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.
May he Rest in Peace.
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.
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.
Other notable awards presented on Sunday were:
Monsignor Peter’s Memorial Golden Eleven Award
Frank Scafuri (Monsignor Farrell)
Christopher LoRusso (Kennedy Catholic)
Jordan DeLucia (Kellenberg)
Michael Tartaglia (Archbishop Stepinac)
Brian Holder (Holy Trinity)
James Donaldson (Xavier)
Anthony Casillo (St Peter’s)
Eric Terrano (St Francis Prep)
Ethan Ortiz (Cardinal Spellman)
Thomas Resker (Xaverian)
James Colesanti (St. Joseph’s by the Sea)
John Bromm Memorial Award
Dominick Battaglia (Monsignor Farrell)
Adrian Ordonez (Cardinal Spellman)
Ken Weinman Memorial Award
Derrick Nyarko (Nazareth)
Christopher Ramos (St. John the Baptist)
Anthony Rosati (Xaverian)
Lieutenant Ronald Winchester Memorial Award
Joshua Rivera (Xaverian)
By Matt Diano:
Donning the Maroon & Blue one final time, the 5’10, 195-pounder out of Hoboken put forth a performance that would have made Frank Sinatra proud as he most certainly did it “HIS WAY” in leading the Knights to a 40-14 triumph over Fordham Prep in the 97th rendition of the prestigious Turkey Bowl. The victory for Xavier, their 41st in the history of the rivalry (52-41-4 now in favor of FP) snapped a three-year skid. The 40 points recorded by the Knights represented the highest output by the school on Turkey Day since 1976 when they prevailed 40-30.
Holding absolutely nothing back and leaving every bit of blood, sweat, and tears on the gridiron, Geruso played some of his finest football in the last 24 minutes of his scholastic career, running to pay dirt on three separate occasions and adding a successful two-point conversion to tie personal-bests for touchdowns (3) and points (20) in a single outing. The 143 yards he generated on 15 carries was a 2019 season-high and was second-most of his career, bested only by a 157-yard performance as a junior versus St. Francis Prep.
Xavier leading 13-7 at the time, Geruso capitalized off of a great kick-off return by Anthony Bruno to open up the second-half by plunging the ball across the line from a distance of four yards out for the first of his aforementioned three scores.
As his school’s advantage continued to expand (28-7), Geruso showed no signs of taking his foot off the pedal, as he exploded for a 77-yard trek to the house early in the 4th quarter to change the scoreboard to 34-7.
As the clock dipped below 2:00, Geruso put an emphatic exclamation on the morning when he converted on 4th & 11 by busting through a hole and cruising 32 yards for his last TD of the day and the 15th of his swan song campaign.
When not busy chewing up massive quantities of yardage on offense, Geruso found another purposeful use of his powerful legs, flipping the field and burying the Rams with punts of 43, 50, and 50 yards apiece (all inside the 20).
Not surprisingly, in recognition of his stellar body of work, Geruso was the recipient of the Most Valuable Player award last Thursday.
Rightfully named to the All-League team earlier in the week, Geruso concludes his 2019 season with a stat line that reads as follows: 608 yards and 15 touchdowns on 109 carries (5.6/per), an additional 237 yards passing (14-for-37 in the air), and a remarkable 14 punts inside the opposing 20 (36.8 average overall).
His two-year varsity stay ends with him having accumulated 1,414 yards and 22 touchdowns on 236 hand-offs (6.0 per carry).
Sidiki Kone (Sr.); DB/KR – Cardinal Hayes Cardinals
The very definition and/or epitome of well-roundness, the 6’0, 195-pound three-way student-athlete from the Bronx will not soon to be forgotten by the 650 Grand Concourse faithful.
Entering the finale of his high school career having accounted for nine touchdowns this season in three different ways (7 rushing, 1 receiving, 1 pick-6), the recently named All-NYCHSFL selection added two fresh scoring methods in the Cardinals’ 38-0 victory on Thanksgiving over Mount St. Michael Academy.
Making his impact felt literally from the first whistle, Kone fielded the opening kick-off of the contest at his off 30-yard line and then turned on the jets for the 70-yard TD return to immediately give Hayes the 7-0 lead…
With approximately eight minutes remaining in the first half, #2 added his second TD of the morning when he emerged from a group of Hayes defenders to scoop up a fumble and walk into the end zone from 2-yards out to make the score 32-0 at the break.
A catalyst behind the Cardinals’ ability to pitch their first shutout since the 2014 Turkey Bowl, Kone complemented his fumble return by also racking up six total stops in helping Hayes to their seventh consecutive win in the annual series.
