. It is not as big as your typical Xaverian line, but it is a very athletic group. The defense, like the offense will be young and athletic. The linebackers are led by junior Derrick Merrell who at 6’1” 230lbs has the size and speed to play division one football. He is joined sophomores Zyrel Hardy 6’1” 190lbs and Chris Jones 5’11” 230lbs. The secondary is a mixture of experience and potential. The experience is Tushaun Plummer who will man one of the cornerback positions and the potential is led by Isaiah Kearney who will play strong safety. The other defensive backs could include several of the offensive weapons playing both ways. The defensive line is anchored by senior Xavier George. The huge defensive tackle at 6’4” 300lbs. will be counted on to clog the middle and free up the linebackers to make plays. George may also be used on the offensive line. With a very tough schedule and a young team, Xaverian will be challenged every week to play to their potential. Young teams tend to make mistakes, and if they can keep the mistakes at a minimum, the athletes should make Xaverian an explosive team. The future of this team is bright. With a plethora of sophomores and juniors, expect to see Xaverian at the top of the standings for the next three seasons.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Xaverian vs. St.Peter’s Sept. 18 - Xaverian vs. Chaminade Sept. 25 - Xaverian vs. Fordham Prep OCTOBER Oct. 1 -Xaverian vs. St.Anthony’s Oct. 9 -Xaverian vs. St. Francis Prep Oct. 16 - Xaverian vs. Monsignor Farrell Oct. 23 - Xaverian vs. Iona Prep Oct. 30 -Xaverian vs. Holy Trinity
Coach manos 39
Story By: Richard Bier Photos By: Andrew Adler
MOORE CATHOLIC MOORE CATHOLIC
New York Football Preview 2010
If you like offense, you may want to follow the Moore Catholic Mavericks football team this season. With almost all their skill position players returning, Moore should be poised to move the ball effectively. Opponents also need to adjust to the Navy triple option offense that tends to keep defenses from reacting. Quarterback Joseph (Jo Jo) Couglin leads the offense. At only 5’10 and 165 lbs, he is shifty, smart and possesses great leadership skills. Backup QB Jake Barbascia is a talented transfer from Monsignor Farrell High School. Barbascia will be used in certain packages at QB and will also start the season at wide receiver. The backfield features junior Justin Ortiz. Ortiz is a two way starter as he also plays free safety. Justin will be counted on for big plays on both offense and defense. His brother, senior Rob Ortiz will also see a lots of action. Rob’s future might be on the baseball diamond where he was a Underarmour All American last year. Playing the slot receiver position is 5’8 Chad Pugliese who lines up on the opposite Barbascia. Rocco feels that once Pugliese learns the offense better, he will be a big time playmaker for this team. The offensive line is led by four year starter Dominic Casella. The tough minded Casella is 5’11 230lbs and is another two way player as he plays both left guard and middle linebacker. Adding beef upfront is 6’1 290 lbs. Tommy Muroka. Muroka is very strong and should be more
effective this season playing thirty pounds lighter. The real question marks of this team are on the defense where the Mavericks only return three starters. Senior Defensive Tackle Anthony Panzini should help control the middle at 6’1 255 lbs. Senior Defensive End, Mike Derbyshire is the team best pass rusher at 6’2 180lbs. The coaches expect newcomers at the linebacking position to play well. Junior Bobby Layburn is a tough blue collar player who will play the WLB at 5’10 175 lbs. On the strong side, junior captain Russell Brown takes over and he is a player that loves to hit. They will be joined by Casella in the middle. The kicking and punting duties will be handled by Chud Pugliese, who will also return kicks and punts along with Justin and Rob Ortiz. Repeating last season undefeated regular season and replacing eight starters on defense will be a tall order for the Mavericks. Coach Rocco doesn’t seem to mind having high expectations. “The offensive line, the running game, senior leadership and the linebackers” states Rocco are areas of strength for the Mavericks. With a small roster where many players have to play both ways, the coaches feel that many of the concerns are associated with the team’s depth and the learning curve of the second unit. Wagner has some key games n their schedule including a Thanksgiving weekend matchup with Susan Wagner and always tough Long Island Lutheran. The toughest emotional game might be on homecoming as it the one year anniversary of the tragic loss of teammate Johnny Ray who died in a tragic automobile accident.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Moore Catholic vs. Beacon Sept. 19 - Moore Catholic vs. Hopkins Sept. 25 - Moore Catholic vs. Wilmington Friends OCTOBER Oct. 2 -Moore Catholic vs. Long Island Lutheran Oct. 9 -Moore Catholic vs. Dover Oct. 15- Moore Catholic vs. Rye Country Day Oct. 23 - Moore Catholic vs. St. Joseph Oct. 30 - Moore Catholic vs. Perkiomen NOVEMBER Nov. 5 - Moore Catholic vs. Hackley Nov. 13 - Tottenville vs. Curtis
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Lincoln’s Williams all walk, no talk By James Pallitto Photos by Andrew Adler Ishaq Williams stays away from Coney Island. Mere blocks from Abraham Lincoln High School’s campus, it’s a product of hype to him. Williams wants no part of that. “I don’t like doing that,” Williams said. “I don’t stick to myself, but I don’t go out.” At his request, his coach delivers recruiting letters when the team isn’t around. The defensive end doesn’t like hitting quarterbacks or making headlines. He just happens to be good at both.
