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!
Griffin Chernoff (Sr.); RB/LB – Kellenberg Memorial Firebirds
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.
Photo Courtesy of Geoff Walter
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).
Jarel Washington (Sr.); RB/WR – Iona Prep Gaels
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!
Will Currid (Fr.); QB – Archbishop Stepinac Crusaders
The mere knowledge of stepping into a tradition that has seen the previous four predecessors earn All-State recognition can be enough to rattle even the moist poised and gifted of prospects…Now imagine having to undertake this role as a FRESHMAN…This is precisely the situation that the 6’1, 165-pound field general out of Cross River [Currid] faced in a varsity debut loss in week #1 to St. Anthony’s. And while he performed quite admirably (10-for-15, 142 yards, 1 TD pass), you could tell from the game film that this young man had another gear in which he could go…The question of how long it would take for the former Harlem Jet to ascend was answered in expeditious fashion this past Saturday…THE FUTURE IS NOW THE PRESENT; The stud has arrived!! Demonstrating pinpoint accuracy from start to finish, the rookie signal caller hit on 19 of his 24 aerial attempts for 274 yards and SIX touchdowns in the Crusaders’ 56-35 win over Kellenberg Memorial in a battle of respective 2019 Catholic divisional runners-up…Masterful in his ability to survey the field and distribute the pigskin evenly, the fab frosh connected with three different targets on TD strikes, commencing with an 11-yard rollout to the sideline where he hooked-up with senior, Gary Wilkins (6 grabs, 112 yards) for the first of a pair of 6-point receptions…Stepinac now leading 14-0, It was sophomore, Dae Shawn Allen’s (114 yards of total offense; 3 TD catches, 1 TD run) turn to be on the back end of a perfect strike, as Currid connected on a 21-yarder in the corner of the end zone two minutes into the 2nd quarter…The diaper dandy posted his third and longest hurl of the weekend with 2:37 remaining in the 1st half, going back to Wilking on a 70-yard bomb over the middle to make the score 35-7. But he wasn’t done yet! After the Stepinac defense induced a TOD in the last 94 before the break, Currid spearheaded a two-play 38-yard march into the end zone. Setting up the drive with a 30-yard completion to Patrick Johnson, he notched a hat trick for the quarter (4th overall of the half) with an 8-yard screen pass to Allen…There was no resting on laurels for the dynamic underclassmen duo as they immediately picked up where they left off, with Allen making a 20-yard over the shoulder snatch less than a minute and a half into the 3rd for the last of his trifecta of TD catches…A KMHS two-touchdown rally brought the score within 42-21, but the proverbial nail in the coffin was hammered in w/8:56 remaining in the 4th quarter, as Currid pulled a doozy from his bag of tricks, rolling in one direction and then firing in the other to convert a marvelous 8-yard wheel route to Jayden Jenkins (130 yards rushing on 12 carries; 1 reception for the TD) as the exclamation to a nearly flawless outing…Per MaxPreps, who began compiling statistics during the 2004 season, Currid’s six touchdown tosses in a single-day is the most by a Stepinac QB in at least the past 17 years!!! Catholic football aficionados are already immensely anticipating this Thursday’s QB clash, as Currid will oppose Week #1 POTW choice, Darius Wilson, in what is sure to be the ultimate shootout of perennial AAA superpowers!