Unofficially, Kone’s wrapped up his tenure as a Cardinal having collected 118 tackles, 16 TFLs, 5 sacks, and 3 interceptions…Primarily a defensive player in 2018, he was afforded the opportunity to be more active this season on offense and he made the most of this increased role, averaging over five yards per carry (258 yards on 52 attempts); his previously cited seven TDs on the ground was tied for 2nd on the team
CHSFL ALL-LEAGUE 2019
|Carino||Joe||12||QB||6’2||198||Somers, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|Cornelius||Ajani||12||OL||6’5||315||Harlem, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|McCauley||Quentin||12||WR||6’2||185||Bronx, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|McKenna||Kevin||12||RB||5’11||180||Somers, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|Bethea||Chris||12||OL||6’0||265||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Hayes|
|Mendez||Kazunari||12||OL||5’10||330||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Hayes|
|Smith||Jalen||12||WR||5’9||165||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Hayes|
|Williams-Molitor||Dylan||12||WR||6’0||200||Manhattan, NY||Cardinal Spellman|
|Badagliacca||Anthony||12||OL||6’0||280||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Spellman|
|Fischetti||Mario||11||RB||5’7||165||Glen Cove, NY||Chaminade|
|Wood||Donavan||12||WR||6’1||180||Sound Beach, NY||Chaminade|
|Battle||Tahliq||12||WR||5’8||180||Long Island, NY||Christ the King|
|Billips||Jahrell||12||WR||5’6||150||Queens, NY||Christ the King|
|Bodden||Noah||11||QB||6’4||225||Long Island, NY||Christ the King|
|Murphy||Tirek||12||RB||6’0||215||Queens, NY||Christ the King|
|Loffredo||Owen||12||WR||6’2||190||Sleepy Hallow, NY||Fordham Prep|
|McKillop||Matthew||11||RB||5’9||175||Scarsdale, NY||Fordham Prep|
|Bagwell||Jaden||11||WR||5’7||130||Springfield, NY||Holy Cross|
|Morales||Jonathan||11||OL||5’10||235||Farmingdale, NY||Holy Trinity|
|Robbins||Kameron||10||RB||6’0||175||Baldwin, NY||Holy Trinity|
|Sinclair||Jaden||11||WR||6’0||150||Westbury, NY||Holy Trinity|
|McFadden||Franklin||11||RB||5’9||190||Yonkers, NY||Iona Prep|
|Rohde||Kevin||11||OL||6’4||250||Purchase, NY||Iona Prep|
|Turton||Avery||12||WR||5’10||185||White Plains, NY||Iona Prep|
|Washington||Jarel||11||WR||5’11||185||White Plains, NY||Iona Prep|
|Wilson||Darius||11||QB||6’2||185||Bronx, NY||Iona Prep|
|Foley||Sean||12||OL||6’0||215||Long Beach, NY||Kellenberg|
|Proctor||Clayton||11||QB||5’9||170||Yorktown Heights, NY||Kennedy Catholic|
|Rhett||Jaleel||12||OL||6’3||290||Staten Island, NY||Monsignor Farrell|
|Stella||Steven||12||OL||6’6||310||Staten Island, NY||Monsignor Farrell|
|Tait||Christian||12||WR||6’3||180||Staten Island, NY||Monsignor Farrell|
|Wessels||Matt||11||WR||5’10||180||Staten Island, NY||Monsignor Farrell|
|Curran Jr.||Anthony||12||OL||6’2||255||Staten Island, NY||Moore Catholic|
|Heineman||Nick||12||QB||6’0||195||Staten Island, NY||Moore Catholic|
|Holmes||Cameron||12||WR||6’2||185||Elizabeth, NY||Moore Catholic|
|Lacks||Justin||12||RB||6’1||215||Staten Island, NY||Moore Catholic|
|Perlongo||Anthony||12||WR||6’2||190||Staten Island, NY||Moore Catholic|
|Sorrenti||Craig||12||OL||6’0||240||Staten Island, NY||Moore Catholic|
|Brown||Camren||10||QB||5’10||150||Bronx, NY||Mount St. Michael|
|Ciancuielli||Luke||12||OL||6’4||250||Oakdale, NY||St. Anthonys|
|Escobar||Mario||12||RB||5’10||180||Jericho, NY||St. Anthonys|
|Jernigan||Jaden||12||WR||6’3||205||Elmont, NY||St. Anthonys|