Earning Respect Williams wasn’t chasing the quarterback, but respect. It was a battle he wasn’t leaving to the newspapers or the referee’s whistle to decide. In the first game last season, Williams locked up with Curtis High School’s Dominique Easley. With the play on the other side of the field, the two wrestled to the ground. Referees intervened after the whistle. “I was trying to make a play, but after a certain point, I was trying to fight with him, not let him overpower me,” Williams said. Last season, Easley was the consensus top defensive lineman in the city. He played offensive tackle in order to neutralize Williams. With Easley now in college, it’s Williams’ turn. “I think that was a sign of respect from Easley, that he knew who (Williams) was,” Lincoln coach Shawn O’Connor said. “Ishaq didn’t back down. It woke him up, realizing ‘I’m not gonna go under the radar.’” That’s never been an option for Williams. At 6’6”, he’s been a full head taller than most throughout high school. Now, recognition comes when walking down highways, not just Lin-
coln’s hallways. A few weeks back, a woman stopped her car and said she’d seen him on TV. She told him to make a good college choice and believe in God. Ducking attention’s becoming as difficult as doorways. After an 11-sack junior season, which earned him all-city honors, it’s to be expected. Williams is Lincoln’s best player on both sides of the ball. Colleges see him as a defensive end, linebacker and tight end. O’Connor plans to deploy him accordingly. “We’re going to try to do some different things defensively to hide him,” O’Connor said. “He’s our best player. We need to keep him involved and we don’t want to lose him.” Williams’ sideline-to-sideline speed keeps him in most plays, despite teams’ efforts to run away from him. On offense, it’s no different. “We’ve gotta figure out ways to get the ball in his hands,” O’Connor said. “If you can’t throw it to him, then line him up in the backfield.” Either way, Williams will make plays and then quietly shuffle off the field. He prefers books and his bass guitar to bragging. “I’m a very laid-back, quiet person,” Williams said. “I’m
not the person on the field celebrating. I do what I have to do to make the team win.” He doesn’t volunteer much of this information. Assistant coaches are as unaware as the general public. “He gets embarrassed by it when I bring it up,” O’Connor said. “He’s a heavy reader. He’s fully-qualified already, but he’s taking (the SAT) again because he’s not happy with it. That’s what type of kid he is.”
Big name, big stage
There’s a pile of rocks stashed in the recesses of O’Connor’s office. Technically, it’s a chunk of the old field. Forget sod. The hardpan with hash marks is gone now. A turf field with lights – the only such field in Brooklyn – has been built in its place. Lincoln Athletic Director Renan Ebeid remembers Williams asking her for it as an underclassman. Ebeid delivered. Now, it’s Williams’ turn. There’s another pile in O’Connor’s office. It grows by the day. They’re letters from colleges, each addressed to Williams. Soon, he’ll have to break some hearts. O’Connor cracks that it’ll be like turning down models. It’s rare that programs like Oklahoma, Alabama and Notre Dame suffer rejection. O’Connor laughs off another idea as soon as it’s brought up. Despite having a team laden with three-year starters, a brand-new field and the city’s top player, O’Connor’s not buying into the notion of the stars aligning. Not when it’s brought up by his wife, let alone anyone else. “The field doesn’t have the heart and the field doesn’t have the practice,” O’Connor said. His best player does. It’s why Williams made the hour trip back to his Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood four nights a week during the summer after optional team workouts. It’s why he’s the first in line for drills and the last off the field after them. “You can separate yourself,” O’Connor said. “There are players that people talk about because they won championships. That can cement your name in history in this school forever. You’re already here, you already got your name because you’re such a great player, but that will take you to the next level.” If nothing else, it would validate the hype. “I just do what I have to do,” Williams said. “I play like I have to prove it to everybody, every play.”
“I play like I have to prove it to everybody, every play.”
Grass doesn’t grow in Brooklyn O’Connor jokes that Lincoln’s old field had the strongest sidelines around. He’s not referring to the players standing on them, but the grass. It was the only area that hadn’t been reduced to rubble. “Grass just wouldn’t grow here,” O’Connor said. At Lincoln, it’s not grass that grows, but All-Americans. Lincoln has sent two players to the U.S. Army All American Bowl, Nyan Boateng and Lansford Watson. Williams is likely to be the third. Boateng entered Lincoln as a basketball player and left a football player. Williams defected for good after two years in the basketball program. It’s still a basketball school, but the gap’s closing. “If you measure by championships, then no, we’re not in the same level. Not yet,” O’Connor said. “We’re hoping to get there.” It’s the same battle Williams waged with Easley a year ago. “As football players, we fight for that,” Williams said. “We fight for the recognition. We fight to be known.”
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TEAMS TO WATCH
KEY PLAYERS Scott Gadsden Marcus Smith James Driver Wavell Wint Jhaleel Oswald
Story By: Sean Reilly Photos By: Andrew Adler
CAMPUS CAMPUS MAGNET MAGNET
New York Football Preview 2010
Campus Magnet’s football program has steadily improved during Head Coach Eric Barnett’s tenure, climbing in rank, and posting winning seasons. All the while, the Bulldogs have maintained the mindset that they must still prove their mettle. Despite a 7-2 regular season last year, a playoff run up to the City Quarterfinals, and a number of individual and team achievements; the team chooses to view themselves not as division powerhouses, but rather underappreciated underdogs. And yet in contrast to that, they make it a point to acknowledge their top notch ability. “We know we have Division One talent, we know our guys have Division One eligibility; we wish more schools would notice that. We have a huge chip on our shoulder about that,” Barnett said. The Bulldogs’ focus on the destinations of their outgoing players is the culmination of what Coach Barnett describes as a three-part outlook to their season. It’s an approach that begins before the season and continues throughout and after, and focuses on the academics and eligibility of the players in order to ensure the best possible college futures. “We emphasize hard work, the aim is to get them to Division One schools,” Barnett said. That hard work of course, has paid dividends in the Bulldogs’ success both as a team and as individuals; trends that the current roster hopes to continue.
“I have a feeling we have a very strong team this year, it’s the best in my time here,” said senior quarterback Scott Gadsden. Gadsden’s confidence may spring from the strong core of returning players including himself, offensive guard Marcus Smith, and offensive tackle James Driver. “We’re very confident this year that we’re gonna win,“ the 6-8, 350-pound Smith said, adding that he and the equally large but slimmer Driver are working in sync to fortify the offensive line. “I’ve been helping James with strength training, and he’s been helping me with speed,” Smith said. The Bulldogs also hope to implement a “Thunder and Lightning” rushing combination utilizing Wavell Wint in a speed role, and successfully transition Jhaleel Oswald to strong safety. Oswald led the city in tackles last year, and is making the shift in order to better take advantage of his speed, and showcase his abilities to potential colleges. “It feels better for me, I‘ll get to use my speed, and I think we’ll be a better force on the field,” Oswald said. His enthusiasm extends beyond his new role, to the upcoming year in general. “We’re gonna go 14-0,” he said. (Referring to an undefeated regular season and playoff run) “We’re confident, and we gotta go back it up,” he added. “It’s his team this year,” Barnett says of Oswald, who is a key part of Defensive Coordinator Rufus Dunton’s lineup, which last year shut out three opponents. “That’s all him,” Barnett says referring to Dunton, “he makes sure our defense gets the job done.” Campus Magnet is anticipating a tough schedule this year, and they know their recent success has singled them out. “This season we got a target on our back,” James said, reiterating the Bulldogs’ Rodney Dangerfield-esque quest for respect. Should things come together as planned, they may just find it.