Mario Fischetti Jr. (Sr.); RB – Chaminade Flyers
In 1986, Ferris Bueller spoke eloquently about life moving pretty fast and the importance of making sure you don’t miss it…Some 35 years later, these same sentiments can be applied to the way in which NYCHSFL enthusiasts relish in the consistent play of the 5’7, 165-pound senior tailback out of Glen Head [Fischetti Jr.]…Much like death and taxes, the last two-years have demonstrated that a certainty of life is that when #24 in Crimson & Gold takes a handoff, he is ALWAYS a threat to take it the distance for the “6”…This is a fact that he illustrated on four separate occasions this Saturday in the Flyers’ 34-0 victory at home over Holy Trinity…Wasting no time in his getting his name in the box score, the returning All-Catholic/All-Long Island/NYSSWA 3rd-Team All-State selection exploded on the second snap of the game, busting through the middle and traveling 63-yards untouched to help the defending Catholic AA-1 champs from Mineola to the early 7-0 advantage…Approximately seven minutes later, the Williams College commit notched his second TD of the quarter, punching it in from 3-yards out on 1st-and-goal; he subsequently tacked on a successful 2pt conversion to increase the Chaminade cushion to 21-0. Earlier in this drive, it was his 36-yard trek that moved his school into the red zone (the opposing 14) and laid the tracks for the eventual score…Not much changed for “Super” Mario in the second quarter as he again handled the bulk of the workload and reaped the eventual benefits. His team facing 3rd-and-3 on their own 30, he cut to the outside and dashed 45 yards to move the pigskin within the Titan 25. Five plays later (following a few solid gainers on the ground and in the air by Junior QB, Thomas Stueber, + an outside penalty), Fischetti culminated the drive by plunging into the pylon from 8-yards away to put the Marianists in front 28-0 at the break…As a final act before sitting out the majority of the second half, Fischetti answered a turnover on downs forced by his teammates by taking Chaminade’s first snap of the 3rd quarter 66-yards to paydirt to complete an outstanding 14-carry, 245-yard, 4TD afternoon…Including his week #1 performance (180 yards and two touchdowns on 15 touches) in a loss to Iona Prep, Fischetti has now surpassed the century mark in 11 of his 12 varsity appearances. In addition, he has rushed for multiple scores in 8 of 12…He heads into this Thursday’s rivalry contest versus St. Anthony’s needing just 47 yards on the ground to reach 2,000 in his career. His next TD run will be his 30th overall!
Mark Anthony Scott (Jr.); RB – St. John the Baptist Cougars
Next man up; next man tough!!! Such would be a perfect description for the 5’8, 175-pound 11th grader out of Port Jefferson Station…Accustomed to sharing in the ground attack duties for an always deep and potent SJB backfield, when the program’s top-returning runner from a year ago [Jayden Louis] was sidelined with an injury, it would be on Scott’s shoulders to do his part and then some…He more than delivered this past weekend in John the Baptist’s 49-27 victory over the defending NYCHSFL “A” champions from Somers, Kennedy Catholic…Posting an incredible 14.4 yards per carry for the day, #22 in Red/White amassed 260 yards and scored THREE touchdowns on 18 rushing attempts to help Coach Phil Alba’s Cougars to their highest output since September 2018…Utilized primarily on the defensive side of the ball (DB) in 2019, Scott was credited with just 2 yards on three handoffs as a sophomore; hence it need not be said the amount of hard work applied and the degree of development he has experienced during the past 17 months…His team leading 7-6 at the time, Scott recorded the first of his two 2nd quarter TDs when he followed-up a 21-yard connection between QB Kyle Chase and WR Christian Maisel, by barreling over a Gael defender for a 1-yard TD run…Later in the 2nd stanza, having already displayed his power, the “total package” gentleman with the 3.7 GPA took his turn at showcasing the breakaway speed and agility he possesses, taking the draw up the middle, cutting to the outside (in front of his bench) and then nimbly shifting back at the goal line to evade a would-be tackler en route to the 18-yard dash to the promised land that gave SJB a 27-20 halftime edge…A KC touchdown on the initial drive of the second half evened the scoreboard at 27 apiece, but the contest was not square for long as Scott emerged with his most impressive and electrifying contribution of the afternoon when his first action of the 3rd quarter witnessed him take a handoff, shake off a tackle, reverse field and spring 81 yards down the Kennedy sideline for what proved to be the deciding touchdown…With the win, St. John the Baptist kicked off a season with a 2-0 start for the first since 2012 when they were Catholic Double-A runners-ups.
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):
Darius Wilson (Sr.); QB – Iona Prep Gaels
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!
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.
Thomas Sluka (Sr.); QB – Kellenberg Memorial Firebirds
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.