|Miller||Gavin||12||OL||6’5||290||Bay Shore, NY||St. Anthonys|
|Jones||Omarion||12||WR||5’9||160||Queens, NY||St. Francis Prep|
|Terrano||Eric||12||OL||6’0||260||Queens, NY||St. Francis Prep|
|Jaycox||Thomas||12||OL||6’4||275||East Islip, NY||St. John the Baptist|
|Louis||Jayden||11||RB||5’6||150||Central Islip, NY||St. John the Baptist|
|Maisel||Christian||11||WR||6’1||195||Amityville, NY||St. John the Baptist|
|Cordero||Matthew||11||OL||6’4||280||Brooklyn, NY||St. Joseph by the Sea|
|Doyle||Danny||12||OL||6’4||275||Staten Island, NY||St. Joseph by the Sea|
|Gaor||Kyle||12||RB||6’0||205||Staten Island, NY||St. Joseph by the Sea|
|Tucker||Jackson||11||QB||5’11||180||Staten Island, NY||St. Joseph by the Sea|
|Casillo||Anthony||12||OL||6’2||285||Staten Island, NY||St. Peters|
|Politi||Michael||12||WR||5’7||165||Staten Island, NY||St. Peters|
|Barnes||Zach||12||LB||6’0||170||Thornwood, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|Green||Mekhi||12||DB||5’10||170||Elmsford, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|Richards||Cory||12||DB||5’9||163||Yonkers, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|Tartaglia||Michael||12||DL||6’2||270||Mohegan Lake, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|Wilkins||Brendan||12||LB||5’10||175||Katonah, NY||Archbishop Stepinac|
|Barnes||Damon||12||DB||5’10||185||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Hayes|
|Blackstock||Tafari||12||DB||5’7||170||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Hayes|
|Burgess||Nicholas||12||LB||5’10||210||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Hayes|
|Kone||Sidiki||12||DB||6’0||195||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Hayes|
|Tetteh||Michael||12||DL||6’3||240||Bronx, NY||Cardinal Hayes|
|Ortiz||Ethan||12||LB||6’0||185||Mount Vernon, NY||Cardinal Spellman|
|Booth||Robert||12||DL||6’3||230||New Hyde Park, NY||Chaminade|
|Eaton||Christopher||12||DL||6’3||220||Queens, NY||Christ the King|
|King||Chris||11||DL||6’3||235||Queens, NY||Christ the King|
|Lester||Zephron||12||DL||6’1||270||Queens, NY||Christ the King|
|Palmaccio||Michael||12||LB||6’0||235||Queens, NY||Christ the King|
|Yearwood||Narain||12||DB||5’10||190||Queens, NY||Christ the King|
|Halbert||Sean||12||DB||5’10||165||Manhattan, NY||Fordham Prep|
|Rice||Mike||11||LB||6’1||210||Manhattan, NY||Fordham Prep|
|Bailey||Octavous||12||DB||5’10||150||Jamaica, NY||Holy Cross|
|Duncan||Chase||12||DL||6’0||235||Baldwin, NY||Holy Cross|
|Grant||Devin||10||DB||6’2||175||Elmont, NY||Holy Cross|
|Smith||Jaeden||12||DB||5’10||150||Fort Greene, NY||Holy Cross|
|Tobin||Elijah||11||DL||6’1||250||Amityville, NY||Holy Trinity|
|Barranger||Luke||11||LB||5’11||195||Bronx, NY||Iona Prep|
|Dukes||Marquis||12||DB||6’0||195||Middletown, NY||Iona Prep|
|Dunbar||Jordan||12||DB||6’1||185||Sleepy Hallow, NY||Iona Prep|
|Gadson||Nick||12||DL||6’2||225||Bronx, NY||Iona Prep|
|Bradshaw||Anthony Tucker||12||LB||5’9||180||Westbury, NY||Kellenberg|
|Bernal||Aidan||12||DL||5’11||205||Ossining, NY||Kennedy Catholic|
|Ononaji||Ikenna||11||DL||6’1||205||Yonkers, NY||Kennedy Catholic|
|Booras||Steve||11||DB||5’9||170||Staten Island, NY||Monsignor Farrell|
|Denmark||Justin||12||LB||6’0||170||Staten Island, NY||Monsignor Farrell|
|Field||Chris||11||DB||6’2||180||Staten Island, NY||Monsignor Farrell|
|Ortalano||Chris||12||LB||6’0||180||Staten Island, NY||Monsignor Farrell|
|Padilla Jr.||Artie||12||LB||5’10||215||Staten Island, NY||Moore Catholic|
|Coleman||Colin||11||LB||5’9||170||Bronx, NY||Mount St. Michael|