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 - Campus Magnet vs. Grady Sept. 19 - Campus Magnet vs. Lincoln Set. 25 - Campus Magnet vs. Boys & Girls OCTOBER Oct. 2 - Campus Magnet vs. New Utrecht Oct. 10 - Campus Magnet vs. Fort Hamilton Oct. 16 - Campus Magnet vs. Curtis Oct. 23 - Campus Magnet vs. Sheepshead Bay Oct. 30 - Campus Magnet vs. Brooklyn Tech NOVEMBER Nov. 7 -Campus Magnet vs. Flushing
COACH BARNETT 51
TEAMS TO WATCH
KEY PLAYERS No. 22-Dominique Warren No. 34-Michael Marcus No. 55-Bryan Jolly No. 58-Yang Huang
No. 4-Patrick Lindo No. 13-Tykeem Williams No. 16-Juaquin DeJesus No. 20-Jeremiah Obeng/ Agyapong
Story By: Renee Keller Photos By: Asdrubal Hernandez
DeWitt Clinton DeWitt Clinton
New York Football Preview 2010
For the past two years the DeWitt Clinton Governors have made it all the way to the division quarterfinals. This season, it looks like the Governors will make it even further in the playoffs with their combination of speed, aggressive defense and precise coaching. The Governors, who compete in the Top Five Lead Division, finished with an impressive 9-2 record last season. The team placed fourth in the citywide division after losing in the quarterfinals to Curtis High School in Staten Island. Coach Howard Langley, a DeWitt Clinton alum, has worked with the Governors for the past six years. Langley is full of confidence in his team’s chances to win a championship this season. “We were primarily a running team, but this year we’ll be more balanced and throw more,” the coach explained. In high school, Langley played varsity football for the Governors. He ran track in college, so he incorporates a lot of running into the players’ training. Langley’s work ethic has proven to be successful. The Governors had 20 rushing touchdowns and more than 3,000 rushing yards last season. Although the Governors lost seven key players last season, they have some strong replacements. Senior quarterback Joaquin DeJesus will be a key player for the offensive team. “He has a strong arm and runs the ball well,” said coach Langley. “We’re looking for him to mature as a leader and share the ball,” said Langley. The 5’ 7” 175-pound player will run option attack for the team. DeJesus is also a pitcher and outfielder for the varsity baseball team. Last season he had six touchdowns. The performance of junior center lineman Tykeem Williams will also strengthen the offensive team. Williams, who is 6-feet-tall and weighs 250 pounds, is a solid, smart, aggressive player. “He doesn’t make mistakes,” said coach Langley. Williams started playing varsity football as a freshman. Last season he had one touchdown, one sack and 31 tackles. Other strong starters that round out the team are: Five-foot 7” 170-pound senior fullback Patrick Lindo and senior running back Dominique
Warren. Lindo, a two-way starter, also plays cornerback. “He will take the ball the full SEPTEMBER distance, if he gets a crack at it,” said Langley. Last season Lindo made 17 tackles and three touchdowns. Sept. 11 - Boys and Girls Dominique Warren is described vs. Clinton as a complete player with size, good hands and the ability to double as a receiver. He is 5’11” and weighs 190 pounds. “He’s very Sept. 19 - Port Richmond explosive,” said the coach. Last season Warvs. Clinton ren had one touchdown, one tackle and had 13 carries for 106 yards. Set. 26 - Clinton Although 5’10” 190-pound senior vs. Brooklyn Tech lineman Yang Huang may not be as big in size as his teammates, he’s a tough blocker. Langley describes him as a coach on the OCTOBER line. “He keeps the team together.” Junior running back Jeremiah Obeng-Agyapong is one of the fastest players on the offenOct. 2 - Clinton sive team. He made 11 tackles last season. vs. Fort Hamilton Obeng-Agyapong also is a varsity track star. The 5’8” 170-pound athlete is the 400-meter Oct. 16 - Clinton hurdles champion in New York City. “He’s vs. Abraham Lincoln very fast,” said Langley. The strength of the Governors’ defensive team is the perfect complement Oct. 23 - Clinton to the speed of the offensive team. Two key vs. John F. Kennedy players are Bryan Jolly and Michael Marcus. Senior Bryan Jolly will play defensive tackle. Oct. 30 - Clinton Jolly is an intense player who stands at 6’2” and weighs 218 pounds. Last season Jolly vs. Midwood had one touchdown, two interceptions and, 31 tackles. “I think he can be a Division I NOVEMBER player,” said coach Langley. Breakout player, senior Michael Marcus, will play free safety this season. He Nov. 7 - Clinton vs. is 6’0” and weighs 185 pounds. “I think he’s one of the better players in the city,” Herbert H. Lehman says Langley. “He has ball skills and understands the game.” Last season Marcus made four tackles, although he only played three games, because of an arm injury. He still played in two playoff games and made two interceptions. Coach Langley says the key to to a successful season will be working together and staying in excellent shape. “Being in top physical condition allows you to work through mental fatigue during games,” coach Langley explained. “We have a lot of good players,” he added. “If everyone gets a chance COACH LANGLEY to touch the ball, we’ll have a good shot.”