Frank Ruta (So.); RB – St. Anthony’s Friars
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)!
At 6 pm tonight Kellenberg and Iona Prep will take the field at the Mitchel Field Athletic Complex in Uniondale, Long Island. The game will mark the official opening of the 2020 CHSFL football season. It’s odd to say 2020 when the first game of the CHSFL season is being played on March 13, 2021. But here we are. A “full slate” of games will be played next weekend. (Date, sites and times TBD) The “full slate” of games requires context. Due to continued restrictions in New York City fourteen league members are unable to begin their season. While the NYC members of the CHSFL await clearance the Westchester and Long Island members of the CHSFL will take the field and provide a glimpse of a return to normalcy. It is hoped that in the coming weeks the full slate of games will include all CHSFL member schools.
Please note: Tonight’s Iona/Kellenberg game is not open to the public. Due to distancing restrictions both schools have distributed a limited amount of tickets. There will be no tickets sold at the gate. Each host school will determine and communicate to it’s opponent distancing and attendance procedures.
Longtime Cardinal Spellman Coach Joe Desimone has past away. Coach Desimone led the Falcoln’s to the “A” championship game three times, winning the title in 2006 and 2008. In addition, Coach Desimone was a member of the CHSFL Board of Governors.
The funeral arrangements are as follows:
Wake: Sunday Oct 25th from 1-6 at Sisto Funeral Home
Funeral Mass: Monday Oct 26th at 11:30 at St Benedicts Church
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
The Catholic High School Football League of Metropolitan New York, following the guidance of the New York State CHSAA, has decided to move our Fall 2020 season to March and April, 2021. Specific dates and schedules will be announced at a later date.
The New York State CHSAA has approved the addition of 7 v 7 Flag Football league for the Fall 2020 season. Practice is permitted to commence on Sept 21. Contests will begin weekend of Oct 10th. Further details and schedules for the league will be available soon.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Jarrod Sockwell. He succumbed to complications caused by the COVID-19 virus. Jarrod was a star player for Nazareth graduating in 1999 and then returned to his alma mater four years ago to serve as an assistant coach. He also served as an assistant coach at Holy Cross. Jarrod will be missed by the Nazareth High School and CHSFL communities.
Reflecting upon and celebrating the achievement, glory, and blessings of their biggest, brightest, and most treasured competitors, the NYCHSFL community gathered together on Sunday December 8th for the annual ritual of sharing a meal at the 2019 Communion Awards Breakfast.
Hosted once again on the campus of Kellenberg Memorial High school, the festivities commenced with Fr. Albert Bertoni of the Society of Mary providing the congregation with a lesson about preparing ourselves for the coming of Christ this Advent Season.
Then the time arrived to hand out some hardware…
Headlining our collection of 2019 award winners would be Chaminade senior lineman, Liam Brown, who took home the Monsignor Peter’s Memorial Trophy, in recognition of being named the top Scholar-Athlete in the NYCHSFL…A young gentleman who carries himself as a living example of all the characteristics and values that we as Christians are called to embody, Brown has selflessly excelled across the board…In the classroom, he has posted a cumulative grade point average of 99.4, is a three-year (soon to be four) Honor Roll student, an active member in the National Honor Society, doubled up as the top student-athlete recipient for both the football and wrestling teams in 2018 (expected to repeat this achievement), received the Louis J. Faerber trophy in 2017 as the owner of the highest grade point average in the Flyer freshman class, and transformed his passion for the sciences (emphasis on Medicine/Biology) into a 1st place ribbon at the 2019 Science Fair, among his many academic accolades…In the community, Brown is a dedicated disciple, serving St. Paul’s parish as a volunteer at “Friday Friends”, a program which provides companionship and mentorship to special needs children. In addition, he is a devout representative of the Catholic League and Catholic 4 Life organizations, has given freely of his time as a peer tutor, was repeatedly selected by school administrators to serve as a role model at the Admitted Students Open House, as well as the Catholic High School Entrance examination. Furthermore, he continues to spread the teachings of Christ as a multi-year educator within the PREP program…On the gridiron, the Wantagh resident was recently named to the All-League squad following a 2019 season where he captained the Flyers to their first title since 2014. The anchor of the OL, Brown paved the way for the Flyers to rack up over 3,300 yards of total offense and 38 touchdowns en route to hoisting the hardware…Brown has been appointed to the United States’ Naval Academy and is presently awaiting notification of acceptance.