|Fraser||Theodore||11||DL||5’10||200||Bronx, NY||Mount St. Michael|
|Alvarado||Nick||12||DB||5’9||160||Smithtown, NY||St. Anthonys|
|Gifford||Grant||12||DL||5’11||205||Oakdale, NY||St. Anthonys|
|Kittelberger||Robert||12||DB||5’11||165||Wantagh, NY||St. Anthonys|
|Taylor||Christian||12||LB||6’1||225||Wantagh, NY||St. Anthonys|
|Artis||Kaleb||10||DL||6’4||250||Westbury, NY||St. Francis Prep|
|Chung||Daniel||11||LB||5’8||190||Bayside, NY||St. Francis Prep|
|Annitto||Christopher||11||LB||5’10||175||Amityville, NY||St. John the Baptist|
|Ruvolo||Nick||12||LB||6’0||205||Staten Island, NY||St. Joseph by the Sea|
|Ryan||Aidan||12||DB||5’9||175||Staten Island, NY||St. Joseph by the Sea|
|Badon||Sean||12||DL||6’1||340||Staten Island, NY||St. Peters|
|Martello||John||12||DB||5’11||175||Staten Island, NY||St. Peters|
|Hansen||Derin||12||DL||6’2||195||Staten Island, NY||Xaverian|
|Bruno||Anthony||12||DB||5’8||145||Staten Island, NY||Xavier|
Senior Bowl Practice Schedule;
City Practice Schedule
(12/2) Monday at Fordham Prep (4:30 – 6:30)(CANCELLED)(12/3) Tuesday at Fordham Prep (4:30 – 6:30)(12/4) Wednesday at Monsignor Farrell (4:30 – 6:30)Island Practice Schedule (12/2) Monday at Mitchel Athletic Complex (4:30 – 6:30)(CANCELLED)(12/3) Tuesday at Mitchel Athletic Complex (4:30 – 6:30)(12/4) Wednesday at Mitchel Athletic Complex (4:30 – 6:30)Combined Practice(12/5) Thursday at Holy Trinity High School (4:30 – 6:30)
College Night – Thursday, December 5th @ Holy Trinity High School (7:30 pm) – Open to Seniors and their parents from member schools only. No Ticket Required.
Communion Awards Breakfast – Sunday, December 8th @ Kellenberg (Mass – 9:30 am followed by breakfast) – Tickets will be sold through member schools. Tickets are $20.00. Parents, coaches and players are required to have a ticket for admission. No Tickets will be sold at the door. Jacket & tie recommended.
Senior Bowl Game – Sunday, December 8th @ Mitchel Athletic Complex (1:30 pm) – No Ticket Required.
Spearheaded by their vaunted ground attack, the Knights snapped their three-year losing streak in this annual Thanksgiving tradition…Scoring three touchdowns apiece on the ground was senior, Matthew Geruso, and 11th grader, Andrew Scariano….Geruso, who was awarded Most Valuable Player honors in his final appearance in the Maroon & Blue, rushed for 143 yards and three second-half touchdowns (as well as punched in a successful two-point conversion) to tie his career-high of 20 points (previously set on October 26th in a win over St. Peter’s) in a single outing. His TD runs came from distances of 4, 77, and 32 yards…Scariano, who notched the first three-score effort of his scholastic career, was a major catalyst during the opening moments of the 1st quarter, taking the ball to pay dirt from 60 yards away on Xavier’s first offensive snap of the game and then adding a 1-yard TD plunge (following a Christian Valentino fumble recovery) on their next possession to give the Knights the quick 13-0 edge…Scariano added his third TD of the game in the 3rdquarter on a 2-yarder…Leo DeRisi and Gregory Steffens, both played outstanding on defense, as each created a turnover (DeRisi strip and recovery in the 3rd quarter; Steffens INT in the 4th)…The Rams, which still enjoy a 52-41-4 lead in the series, got their points off of a 7-yard hook-up from Jack Annicelli to Christopher Devine in the 2nd quarter, and a two-yard run (after catching a long pass on a wheel route) by Matthew McKilop in the 4th.