TEAMS TO WATCH
KEY PLAYERS No. 3 -Devin Rice No. 7-Max Kinder No. 30 -Michael Seminario No. 22- Anthony Bronzo No. 45 -Peter Carlino
Story By:Renee Keller Photos By: Asdrubal Hernandez
FORDHAM PREP FORDAM PREP
New York Football Preview 2010
As head coach Pete Gorynski enters his 14th year with the Fordham Rams, he faces a dilemma. “For the first time in my career, we may throw the ball more than we run it,” he said. “Last year we ran 60 percent and threw the ball 30 percent. Now it will be 50-50.” His comments come from the loss of key player Bruce Grant. Grant, who now attends Columbus University, was a dynamic running back. “He was a breaking threat every time he touched the ball,” said Gorynski. Grant ran 1013 yards last season. Last season, the Fordham Prep Rams finished with a 4-7 record overall in the regular season of the AAA league. “We garnered sixthseed in the CHSFL division last year,” said the coach. There is still good reason to be optimistic about this season, though. “We have a slew of wide receivers and a quarterback who can deliver the football,” said Gorynski. The name of one of these star players is Max Kinder. The senior quarterback is a second-year starter who stands at 6’2” and weighs 215 pounds. Kinder has a strong arm and a great clutch on the ball. Kinder threw 6 touchdown passes and ran 659 yards last season. “He has the ability to develop into an accurate passer,” said his coach. Senior runningback Michael Seminario is referred to as the heir to Bruce Grant’s position, by his coach. The 6’1” 195 pound senior will play tailback. “He has good speed and good hands,” Gorynski explained. “We will get him the ball out at the perimeter.” Seminario made 30 catches last season and ran 346 yards.
He also plays varsity baseball. Another huge contributor to the team is wide receiver/split end Devin Rice. The 6’ 180 pound senior started playing as a sophomore. Although he didn’t play last season due to a torn ACL injury, he‘s fully recovered and ready to play. “He has good size, pretty good speed and solid hands,” said the coach. “He is also an excellent blocker.” Junior Ben Andrycak will play back-up for Devin Rice. Andrycak is 6’ and weighs 165-pounds, and catches the ball well. “We are very optimistic about his talent,” said coach Gorynski. Senior tight end Peter Carlino will play possessive receiver for the Rams. “He has good hands with the football,” said the coach. Carlino is 6’1 and weighs 195 pounds. Two other players with very similar talents are Anthony Bronzo and Frances Volpe. Called a playmaker by his coach, Bronzo will be a two-way starter this season. The 5’9” senior weighs 165 pounds. “He’s one of our team leaders, without a doubt,” said the coach. “He’s a deeply committed player who loves to play football. He plays hard in practice, and sees the field well.” As for rising junior Francis Volpe, Coach Gorynski says he may start him as a wide receiver because he made so much progress last year. The 5’9” 165-pound junior has good hands and runs good routes, according to his coach. The last game of the regular season is scheduled against Xavier on the day after Thanksgiving. Coach Gorynski said he is looking forward to it because he is a Xavier alum. He also coached football at the school for two years. “The rivalry between the Fordham Prep and Xavier schools goes way back,” explained the coach. In the meantime, the Rams must focus on beating their other competitors. “We are a middle-of-the-pack AAA team,” says coach Gorynski, but he remains positive about his players’ capabilities and their ability to win. “This is the richest team I’ve ever had as far as wide-outs go,” he said.
SCHEDULE OCTOBER Oct. 17- Fordham Prep vs. Monsignor Farrell Oct. 24- Fordham Prep vs. St. Michael Academy Oct. 31- Fordham Prep @ Holy Trinity
NOVEMBER Nov. 7 - Fordham Prep @ Holy Cross Nov. 13- Fordham Prep @ Chaminade Nov. 26 -Fordham Prep @ Xavier
TEAMS TO WATCH
KEY PLAYERS Offense #23 Chris Mattina, SR, 2B, 6’1” 185 Defense: #32 Adam Dunigan, SR, SB, 6’0”, 235
Story By:Bailey Stephens Photos By: Daniel S. Burnstein
New York Football Preview 2010
For the past seven seasons, head football coach Chris Stevens has employed a simple approach for his players at Xavier High School: study, hustle, respect others and play sound football. They aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel at Xavier, solid football and a strong work ethic wins games will produce wins, Stevens believes, for a school that faces challenges because of its strong academic character. For the most part, Stevens has seen it pay off for the Knights, who are coming off their third straight winning season. And as the seventh season kicks off this fall, don’t expect anything to change. The Knights will again employ the single-wing offense that has frustrated defenses around the Catholic League since Stevens instituted it several seasons ago. Without a true quarterback, Xavier will turn to its backfield, led by senior Chris Mattina, who Stevens termed the team’s offensive “bullet in the gun.” “I hate defending when we have to show in scout team,” senior defensive captain Adam Duignan said. “There are so many obstacles to keep you from the ball. It’s very confusing.” But that’s exactly what Stevens loves about the offense with essentially limitless permutations. It does, though, add an extra challenge to get the younger players ready by game time. “Coach says we do 3000 reps a day, and he’s not exaggerating,” senior Michael Cronin said. “By game time, we’re ready.”
While there are a strong hold of young players slated to get significant playing time, Xavier does have the luxury of starting several holdovers from last year’s squad that won seven games. Those returning starters will be key, especially early in the season, because the Knights are aiming to avoid a stumble out of the gate like last year’s 1-3 start. While the team has their Oct. 9th date with Archbishop Stepinac circled on the calendar, the Knights are keenly aware that it’s the first several games which could define their season. “It’s really key to get off to a good start, I think,” Stevens said. “Last season we had a tough four games to open the season, and that won’t be the case this year. Hayes [Sept. 18] is much younger and maybe not as tough as in years past. So if we could go 3-1 over that stretch, that’d be a good.” For many of Xavier’s players, physical conditioning for the season opener won’t be an issue as the football team shares a strong contingent with Xavier’s national champion rugby team. As a result, many of the players, including Mattina, reported to football camp in tip-top physical shape, with a winning attitude to boot. Whether they are rugby players or not, Stevens is readying his team for game time on Sept. 11 when the Knights open against Cardinal O’Hara in Buffalo. Both coaches and players believe that the combination of a strong start and several established veterans could lead Xavier to something special this season. “We’re in a division that’s really good for us right now,” Stevens said. “We have 2-3 games that are a good challenge, 2-3 games that we should win and 2-3 games that could go either way.”
