THE WAIT IS OVER….Following an extended absence from the hard-nosed, “leave it all on the field”, “play for the name on the front of the jersey” excellence that we have all come to expect and cherish from the student-athletes in the NYCHSFL, action finally resumed on the 12th of March this year…And while the landscape has been significantly altered (only eight teams are competing right now) due to on-going restrictions throughout the five boroughs, we speak for all Catholic football enthusiasts when we proclaim that we are appreciative that even a sample of the amazing young gentlemen representing us have been afforded this privilege of engaging in the sport they love!
As is our tradition, the Catholic High School Football League Metropolitan New York remains firm in our commitment to always shine the proverbial spotlight on today’s starts/tomorrow’s living legends!
Honored for exemplify individual performances during the opening two weekends of the 2021 season are the following:
WEEK 1 (03/12/21-03/13/2021):
Saturday March 13th was a case of new year, same story for the 6’2, 195-pound field general out of the Bronx….During his two years running the Gaels’ offense, we have witnessed the College of William & Mary committed standout do just about anything and everything on the gridiron; but the one thing we have not seen is an “off day”…And based on how his swan song campaign is commencing, it is becoming increasingly probable that we never will see a subpar effort out of the returning NYSSWA 2nd-Team All-State/2019 All-Catholic selection…More than a year removed from amassing 2,207 yards in the air, 551 on the ground and racking up 27 total touchdowns (23 passing, 4 rushing), the captain did not skip a beat in Iona Prep’s 42-7 victory on the road over a Kellenberg Memorial squad that has advanced to the Double-A title game in each of the past three years (winning the hardware in 2017 and 2018)….Connecting on 15 of 18 attempts with his arm, Wilson hurled for 211 yards and four scores. To boot, he displayed the full array of his abilities, tacking on an additional 89 yards (4 carries) with his legs…His encore this past Saturday was equally, if not more-so mind-blowing, as he hit on 13 of 14 aerial attempts for 258 yards and three TDs in a 51-14 win on home turf against defending Double-A-1 champions, Chaminade….Thru two appearances, he boasts an 87.5 completion rate, has tossed for nearly 500 yards and already has SEVEN TD passes!
WEEK 2 (03/20/21-03/21/2021):
While the first week of the Catholic season featured one Gael [Wilson] sprinting (literally) towards the tape in his scholastic marathon, week #2 showcased the emergence of the newest surefire game-changer in the person of a sensational sophomore linebacker [Moultrie-Goddard)….Receiving his initial NCAA Division I scholarship offer [from Syracuse] as a FRESHMAN in January 2020, the “Humble Beast” as he refers to himself on twitter, has since added Arizona State and Tennessee to the list of suitors seeking his services…And after watching his highlight reel from last Saturday in a loop, it is no wonder why the Big-5 power conferences are lining up to talk to this spectacular and well-rounded [honor student in the classroom] gem…In IP’s aforementioned triumph over their visitors from Mineola [Chaminade], the 6’2, 235-pounder spent such an abundance of time in the opposing backfield that the state may have changed the address of his legal residence…Credited with 10 total stops (4 for a loss), three sacks, and a forced fumble, the dynamic 10th grader was the main reason the Gaels’ D-unit succeeded in holding a Chaminade cohort that averaged over 28 points per game behind 2nd-Team Al-State RB, Mario Fischetti Jr, last season to half that output on March 20th.
