By Matt Diano:
This past Thursday, the 5’10, 165-pound senior triple-threat sure put the “special” in specialist in propelling the Titans into the win column behind a 40-14 road victory over defending NYCHSFL “A” champions, Kennedy Catholic…Accruing in excess of 200 yards of total output with the ball in the hands, Sinclair’s explosive track & field speed was indisputable, as evident by the countless kick and/or punt returns that he sprung for 20 or more yards…On two occasions, the 2019 All-Catholic honoree had his proverbial jets firing on so many cylinders that he successfully fielded the pigskin, cut wide, and then turned on the burners until he had reached the “land of milk, honey, and 6 points.”…The first of his pair of touchdown-yielding returns came in the 2nd quarter when he answered a Gael score (to tie the score at 7-7) by bringing the ensuing kick-off 79 yards to the house to instantly put the boys from Hicksville back in front…HT now securely in the driver’s seat (up 28-14 in the 4th), #8’s second act was just as exhilarating as the first, catching a low line-drive punt on his own 29, making a KC player miss on a tackle attempt, and again finding room down the visiting sideline (HT side of the field) for the 71-yard trek…Sinclair added a 12-yard reception from senior signal caller, Emilio Ramirez (5-for-7, 65 yards, 1 TD pass) on offense, and was solid defensively, providing air tight coverage from the secondary…Per his personal twitter account, since the conclusion of his junior year, Sinclair has been offered scholarships by the likes of Alvernia University, Allegheny College, RIT, SUNY-Cortland, UMass-Dartmouth, and most recently (March 29th), Utica College!
Making his return to the KMHS line-up after missing the first three contests of the season due to injury, the 6’1, 206-pounder out of Lido Beach had himself a Senior Day to remember in the Firebirds’ 41-14 victory at home over a previously unbeaten squad from St. John the Baptist….Making his impact felt consistently throughout the morning, the multi-sport superstar (will play lacrosse collegiately at Binghamton University) notched several career-highs on both sides of the line of scrimmage in helping the returning AA-1 runners-up from Uniondale improve their 2021 record to 2-2….Ready, but not needed in the backfield as a junior last season (187 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries), Chernoff darn near equaled his rushing totals from 2019 in one outing…Carrying the pigskin 18 times, he racked up a team-best 172 yards and scored twice as part of a Blue & Gold ground attack that was lethal all day, combining for 311 yards and four touchdowns…With Kellenberg holding a 21-0 edge in the last three minutes of the opening half, Chernoff broke for his biggest gainer of the day, taking the draw up the center and then cutting back while out-racing a Cougar defender en route to the 54-yard trek to paydirt that made the score 27-0 at the break…He added a four-yard TD run in the final minute of the 3rd quarter that gave KMHS the comfortable 34-8 advantage at the end of 36 minutes…Turning to defense, Chernoff picked up right where he left off last year (finished 2nd on the team with 40 tackles in 2019), making a personal-best nine stops, including one sack and several additional TFLs…Holding a John the Baptist program that entered averaging over 38 points per game to a modest 8 (#22 was not on the field when the Cougars’ scored their second TD) is the ultimate compliment when it comes to assessing the game-altering value that the future Bearcat possesses from the LB position.
James Goldfeder (Sr.); DB – Chaminade Flyers
A true representative of what it has meant to be a student-athlete during the “COVID-19” era, the 6-foot, 170-pounder from Floral Park elicited praise from Flyer Head Coach, Kevin Dolan, for the example he has set in his swan song campaign…Reminiscent of 2019 Vincent O’Connor/AA-1 Defensive Player of the Year recipient, Aidan Cappellino, with whom he was compared, Goldfeder transformed himself from someone who saw limited field time as an 11th grader to one of the most irreplaceable components for a Chaminade “D” that pitched a shutout in week 2 (vs. Holy Trinity) and then held a very efficient St. Anthony’s offense to just 13 points this past Thursday…Committing every ounce of his being to ensuring that he was fully prepared, both physically and mentally for a season that was never even guaranteed to happen, the senior defensive back received the ultimate payoff for his dedication and tireless work ethic when he was on the back end of two crucial turnovers that enabled the Mineola based program to emerge with their first victory over their rivals from South Huntington since 2012 (The AAA title-game; 17-16 Chaminade)…The contest deadlocked at 13 apiece in the waning seconds (:22 left on the clock) of the 4th quarter, it was Goldfeder thwarting the Friars’ last-ditch effort at a comeback triumph (trailed 13-0 at the end of the 3rd) when he jumped the pass route and intercepted the ball inside his own 15-yard line to extend the game to overtime…In the extra frame, St. Anthony’s again found themselves in an optimal situation to seize control. STA Knocking on the door with a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line, the snap must have had eyes, as it managed to slip through the smallest of crevices into open space. Goldfeder, displaying amazing attentiveness, darted off the corner and dove onto the loose ball, spoiling the Friars’ bid for the “w”…Capitalizing off of the turnover, Chaminade put their fate in the hands of All-State senior RB, Mario Fischetti (POTW selection last week), who delivered the win with a 5-yard touchdown run…In addition to his pair of game-saving plays, Goldfeder was also credited with eight tackles (4 solo, 4 assisted).
Versatility thy name is Jarel Washington!!! An individual who continues to distinguish himself as a bona fide Swiss army knife within the Gael Offense, the returning All-Catholic selection (323 yards rushing, 402 yards receiving, 8 total TDs as a junior) from White Plains has shown that no matter which/how many hats he is asked to wear on a given weekend, the Stonehill College commit is ALWAYS going to be invaluable in any/every capacity…The presence of such a multi-tooled and potent performer is the ultimate insurance policy for a program that takes on all comers and never makes excuses…During week #4, Washington’s chameleon-like ability to adapt was pivotal in his school remaining among the ranks of the immaculate following a 28-14 victory triumph over 2019 AAA runners-up, Archbishop Stepinac…Called upon by Head Coach, Joe Spagnolo, to fill the cleats of three-year starting tailback, Frankie McFadden, who suffered an injury on the first snap of the contest, #8 in the Maroon & Black was human dynamite all morning, as he became the first IP student-athlete since the 2014 season [Shane Martin per MaxPreps] to rush for 200+ yards in a single game…Taking the hand-off 21 times, Washington racked up 214 yards and logged three touchdowns to single-handedly outscore a very capable Crusader cohort…Drawing initial blood with just under 5:00 remaining in the 1st quarter, Washington took the draw straight up the middle from 11-yards away to make the score 6-0…Four minutes later, he struck again, culminating a series set up by a 36-yard connection in the air from Darius Wilson (10-for-16, 118 yards, 1 TD throw) to Will Stone (3 receptions for 62 yards) by taking the ball the final five yards across the goal to increase the score to 13-0…The trifecta for Washington occurred at a most opportune time, as it was his short dash (4 yarder) on 4th Goal in the last 3:00 of regulation (IP leading 21-14) that served as the clincher for the Gaels…Coincidentally, for the second year in a row (also in week #4 of 2019), Washington garnered POTW recognition after tormenting Stepinac. Last season, it was a 4-carry/74-card, 2-catch/108-yard effort that was the catalyst in Iona Prep’s 36-35 win…With the health status of McFadden unknown, it should be expected that the Gaels will be leaning heavily on Washington again in week #5 when they square off with defending Catholic State Champion, Canisius (Buffalo), in an intersectional battle for bragging rights!