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 -Xavier vs. Cardnial O’hara Sept. 18 - Xavier vs. Cardinal Hayes Set. 25 - Xavier vs. Bishop Ford OCTOBER Oct. 2 - Xavier vs. St. John th Baptist Oct. 9 -Xavier vs. Archbishop Stepinac Oct. 16 - Xavier vs. Cardinal Spellman Oct. 23 - Xavier vs. St. Peter’s Oct. 30 - Xavier vs. Christ the King NOVEMBER Nov. 25 - Xavier vs. Fordham Prep
Chris Stevens 57
TEAMS TO WATCH
KEY PLAYERS Terrel Hunt Omar Hunter Darrius Pritchett Chris Hartney
Story By: Sean Reilly Photos By: Andrew Adler
CHRIST THE KING CHRIST THE KING
arguably been blessed with almost
TEAMS TO WATCH
Story By: Sean Reilly Photos By: Andrew Adler
ST. FRANCIS ST. FRANCIS
New York Football Preview 2010
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 - St. Francis vs. Holy Cross Sept. 19 - St. Francis vs. Mt. St. Michael
The St. Francis Prep Terriers are one of the most revered high school football programs in the city’s history. Unfortunately, their legacy doesn’t automatically ensure success, as they managed a mere 2-8 record last season. However, as they set out on this season with renewed drive and experienced leadership, they hope to once again prove themselves a force to be reckoned with. “We feel very positive going in to this season, based on how we were during and before the pre-season,” Assistant Coach Richie Carroll said, noting the team’s involvement in off-season 7-on-7 tournaments. “We’ve developed a sense of hard work that it will pay off for our guys this year. We’re looking for success in a number of ways,” he added. One of those ways is through an offense they hope proves more threatening this season, led by senior year quarterback Brandan Stackpole. “We’ve got a lot of promise in Stackpole, he’s got a lot of experience, but we are a young team,” Carroll said, conceding that he’ll have to make the best of an unrefined receiving corps. Stackpole for his part, seems determined to let nothing stand in the Terriers’ way, and places much of the responsibility for their offensive output on his shoulders. “I’ve got to do a better job of getting better with my receivers,” he said. “I just plan on pushing our guys to work harder and harder. Despite being notably adept at passing and rushing, Stackpole does point out that he’s not the only aspect to St. Francis Prep’s hopes for this season.
The Terriers’ defense will have to feed off the experience and wisdom of senior Keith Carrington, who this year will shift to nose guard from defensive end. “Harrington’s one of our key guys on the d-line,” Carroll said. “He’s one of our leaders.” “We know what our key points are, we’ve got a solid defense, it just has to all come together,” Stackpole added. Coming together could be taken as a theme for the Terriers this season, as they’ve retained the ability they displayed last year to be an imposing team when they’re firing on all cylinders. After a 0-7 start, they racked up back-to-back wins over Kellenberg Memorial, and more impressively, Archbishop Stepinac, handing the Crusaders one of their only three losses last year. St. Francis Prep also has an intangible asset in the guidance of the renowned Vincent O’Connor, who is heading into his 57th year of coaching. The local legend’s knowledge and presence will to some extent quell the disparity of experience that exists within his team. Also worth acknowledging is the confidence the Terriers have in spite of the unanswered questions in their game play, and a schedule that rates about even with last year in terms of difficulty. “I think we have a lot of depth on both sides of the ball,” Carrington said. “I see us having a very positive season starting from our first league game.” “We hope that other teams will see us as a good opponent,” Carroll added.
Set. 25 - St. Francis vs. Iona Prep OCTOBER Oct. 2 - St. Francis vs. St. Joseph by the Sea Oct. 9 - St. Francis vs. Xaverian Oct. 16 - St. Francis vs. Fordham Prep Oct. 23 - St. Francis vs. Kellenburg Oct. 30 - St. Francis vs. Monsignor Farrell
COACH o’’connor 61
TEAMS TO WATCH
Story By: Bailey Stephens Photos By: Daniel S. Burnstein
John F. Kennedy John F. Kennedy
New York Football Preview 2010
Schedule SEPTEMBER Sept. 11 - John F. Kennedy vs. Brooklyn Tech Sept. 19 - John F. Kennedy vs. Wagner
It’s been a long offseason for the players at John F. Kennedy High School. After former coach Alex Vega was dismissed last December amidst controversial circumstances, there was a great degree of uncertainty surrounding one of the most preeminent programs in the city. But months later, former Port Richmond coach Andy Lancberg has taken the reins and the dust is finally settling. And considering the circumstances, it’s been a fairly smooth transition, not that Lancberg expected such after taking over for one of the most liked coaches in program history. “In my life, nothing has been easy and smooth so I’m used to it,” Lancberg said. “I feel awful for Coach Vega. We all have a little fraternity and he’s been very gentlemanly. I can only judge people how I perceive them and not get involved in the he said/she said. But everyone from the administration to the kids has been great.” With the turmoil of the offseason behind them, it’s time to hit the gridiron again. For Kennedy’s seniors, whose team went 1-8 last season and missed the playoffs, that’s the best news of all. No doubt about it, though, it’ll be an uphill climb on the field. The Knights are overhauling their offensive and defensive options, notably making the move to a zone read option offense. “We’re a bit behind the 8 ball compared to all the other schools, so it’s a big adjustment,” Lancberg said. It’s a completely different philosophy.” “It takes a little bit of understanding but once they understand, it’s going to be work,” Lancberg added. At least on the practice field, the new systems and perhaps most importantly, a new teacher, seem to have given the program a shot of life. “I’m really excited,” second-year quarterback Isiah Sledge said. “The new offense is way
better. We’re in the shotgun and it’s much simpler. Before, it was confusing and people easily got mixed up.” Sledge and his fellow seniors agreed that it’s not just that the systems themselves are simpler but also there’s a new voice instructing. “It’s so easy to learn from him,” Sledge said of Lancberg. “He really knows how to teach and how to discipline us. We’re definitely more disciplined.” The challenges of replacing a coach who was so liked by his players are inherent. In the early days of practice though, the players seemed to gel with Lancberg nicely, feeding off his energy and enthusiasm. “He’s very humble,” senior Alvis Albertos said. “He’s just a great person on top of being a great coach.” They’ll know soon if the changes instituted by Lancberg will carry Kennedy back to the playoffs, which they have only missed a handful of times in the past three decades. For the upperclassmen, restoring the program to its previous levels of glory is a very personal task. “As the quarterback, I want to take my team to the championship,” Sledge said. “It’s my last chance to make a mark and show them they can believe in me.” Sledge shares that goal with his new coach who isn’t making any excuses for his program this season. New coach and new systems notwithstanding, success is the only option for Lancberg. “Realistically, I want to bring it back to the level that it’s been,” Lancberg said. “I think if you’re winning championships in one sport in the building than you can win it in all the sports… I’m just going to try my best to lead this program in the right direction.”