Signifying what may have been the most electric, dynamic, and/or explosive display of offensive prowess in the history of the Metropolitan Catholic League were a group of four extraordinary studs that together amassed totals of 8,084 total yards, 86 touchdowns, and three NYCHSFL team crowns over the course of the past two months…Claiming the Joseph Riverso Memorial Award as the Outstanding Offensive Players of the Year in their respective divisions were Clayton Proctor (A; Kennedy Catholic), Jordan DeLucia (AA-1; Kellenberg Memorial), Justin Lacks (AA-2; Moore Catholic), and Jalen Smith (AAA; Cardinal Hayes).
Proctor, who made it two years in a row that a member of his household emerged as the eventual single-A selection (older brother, Myles, won in 2018) for the Riverso, was nothing short of spectacular during a junior campaign that witnessed the boys from Somers celebrating the first title in program history…A true microcosm of the mind-blowing season he put forth this year, in propelling the Gaels to their aforementioned single-A crown, the 5’10, 170-pound field general out of Yorktown Heights was personally responsible for 420 yards and five touchdowns in earning Offensive MVP status in the championship contest….For the season, Proctor held the distinction of topping the “A” leaderboard in both passing and rushing yardage…Connecting on 69 of 153 attempts in the air, Proctor tossed for 910 yards. On the ground, he was even more potent, calling his own number on 138 occasions for a total of 940 yards. Not surprisingly, his 18 touchdowns in whole (11 rushing, 7 in the air) also bested his counterparts…With his entire senior year still awaiting him, there is no telling what Proctor has in store for the Gael faithful in 2020.
DeLucia, who requires no introduction following one of the most decorated three-year varsity careers in school, league, and Long Island history, became the third consecutive Firebird to have this award bestowed upon him (Matt Sluka was a two-time winner in 2017 and 2018)…Looking beyond the stat sheet (it is an impressive array of numbers) for a quick moment, perhaps the true measure of the legacy the future Harvard student leaves behind is the fact that every season he competed for the Blue & Gold varsity, the team advanced to championship weekend, riding a 22-game streak to titles in 2017 and 2018 before settling for the runner-up position this past year…A definitive difference-maker from the opening whistle of his sophomore season, the pride of Bellmore has been one of the most diverse and unstoppable forces in the Empire state during this previously cited three-year span…In 2019 alone, the KMHS tailback had a hand in 2,615 yards and 31 touchdowns. The utmost epitome of what it means to be an “all-purpose back,” DeLucia’s 1,931 yards (6th in NYS) and 23 touchdowns (9th in NYS) on the ground was 1st among all AA-1 ball carriers. To boot, his 603 yards (on 30 receptions) as a pass-catcher ranked 2nd. He even managed to throw for a pair of touchdown passes in his swan song, completing 3 of 4 attempts for 81 yards…A 4th team All-State selection in 2018, it is a foregone conclusion that this special individual will easily be acknowledged again by the New York Sportswriters Association…DeLucia closes out this chapter with the following career statistics: 3,929 yards and 46 TD rushing on 403 carries (9.7/per), 1,077 yards and 10 additional scores on 52 receptions.