For those who claim that a sequel is doomed to never live up to the expectations set forth by the original, we offer you the 6’2, 182-pound Locus Valley resident [Sluka] as evidence to the contrary…When your older brother [Matt] is a 2x Catholic “AA” Offensive Player of the Year, a twice named All-State (2nd-Team in 2017, 1st team in 2018) selection, and is revered for leading your school to back-to-back titles (without ever losing a game), it is not too often, if ever, that you prevail in a game of “one-upmanship.”…But alas, this moment materialized last Saturday evening in KMHS’s 48-34 win over defending ‘A” titlists, Kennedy Catholic…Making the conversion from WR (3 catches for 25 yards in 2019) to QB1 duties for his final season donning the Blue & Gold, the multi-sport (will start on defensive for the lacrosse team in the spring) stud made a statement in just his second start taking the snaps…Directly responsible for six (three in each half) of Kellenberg’s seven touchdowns, the perennial honor roll student-athlete closed out the second week of the regular season with a stat line that read as such: 34 carries for 347 yards and SIX rushing TDs…In one single outing, he managed to surpass the single-game career-highs (carries-18, yards-244, TDs-5) on the ground achieved by his elder sibling (the top rushing QB in NYS both years of his varsity career) over the course of two years…Capitalizing off of a KC fumble on the opening drive of the contest, Sluka propelled the ‘Berg” to an early 7-0 lead by punctuating the series with a 1-yard plunge across the goal line…Unable to shake their guests from Westchester, Sluka repeatedly and consistently did all he could to keep KMHS in control, darting from 12 and 1 yard(s) respectively in the bookend moments of the 2nd quarter en route to sending his school into the break with a 28-20 advantage…Reaching paydirt for the fourth occasion of the night approximately 3:00 into the 3rd quarter, Sluka refused to be denied as he powered his way up the middle from 11-yards out to increase the cushion to 34-20…It was déjà vu four minutes later when he answered a KC score with an identical trek up the gut (from 12 away) to restore the 14-point margin…The sixth and ultimately final dagger came at the midway point of the 4th quarter as #10 took it to the house from a distance of 15 yards (after a previous 66-yard run was called back) to conclude the barrage of attacks…To keep the Gael “D” honest, Sluka did connect on three pass attempts for 27 yards as a bonus!
Acting as foe in the back-and-forth dual of elite signal callers this past Saturday at Mitchel Field was the reigning NYCHSFL “A” Offensive Player of the Year recipient, Proctor…Formerly feared as a “run first” type of quarterback (seven of his 13 TDs in 2019 were on the ground), the Yorktown Heights resident ABSOLUTELY exhibited the vastly improved passing dimension of his arsenal in the loss to the Firebirds…Establishing new single-game career-bests in completions (20-for-26), yardage in the air (293) and touchdowns thrown (2), the 2019 Honorable Mention All-State pick has transformed from Vick to Russell Wilson in terms of the balanced way that he can now punish the opponent’s defense…KC trailing 7-0 at the time, Proctor notched the first of his pair of TD strikes in the 1st when he found sophomore, Nick Duryea over the middle from 27-yards out to cut the deficit to 7-6 in the 1st quarter…With just under 4:00 remaining in the opening half and KMHS up 20-13, Proctor was even more precise with his sniper arm, as he hooked up with fellow senior, Louis Cardillo (4 grabs for 98 yards) on a 50-yard completion down the home sideline to square the contest at 20 apiece…Not forgetting about the magical legs that delivered a Catholic “A” crown to Somers last season, Proctor complemented his strong performance throwing by accumulating 40 yards on 12 keepers, including a 1-yard dash early in the 3rd quarter that capped off his three score night…As a testament to his selflessness, it should be noted that when not commanding the offense, he served as a mainstay in the defensive backfield…After two games this season, he Is the owner of a 60% (30-for-50) completion percentage, totaling 495 yards and five touchdowns.
Talk about the perfect way to make a first impression; the 5’9, 175-pound sophomore [Ruta] was living the dream last Saturday in his 11-on-11 varsity debut for the Friars; the perennial powerhouse from South Huntington trailing 20-14 in the waning moments of the 4th quarter, it would be Ruta on the back end of a 2nd-and-5, 5-yard yard screen pass from fellow 10th grader, Dante Torres, with 16 ticks remaining that cemented the comeback victory (21-20; Griffin Goldstein successfully executed the PAT] for STA over an Archbishop Stepinac program that has advanced to the triple-A title game six consecutive seasons, winning four…The clutch TD grab was one of three instances that afternoon which saw a St. Anthony’s drive culminated by #47 journeying to the promised land!!!…At the forefront of every productive series for St. Anthony’s, it was Ruta getting his school on board with 3:52 remaining in the 1st half when found a hole, evaded tacklers and cruised six yards to the end zone to cut their deficit to 10-7…His determination and toughness was again evident at the initial stages of the 4th quarter (STA down 20-7) when he utilized a second-effort push to force him across the plain from five yards away to put the Friars back within one score…All in all, Ruta accounted for 105 yards of total output, averaging just shy of 8 yards per carry on his 12 attempts (95 yards) while also making three receptions for an additional 10 (the last six being the saving grace)!