Bouncing back from the heartbreak of their last last-second loss in the Catholic State title game less than a week ago, the Cardinals sent the class of 2020 off with a victory, as they made it seven in a row on “Turkey Day” against the Mountaineers….Suiting up in the Cardinal & Gold one last time, Sidiki Kone put his versatility on full display, scoring in 2/3 of the phases of the game by returning a kick-off 60 yards in 1st quarter to break the ice and then later returning a fumble recovery 10 yards to the house for his second touchdown of the opening half…Fellow senior/2019 NYCHSFL AAA title-game defensive MVP, Nicholas Burgess, also turned “D” into “O” during the first half, returning a fumble of his own 20 yards for the touchdown…Sophomore sensation signal caller, Henry Belin, accounted for three total TDs, connecting with Kuno Mendez, on a 55-yard strike in the 1st quarter, using his legs to run for a 10-yard score in the 2nd, and tacking on the final touchdown of the game when he teamed up with Jerald Munoz, on a 17-yard connection.
*= Our gratitude to Cardinal Hayes’ Henry Belin for providing live scoring updates via MaxPreps.
By Matt Diano
In a showdown of Cinderellas, one team had to have the glass slipper YANKED off their foot and unfortunately for the NYCHSFL faithful, that school was Cardinal Hayes, as they dropped a heartbreaker, 25-24, to Canisius in the 2019 Catholic High School State finals.
Trailing 24-10 in the last 5:00 of regulation, Canisius put themselves back in the game when Joseph Dixon, fresh off of a 3TD performance in the Monsignor Martin finals against St. Francis, came up clutch again, punching it into the end zone in on an 8-yarder to make it a one-score difference (24-17).
Inducing a punt with under 2:00 showing on the clock after stuffing Hayes on 3rd & short, the Crusaders took possession at their own 15 as they went hunting for an 11th hour comeback…Completing pass after pass (including a trio of grabs by Eric Kegler) and aided by an untimely penalty against the Cardinals, Canisius sophomore gem, field general, Tyler Baker marched his cohort down to the CH 13…After three unsuccessful throws brought up 4th down with only :03 still to be contest, Baker played hero, hitting fellow 10th grader/the team’s leading receiver, Nik McMillan, with a 13-yard TD strike with zeros on the clock…With all of the momentum in their corner, instead of being conservative, Head Coach, Rich Robbins, elected to go for the “w“, handing the ball off to CJ Ozolings (who replaced an injured Dixon in the backfield). The gamble paid off as the 6’1, 225-pound stud plunged over the line for the game-winning 2pt conversion…It was a bittersweet conclusion to a magical postseason journey for the boys from the Bronx [Hayes].
Tormented early by two first quarter turnovers, the Cardinals fell behind 7-0 when Baker, converted on 4th & 6 by running 34 yards to the promised land give Canisius the 7-0 lead midway through the 2nd quarter.
To their credit, Hayes did not hang their heads for long though, as on their ensuing drive, they found the end zone on a 9-yard TD run from senior tailback, Jalen Smith, to cut the deficit to 7-6…The score by #23, his 13th on the ground in 2019, was the first of three touchdowns the boys from the Bronx recorded in the final 6:00 of the half.
Dominating the possession battle for the rest of the 2nd in the most unusual of ways, the Cardinal & Gold followed up their aforementioned touchdown by immediately getting the ball back when they recovered a mishandled squib kick in opposing territory…A few snaps later, it was Tafari Blackstock exploding to the house from 19 yards out to put Hayes in front 12-7.
Like every shampoo bottle suggests, Hayes then rinsed and repeated, making it two kick-offs in a row where they came away with the pigskin…Starting their last drive of the half on the enemy 34, Hayes utilized a balanced attack to advance the ball inside the 12…And then, as he did on the last offensive series, Blackstock took the hand-off and powered his way across the goal to increase the lead to 18-7 with 1:27 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
Canisius threatened in the closing moments of the half, getting as close as the Hayes’ 5-yard line, but a BIG sack derailed the rally, eventually creating a turnover on downs when a Crusader pass attempt was incomplete to send the two programs into locker room with no additional points being put on the board.
After an exchange of turnovers (Hayes interception; Canisius fumble recovery) plagued both schools for much of the 3rd quarter, the hosts from Buffalo did manage to draw within eight points when Wisken Whited connected on a 28-yard field goal to change the scoreboard to 18-10.
Cardinal Hayes were able to come back over the top with an uppercut of their own, as Smith knifed through a gap and cruised 57 yards for his second touchdown of the afternoon to make the score 24-10 with 9:00 to play in the 4th…The long run gave the 5’9, 165-pounder his third 200+ yard rushing game of the year in his scholastic swan song. It was also the fifth time in seven career playoff appearances that Smith surpassed the century mark.
With the victory, Canisius snapped Metro’s two-year winning streak and tied Archbishop Stepinac with three state crowns apiece (they are the only two schools to win the title in the six-year history of the event)…Hayes, who also lost to the Crusaders in 2016, fell to 0-2 in state championship contests.