Set. 25 - John F. Kennedy vs. Grand Street Campus OCTOBER Oct. 2 - John F. Kennedy vs. Erasnus Hall Oct. 9 -John F. Kennedy vs. Grady Oct. 16 - John F. Kennedy vs. Madison Oct. 23 - John F. Kennedy vs. Clinton Oct. 30 - John F. Kennedy vs. Lehman NOVEMBER Nov. 7 - John F. Kennedy vs. Fort Hamilton
COACH Lancberg 63
PRO C PRO CORNER
By Joe Pietaro Photos by Luis Cova Last April was like a month-long Christmas morning for New York baseball fans. After the long wait for new ballparks for the Yankees and Mets, two retro-styled millionaire playgrounds arose from what were temporary construction sites in the Bronx and Queens, respectively. Through 81 home dates each, both clubs (and their fans) grew accustomed to their new surroundings. There were praises aplenty and even a few complaints, but for the most part, both were overwhelmingly successful. Perhaps the most glorious attribute that both stadiums paid to the game was the ‘Back To The Future’ look they share. This incarnation of The Stadium is more similar to the original 1923 ‘House That Ruth Built’ than the mid1970s renovated version. The Gate 4 entrance evokes memories of yesteryear with the Indiana limestone exterior and the façade is back in full form surrounding the roof from the interior. Because Fred Wilpon grew up in Brooklyn a die-hard Dodgers fan, the Mets owner had his new stadium pick up where the wrecking ball left off in 1961 at Ebbetts Field. The famous rotunda was back and it’s interior was dedicated to Jackie Robinson, one of the standouts from ‘Dem Bums.’ That was the story of last summer, and one that extended into the fall and another World Series championships for the Bombers. Of all
people, New Yorkers may be the most difficult to please. So what would be done for an encore? Perhaps the biggest complaint about Citi Field was that it was more of a tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers than the Mets. The organization listened and made some modifications and additions during the offseason. Added were more Mets colors, banners and photos all throughout the stadium. The Mets Hall of Fame opened in April and is like a mini Cooperstown, Mets style.
CORNE Paying homage to the home team was never a problem at any incarceration of Yankee Stadium. This latest version is perhaps the most worthy in that aspect. The fact that ownership never had any intention of selling the naming rights to the highest corporate bidder proves that in itself. Although the majority has lauded the new digs, there are some purists that will always long for the original. “Give me Shea Stadium any day,” said Bellmore resident Todd Kutil, 50, who was taking in a Mets game with his three teenage sons, Brett, Patrick and Timmy.
“That was the first ballpark I ever went to as a kid and it was fine by me.” His boys have no problem with Citi Field, especially as they waited in line at its famous ‘Shake Shack.’ “This is a great place to watch a game,” 17-year-old Brett commented. “Shea was okay, but having a brand new stadium is much better. And adding more Mets memorabilia here was the right idea”
PRO C PRO CORNER
As far as changes this year at Yankee Stadium, they didn’t need to do much except add World Series champion banner number 27. Bomber fans already loved the place the way it was and that has transcended into the second time around. “This is the best place in baseball to go to a game,” said Brooklyn’s Joe Perricone, who has never been anything but a Yankees fan in his 41 years on earth. “We all love the original Yankee Stadium, but they have brought along a lot of the history across the street with them.” When asked about some of the highlights of the new Stadium, Perricone didn’t hesitate. “Monument Park and the façade,” he said. For fans like Perricone and the Kutils – or at least the
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Story By: Sean Reilly Photos By: Andrew Adler
Holy Cross High School wide receiver Devon Cajuste is, at 6 feet 4 inches, literally head and shoulders over some of his peers at the position. Not only that, he has received numerous accolades and recognition after last year’s record setting season. While racking up seven touchdowns alongside of his CHSFL record of 921 yards on 40 receptions, Cajuste achieved serious name recognition. He is ranked the 58th best high school wide receiver in the country by the sports tracking website Scout.com, plus he earned All-Queens and All-City honors by the New York Post, and was named a Player of the Week by Newsday and the CHSFL during last season. Given the impressive stats, it’s easy to understand why he practically had his pick of the country’s top colleges to attend next year. His campus visits and meetings with coaches fervently chronicled on the internet as big time football schools including Notre Dame, Boston College, Penn State, and Purdue were all clamoring for the chance to land the athletic, 211-pound senior. In the end though, the soft-spoken Cajuste verbally committed to Stanford University, which fulfilled his multiple objectives of providing the opportunity to play for a prominent football program while also attending a top-notch academic institution. “I was interested in both academics and athletics, so I went with them because you can’t beat a ‘top five’ school in the country,” Cajuste said, evidently proud of his scholastic destination. “Plus they have a great team… it was a win-win.”