Speaking of storied careers that at times seemed to approach the realm of invincibility, you need look no further than the four years of dominance showcased by the Mavericks’ gem of a running back, Justin Lacks…Sweeping All-League honors (4-for-4), the 6’1, 215-pound Adonis is a certainty to add his third All-State (5th team as a freshman, 3rd team as a junior) distinction when the 2019 list is unveiled…The catalyst (Offensive MVP each year) behind bookend titles in 2016 (single-A) and 2019 (AA-2) for the Mavs, the 2019 season was a magical one for the Staten Islander, as the success of his team was complemented by individual glory…Posting the 4th highest rushing total this season in New York State, #6 in Red & Black accumulated 1,998 yards and scored 22 times on 232 carries (8.6 average). In both cases, he blew away his AA-2 peers, finishing the season with more than a 1,000-yard edge over his closest competitor and recording double the touchdown quantity…Firmly cementing himself as a living legend, Lacks concludes his scholastic career as the All-time running leader in not only Staten Island history, but the entire five boroughs…Gaining no fewer than 1,058 yards and scoring no less than 11 touchdowns in any specific season, the NYC rushing king departs his throne with career totals of 5.486 yards and 66 touchdowns on 818 carries (6.7 average). In 37 career appearances, he surpassed the 100-yard plateau 28 times, including eight 200-yard-plus performances.
The consummate “money player” during his two years on the Hayes’ varsity, the bigger the stakes, the better the 5’9, 165-pounder [Smith] performed…In seven postseason outings, including two NYCHSFL AAA title contests (151 yards, 1 TD in 2019) and the 2019 Catholic State title game (212 yards, 2 scores), Smith ran for over 100 yards in five (123.6/game average) and scored a total of six rushing touchdowns (while tacking on 176 yards and 1 TD on 16 grabs as a receiver)….A legitimate jack of all trades and an undeniable game-changer, despite being shelved for a few weeks with injury, Smith still managed to lead the triple-A division in both rushing yardage (1,371) and TD runs (14) in 2019. His school reaped the benefits as the Bronx based institution won the title for the first time since 2016….So versatile in his ability to inflict damage, if need be, Smith could equally be utilized as a receiver at the next level. As an 11th grader, he made 51 catches for 726 yards and nine touchdowns before transitioning into the backfield late in 2018…Smith, who fulfilled the prophecy we made in September by seizing the Riverso, wrapped up his curricula vitae with combined totals of 1,765 yards rushing and 907 yards receiving (2,672 all-purpose) and 26 touchdowns…Displaying a maturity superior to his chronological age, Smith is already on his way toward being an amazing humanitarian. Prior to the start of his senior year, he initiated an online campaign where donors pledged money for every touchdown he scored. The proceeds were to be used to purchase new security equipment as a means of school shooting prevention. Hence, every one of the 15 trips to pay dirt were blessed with intrinsic goodness!
Flipping the script to our defensive personnel, this quartet of gifted stoppers were so sensational in their own right that there is no doubt that the iconic Paul “Bear” Bryant is up above tipping his fedora to them…Using the Bear’s own words, when it comes to this group of fine physical specimens, defense very much has translated into championships…Winning a combined six NYCHSFL crowns (in nine appearances) and two State titles among themselves, this senior foursome racked up 448 total tackles, 39 TFLs, 19.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries, and a plethora of additional feats this season, making them all perfect choices to forever wear the proverbial badge of Vincent O’Connor Memorial Award winner. Your 2019 Defensive Players of the Year: Ethan Ortiz (A; Cardinal Spellman), Aidan Cappellino (AA-1; Chaminade), Artie Padilla Jr. (AA-2; Moore Catholic), and Kevin McKenna (AAA; Archbishop Stepinac).
Unblockable during his junior and senior seasons, Ortiz followed up a 139-stop year (4th in NYS) in 2018 by recording 84 tackles for the Pilots in his last season wearing the Red & White. Both years, he finished as the overall tackle king in the “A” division…In addition, 2019 saw him increase his sack total by 100%, as he bagged the opposing quarterback on two occasions to finish 3rd in the category…Showcasing amazingly awareness, he was credited with a pair of fumble recoveries in 2019…A bona fide ironman who rarely came off the field, the 6’0, 177-pounder out of Mount Vernon, was also a major asset this season in the Spellman backfield, rushing for 841 yards and eight touchdowns…Finishing his career with 227 total tackles, on 15 different occasions, Ortiz registered double-digit stops, including six times this past year.