However, he also conceded that he was pleased with the fact that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh was willing to at least initially play him at wide receiver, instead of suggesting like some of the other schools’ reps that he bulk up and make a shift to tight end. “It was good to hear Stanford would let me play wide receiver, to let me try and maintain my speed,” Cajuste said. “That’s a motivator for me, to be able to maintain my postion,” he added, noting that he’d grown comfortable at wideout since he began playing it as a freshman. He did admit though, that he hasn’t closed the door on a possible shift, stating that should the Cardinals feel after giving him a due chance that he’d be more effective as a tight end, he wouldn’t oppose the move. Much like with his playing position, Cajuste is forward thinking yet flexible with his plans on the whole. While he’d love to start next season, he knows the prospect of a true freshman doing so is unlikely. Though he’s considering possibly majoring in Communication Science or Entertainment Law and minoring in Music, he’s open to the notion that those paths may change by the time he has to formally declare his fields of study. Already projecting the prospect of redshirting, he sees it as an opportunity to possibly aim for a master’s degree while extending his collegiate career. “I don’t mind redshirting, I’d hopefully make that time work for me,” he said, while noting that he hopes to make it to the NFL someday. While he hopefully has a bright future ahead of him, neither he, nor the rest of the Knights are losing sight of the present, or the past. He was on the sidelines with a sprained
By Renee Keller Photos by Asdrubal Hernandez Coming off of a losing record of 0-9 last season, the Christopher Columbus Blue Steele have their work cut out for them, even with a star player like Alan Page on board. At 6’2” 294-pounds, Page makes a big first impression--literally. But, as soon as he speaks in his soft-spoken tone you notice that his sense of humility and poise is larger than his physical presence. Last year the senior defensive tackle had 32 tackles, four fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one sack. Page, a fouryear starter, played six games in a nine-game season due to a shoulder injury. Starting this year the team has chosen to step down from the Top Five Division and compete in the Top Three Division instead. “We’ve stepped back,” said head coach David Diaz, who has coached the Blue Steele squad for 14 years. “We didn’t have enough guys on the team to replace our starters so they could get a rest, instead of playing continuously.” Yet despite that drawback, the team never lost by a wide margin. “We never got blown out,” said Page. “The other teams would compliment us on playing so tough because they knew we had a lot fewer guys than they had.” Coach Diaz decided to have the team play in the Top Three Division so they could get more wins, and hopefully, get more students interested in joining the team. According to Page, who is the team captain, it’s hard to create a successful team because people don’t want to work together. “Some people are only interested in individual stats,” he noted. Coach Diaz agreed. He described Page as a great guy who knows his strengths and weaknesses. “He knows what he has to do to make himself better and he works on it every day,” said Diaz. “Alan’s very humble and always talks to his teammates about the importance of academics.” To ensure that the players exercise their minds as well their bodies, Coach Diaz makes sure the players do their schoolwork. “I hold a study hall 90 minutes before every practice,” he said. Page enjoys his classes. “I like history, English, and poetry, because I write raps,” he said. A solid student with an 80 average, Page has given a verbal commitment to Rutgers University. He says he would like to major in criminal justice, and perhaps work for the FBI. Page also mentioned that he is working on becoming a better vocal leader. “I’m not a big talker,” he admitted. But underneath the reserved demeanor is a sense of fun and humor. “I listen to rap to calm down and rock to pump me up before a game,” he explained. “I also like to watch WWF wrestling. There’s a pro wrestler named Kane who I
enjoy because he’s very agile for such a big man. He is 6’8” and weighs 320 pounds.” Page also admires Eric Morton, a Rutgers alum, who plays for the Colts. Ironically, Page had no interest in football as a youngster. He enjoyed wrestling much more. He won a wresting match at 13-years-old in an after-school program called Beat the Streets. His father told him there was a wrestling team at Columbus High School, which is the reason why he enrolled. When Page started attending the school he found out there was no wrestling team and was talked into trying out for football by his father. Reluctant at first, Page grew to love the sport during his sophomore year. “As I go more fit, I started to enjoy playing he game,” he said. Coach Diaz keeps the team working out throughout the year. The athletes do weight training and running to increase their core strength. This season Page says he wants to improve his footwork and hip movement so that he can change direction more quickly.
In the meantime, Page is beginning his senior year full of excitement about facing off against Christopher Columbus’ rival teams, such as Bayside, Lehman and Jane Adams. “Bayside was a Top Five team that is now in the Top Three division,” Page explained. He said he’s looking forward to playing against Bayside because they already have Top Five experience. Also, when his team played against them last season Page noted that he played well and made several tackles. Seventeen Blue Steele players who played at the Top Five level are returning this year. In addition there about 40 players on the team who have played together for three years or more, which has helped to create strong team chemistry. “We have a good chance at winning a division championship this year,” said Page, who is looking to recapture the Top Five Division championship that the Blue Steele won in 2006. “We have a lot of guys who returned from last year so they already know what to do.”
When he‘s not playing football, Page enjoys spending time with his family. His younger brother, a freshman, plans to try out for the defensive line of the Columbus football team this year and his younger sister plays for three of Columbus’ varsity teams-volleyball, soccer and tennis.
Bange Power Points
BencH Press King of all exercises By Paul Mastronardi
How much does he bench? One of the most common questions that is asked when referring to a players strength level. The bench press is one of the most efficient upper body exercises, mainly because it is a compound exercise that involves multiple joints and multiple muscle groups. When performed as part of a well organized strength training program, using proper form, the bench press has great benefits. The NFL combines have incorporated the bench press test into their testing protocols (225lbs.for as many repetitions as possible). In 2002, the American Football Coaches Association appointed a task force comprised of high school and college football coaches to establish a nationwide system of standardized athletic tests for high school football players. The National Athletic Testing System (NATS) was born. One of the components of the NATS test is the bench press. In the NATS test, each player is asked to bench press 185 lbs. for as many repetitions as possible. In this months power points I will discuss the various components of the bench press, body position, lifting technique (form) and proper safety protocols
griP: Grip spacing is an individual preference that largely depends upon structure and musculature, I recommend a slightly wider that shoulder width grip. Use the knurling on the bar as a reference point when locating the grip position. The width grip on the bar will determine what muscle groups will be emphasized while performing the lift. A narrow grip requires greater triceps and deltoid involvement, while a wider grip will require more pectoral involvement. The reason for this is when the grip is wider it requires the elbows to flare (abduction), thus placing the emphasis on the pectorals. For maximum efficiency the elbows should be slightly adducted to allow near equal distribution among the involved muscle groups with the least emphasis placed on the triceps since this is the smallest muscle involved and it will be the first to get fatigued. When actually gripping the bar, rap the thumbs around the bar this will provide the highest degree of safety.
UlTiMaTe aTHleTe MagaZine LONG ISLAND EDITION
ed up >>>>
TecHniQUe (forM) After assuming a stable compact position on the bench, feet positioned correctly, and taking a proper grip, the lifter is ready for the bar to be taken off the rack. With complete control lower the bar to a position across the midline of the chest. During the negative (eccentric) phase of the lift emphasize complete control over the bar which is crucially important. If the bar is lower too fast the weight will
build inertia and it will make the lift less efficient (100 lbs lowered too fast will equal 140 lbs when it reaches the chest), thus producing fewer repetitions. By lowering the bar too quickly it will also add stress to the connective tissue and expose the lifter to injury. The weight should be lowered to a point that is at the midline of the chest or one inch below (point of emphasis; do not let the bar hit the sternum this can lead to serious injury). The elbows are tucked in toward the latisimus so
that the triceps come into contact with the lats. When raising the weight positive (concentric) phase, the bar should travel in a slight arc that begins at the midline of the chest and travels to a point where the bar is over the upper chest upon completion of the repetition. During the raising stage of the lift the elbows should begin to flare outwards(abduction) utilizing side deltoid strength and maintaining upward movement of the pectorals and triceps.
safeTY: Never bench press alone
i ii iii iV V Vi Vii Viii
Always have a spotter
Spotter must pay full attention to the lifter at all times Spotter use an over-under two hand grip when spotting the bar
Communicate to the lifter so he is ready to receive the barbell Do not arch or bridge when doing the bench press Do not bounce the bar off the chest (this may lead to serious injury or death) Stay away from 1 rep single repetitions, this can lead to injury.
final PoinT The NATS test is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to evaluating talent. Just like the SATS are used for college admission, the students grades and performance over their high school careers are vitally important in evaluating a students ability to perform college level academics. A football players performance on film is the most important indicator when evaluating a football prospect.
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SPORT Sports Psychology
“The Secret to Team Building”
Tom Ferraro, Ph.D. Carly Schwartz (Hobart and William Smith College) In press for Ultimate Athlete Magazine August 23, 2010 All rights reserved
Establishing the essence of a team falls on the shoulders of the coach. It takes great skill and character to achieve team cohesion. Players often tend to grandstand, get jealous, demand attention or get lazy. And these problems don’t go away until they are addressed. Lack of team cohesion can easily destroy a season. So exactly how does one build a team into a fully functioning smooth running unit? This article addresses this issue.
“Team building is an art that all couches need to learn.”
W Coaching Staff:
We can learn much by studying the great coaches. Vince Lombardi was known for his toughness. Woody Hayes of Ohio State focused on preparation. Doc Counsilman, the famed Indiana University Swim coach, was known for his compassion and deep commitment to his swimmers. And UCLA’s John Wooden was a master teacher who was also strict and built character in his players. They were trained in politeness so well that they would leave the locker room spotless after every practice. He did this to teach them respect for their fellow man. The coach sets the tone and he or she alone is the one who will build a strong team. All great coaches are exceptional people with great passion, love of sport and integrity. But that is not all one needs to build a team.
“A coaches core values must be communicated to his team clearly and often.”
Problems and Threats to Team Cohesion: Despite the coaches’ best efforts to establish discipline, enthusiasm and core values things often go wrong. This produces frustration and anxiety in the coaching staff. Here are a few of the ways things go south.
Interpersonal issues like jealousy envy and cliques Lack of effort and laziness personal problems cause distraction Splitting of loyalties between coaching staff
TS Psy “Team rituals like dinners of pre-game talks bond the team together.”
The Team Legacy, Tradition and History: Another factor in team building relates to its legacy. Players must be allowed to see the team’s history and its achievements. Go into the Yankee locker room and you will see trophies, banners and photos of past champions. The tradition of a team can serve to inspire, direct and motivate a team. A coach can encourage hustle during practice but visual reminders of what the team has done and what you expect is a subtle and effective way to keep the message in front of them at all times. It is yet another way to build team cohesion.
T Team Rituals:
There are many ways that a team can bond. We call this the team rituals and it includes team dinners, scavenger hunts, pre-game talks, team prayers, halftime talks and post game talks. Al Pacino captured the essence of an inspirational pre-game speech in the film Any Given Sunday. Al Pacino as Coach “Tony D’Amato gave an impassioned speech minutes before game time and rousing them to battle for ‘every inch.’ When a coach can speak from the heart like this it will bond the team. . The team captain is another important role. Every team has a captain who guides and inspires the team. They lead by example and the captain is usually the player that is admired the most by others but who does not produce jealousy. And if the team captain fails to be a selfless leader, the team will suffer. Other team rituals include pre-game dinners, and other bonding experiences on and off the field. While each team uses team rituals the unique way in which they do is critical in order to maintain a positive team dynamic. Research in the military shows that bonding is best in small groups of 3 – 6 men each and this strategy is now being used in college football. Teams are sent away to boot camp to instill trust and group bonding.
What to Do to Build a Team: When you look to answers it is easy to see that a key ingredient that cures this issue is open communication. Coach Coughlin of the NY Giants turned his tenure around when he put into effect ‘The President’s Counsel’ where his top players had a chance to air grievances with him. Communication takes time but it’s worth it in the end. Every great coach does two things well. They spell out their rules and expectations clearly and say what needed to be said. And they also are able to listen to what players have to say. Great coaches talk openly and with respect and they listen carefully to their players.
Team building is a great art. It is one of the unchartered and under researched areas in sport but one that is key to winning. The intensity of team sports is unmatched. You can have peak moments nearly every game. But the problems inherent in team life are huge as well. Clear rules, solid values, team rituals and open communication are the pillars of great coaching. Best of luck with the season and enjoy it all. Bio; Dr Tom Ferraro is a noted Sport Psychologist based on Long Island who works with has worked with teams and individual athletes for twenty years. Carly Schwartz is a sport psychology intern attending William Smith College. They can be reached at (516) 248-7189 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Sep 22, 2010