Without question the most improved of our four selections, Cappellino belongs at the top of the list when it comes to the breakout stars of 2019 in the entire Empire State…Not even appearing on the 2018 stat sheet, the standout from Sayville made up for lost time in a massive manner in his final season in Mineola…The heartbeat for a defensive corps that surrendered just 13.4 points per game versus fellow double-A foes (18.2 including all games), #41 in Crimson & Gold flew to the ball with unrelenting, unforgiving intensity. As a result of his impassioned play, he immediately and consistently put himself in a class of his own, collecting 19 tackles for a loss and five sacks to lead AA-1 in both categories. His 120 total tackles was 2nd in the division only to teammate, Brandan Coward (145)…The senior captain rounded out his resume this season by forcing and recovering one fumble apiece.
Like a fine vintage, the four-year Mavs’ varsity member [Padilla] grew sweeter and more valuable with each passing season. Joining Lacks as one of the few remaining components off of the roster that won the 2016 title, the 215-pound gem out of SI went from recording just one tackle as a freshman to 64 stops and two sacks as a sophomore, and then 71 (6 TFL) as a junior…And still, despite this steady climb, nothing could have prepared for the Catholic football community for the monumental, out-of-this world effort he demonstrated as a senior…The backbone of the #2 overall defensive cohort in the NYCHSFL (15.5/game surrendered), there was nothing that Padilla did not do this season in capping his career as a champion…Posting AA-2 highs in tackles (140; 4th in NYS), stops for a loss (12), and sacks (8.5), Padilla was an endless nightmare for the opposition…In 10 outings this season, he posted double-digit stops in nine…Padilla was also a master at creating turnovers as indicated by his three forced fumbles this season…His career numbers are as follows: 276 tackles, 18 stops for negative yardage, 10.5 sacks, 1 interception, 4 fumbles caused.
A three-year mainstay and human highlight reel for a Crusader program that made three trips to the league finals (titles in 2017 and 2018) and won back-to-back state crowns during his tenure, the multi-sport (lacrosse and football) University of Utah bound playmaker [McKenna] is the next in a lineage of renowned Stepinac defenders…The fifth AS representative to win the O’Connor in the past six seasons, when you are in the company of reigning ACC Player of the Week, Trill Williams (2017), you know you had an incredible season and a prestigious career…Recording no fewer than 89 tackles (2017) in any of his three years donning the Red, White, and Blue jersey, #32 was a 4th-Team All-State pick in 2018 following a 117 tackle, 10 sack, 11 QB hurry junior campaign…Asked to do a little more on offense as a senior (237 yards and 2 TDs rushing; 13 catches for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns as a receiver), some of McKenna’s gaudy numbers from a year ago may have waned slightly, but in many ways, he actually put forth a more complete and universal display…Putting an exclamation mark on his career with three straight double-digit tackle games (including a season-best 15 in the AAA finals), McKenna ended 2019 with 104 tackles, 8 stops behind the line of scrimmage, 4 sacks, 6 hurries, 4 pass break-ups, 4 caused fumbles, a pair of loose ball recoveries, and a blocked punt…With him at the helm, the Crusaders posted the top-ranked defense in triple-A, permitting just 15.9 points per game…McKenna’s final tallies are as follows: 310 tackles, 13 TFL, 14 sacks, 19 hurries, 2 INTs, 5 PDs, 4 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, and two blocked punts…The 310 stops made him the all-time school leader in the category.
Relishing their rare moment in the spotlight were the often overlooked and/or taken for granted unsung heroes of the trenches…By far one of the most demanding roles one can undertake in the realm of athletic competition, former Kansas City Chief pro bowl WR/KR, Dante Hall, offered this praise to the men who muster the courage to accept the challenge: “Defensive and Offensive linemen control this game; and any true fan already knows that.”…Current University of Nebraska Head Coach, Scott Frost, reflected on his playing days, uttering, “Every great team I played on, the linemen were the bell cows of the whole team.”….With these sentiments in mind, the likes of Anthony Badagliacca (A; Cardinal Spellman), Anthony Casillo (AA-1; St. Peter’s), Elijah Tobin (AA-2; Holy Trinity), and Ajani Cornelius (AAA; Archbishop Stepinac) were fitting choices to be this year’s Joe Thomas Memorial Trophy recipients.
Selected in Week #8 of the 2019 season as a NYCHSFL POTW, for the past two seasons, the 6’0, 280-pound beast from the Bronx [Badagliacca] has been a two-way engine powering the offensive and defensive lines…With Badagliacca serving as the Pilots’ primary road grader, the Spellman running attack averaged 190+ yards and scored 26 touchdowns between 2018 and 2019…As a pass protector this year, he provided such a comfortable pocket that sophomore QB, Aidan Hanley-Piri, enjoyed increases in all of his 2018 statistics, improving his completion percentage by seven points and tossing for 127 more yards…Defensively, big #77 finished the year tied with Ortiz for 2nd on the team with 2 sacks, while also contributing 22 total stops, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and a pair of punt blocks…As if he was not busy enough, Badagliacca handled placekicking duties as well for CS, converting 7 of 8 PAT attempts and nailing his lone field goal try.
A linchpin of the offensive line during each of the past three seasons, Casillo might as well have been nicknamed “Bisquick” because no matter where he lined up (either center or guard), he served pancakes week in and week out…Laying the tracks for 2,693 yards and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore and 2,891 yards last season, there would be no senior slump for the 280-pound Staten Islander, as his work made it possible for teammates, Kaiwan Taylor and Michael Politi, to have banner years as ball carriers for the Eagles…Like a genuine leader, Casillo embraced a much larger role on defense in 2019 too and his efforts did not go unnoticed as his game film was saturated with flashes of brilliance where he bulldozed opposing OLs to record repeated tackles for a loss.
The only non-senior among this four-person brute squad, the 6’1, 250-pounder out of Amityville [Tobin] has already established himself as one of the premier two-way linemen in Nassau & Suffolk and he still has all of 2020 to add to his esteemed reputation…A plug and play phenom on both sides of the ball from his first varsity practice as a sophomore in 2018, there is every reason to believe that this is only the first of two Thomas Awards that he will adorn his mantel…A punishing blocker that fits the Titans’ bread-and-butter ground attack to a “T” (as in Tobin), in his two years wreaking havoc on the OL, the Green & White have accumulated 4,459 yards and run for 47 touchdowns…The caliber of superstar that has the God-given ability to not only elevate his own game, but simultaneously make everyone around perform at a higher level, the best piece of evidence you need when assessing the importance of Tobin is that since he has joined the line-up, THREE Titan ball-carriers have achieved All-League status…Building off of a strong sophomore campaign last season where he was credited with 19 tackles, 9 TFLs, and four sacks on defense, Tobin jumped levels on defense in 2019, concluding the year with 31 stops, 11 tackles for negative yardage, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a blocked punt. In recognition of his stellar body of work, Tobin received his first All-League bid on “D“.
Last, but by no means least, is the behemoth from Harlem, Cornelius…Standing 6’5 and tipping the scale at 315 pounds, there was never a second during the past three years where the magnitude of his performance failed to match the scope of his stature…A Goliath among Davids from his spot at Offensive Guard, Cornelius has been an integral and priceless cog in a machine that has scored 1,193 pounds, rushed for 7,274 yards, passed for an additional 7,057 yards, while accounting for 152 touchdowns from 2017-2019…As noted above in the McKenna write-up, during this stretch, the Crusaders won two NYCHFL Triple-A titles, as well as back-to-back state titles…Presently holding scholarship offers from six different NCAA Division I programs (Morgan State, Howard, Bryant, Hampton, Delaware State, and Rhode Island), last summer, Cornelius gave a verbal commitment to the Bison [Howard] and could make it official in the coming weeks during the early signing period.
Garnering the last set of individual awards for excellence in a particular aspect/phase of the game were the talented lads that brought the crowd to their feet, via either a big kick/punt return or a clutch field goal…Holding down the fort for the future Adam Vinatieris, Devin Hesters, or Billy “White Shoes” Johnsons (for your old schoolers) of the world were your 2019 Special Team Players of the Year— Liam Mullholland (A; Kennedy Catholic), Joseph Pasqua (St. Francis Prep), Cameron Holmes (Moore Catholic), and Mekhi Green (Archbishop Stepinac).
Following in the foot-steps of 2018 winner, Brendan Lebitsch, Mullholland became the second Gael in a row to be honored for his ice water veins…Successfully connecting on 19 of 20 point after tries, and going 4-for-5 on FG attempts (long of 39), the 6’0, 170-pounder from Mahopac amassed 31 points this season, which was more than three times the amount of any other place-kicker in the “A” division this season…Emerging with one of the signature plays of the 2019 season, Mullholland booted a 27-yard field goal with no time remaining on the clock to send the single-A title game to overtime…Remarkably, his biggest kick of the season came just 24 hours removed from an assist on the soccer pitch that resulted in another Gael title. Hence, there clearly is no situation too big for the Kennedy 11th grader.
Indisputably a cherished weapon in the battle for field position, Pasqua’s 300 total yards on 14 kick returns ranked 10th in New York State…Spotlighted by a four return, 97-yard effort on October 20th, the Williston Park resident reached or exceeded 50 yards as a returner in three of nine games this season…While not as pronounced, he also gained 11 yards on three punt returns…Not just limited to specialist duties, Pasqua tallied 377 yards of total offense as a ball-carrier (222 on 39 carries; 3 TDs) and target out of the backfield (155 yards on 11 receptions; 1 touchdown catch)…Five of his 29 tackles on defense yielded a loss of yardage.
The Ultimate triple-threat for the Mavs this season, there was not a single area of the game that Holmes did not impact at one time or another during this championship winning season in Staten Island…Belonging to what is likely a very exclusive club, the 6’2, 185-pounder out of the Garden State pulled off a rare feat in 2019, returning both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns this season…Extremely balanced in his resume as a special teamer, Holmes accumulated 470 yards (6th most in New York) in this dual capacity, concluding his senior year with 243 on 9 KOR (27.0 average) and 227 (3rd in the state) on 13 punt returns…One of, if not the top WR in AA-2 this season, Holmes’ totals of 31 catches (1st) for 602 yards (3rd) and 8 TDs (3rd) ranked in the top-3 of all major receiving categories in the division…On defense, he registered 48 tackles, 1 sack, and was the team-leader with both 3 interceptions (including a pick-6 in the AA-2 finals) and 6 pass break-ups.
Entering his swan song as the #1 running back on the depth chart, the injury bug forced Green to adapt to a new role and adapt he did, finding his calling as an invaluable returner for Coach [Mike] O’Donnell’s Crusaders…Tallying a AAA best 113 yards (11 attempts) as a punt returner, Green may not have been afforded as many opportunities as a KOR, but certainly maximized the chances he did get, averaging 22.8 yards on four returns (91 yards overall)…The cumulative total of 204 yards tops in the division…Wearing the famed #6 jersey for Stepinac, even if not fully healthy, Green lived up to his captain tag in every possible way, making 37 tackles, causing and recovering one fumble apiece, and breaking-up 3 passes on “D”, while rushing contributing 192 yards (24 carries; 2 TDs) and 116 yards (11 catches; 1 score) respectively as a rusher/receiver.
Due to the weather, field availability, and travel concerns Senior Bowl practices for today and tomorrow have been cancelled.
The Senior Bowl game on Sunday is also cancelled.
College Night at Holy Trinity will be held as scheduled, Thursday (12/5) beginning at 7:30 pm. This event is for CHSFL Seniors only.
A combined practice for Senior Bowl participants will be held prior to College Night from 4pm-6:30pm at Holy Trinity.
The Communion Breakfast will be held as scheduled at Kellenberg on Sunday (12/8). Mass starts at 9:30AM followed by breakfast and the awards ceremony. Senior Bowl participants will be honored at the Communion Breakfast. Tickets are required and may be purchased at member schools.