Sep 102019

By Matt Diano:

Holy Cross

Head Coach:

Tim Smith (5th Season At the Helm)

Last Season:

Record: 1-7; Did not Qualify for the AA Playoffs

Top Returning Players:

*Ladon Hicks (Sr; WR/SS): The most dangerous and versatile weapon the Knights have on offense; among returning players he led all rushing and receiving categories (11 carries for 38 yards on the ground; 10 catches for 151 yards and 2 TDs); Is also one of the top defenders for HC, making 54 tackles, earning 1 sack, intercepting one pass, and recovering a pair of fumbles as a junior).

*Kyante Watkins (Sr; OL/DL): Returning starting OG for a line that helped Holy Cross accumulate 2,225 yards and 24 touchdowns (15 on the ground) in 2018; Not listed as a starter on defensive, but will add depth, following a junior year where he recorded 10 tackles and was credited with one QB hurry.

*Jay Brown (Sr. OL): Will start at center for Holy Cross this season; Could see his role on defense increase after making two stops a season ago.

*Chase Duncan (Sr; DT): Incumbent starter in the middle of the defensive line; As a junior, he finished 3rd on the team in total tackles with 44 (3 TFL) and recovered one fumble.

*Octavious Bailey (Sr; DB): One of two potential shutdown corners for HC; Collected 34 tackles as an 11th grader and led all Knights with five successful pass break-ups.

*Jaeden Smith (Sr; DB): The other lockdown defensive back on Holy Cross; Smith made 25 tackles in 2018 and knocked away four passes in his direction.

*Isaia Villiata-Ortiz (Sr; DE): Returning starter at DE; Recorded 11 tackles as a junior.

*Jakari Knolle (Sr; DE): Adds additional senior presence to the defensive end position; logged 9 stops last year.

*Christopher McElhinney (Sr; OLB):  Rounds off the list of experienced players on the defensive side of the ball; as a junior, he was credited with 10 tackles (2 for a loss) and one quarterback hurry.


Impact Newcomers

*Kemari Ward (Jr.)—At 5’11, 212-pound, he has good size and excellent speed; should be one of the top new faces on the defense at linebacker.

*Jaedan Alexander (Jr.)—Another very solid linebacking prospect; will make a name for himself in 2019.

*Jaden Bagwell (Jr)—The Springfield Gardens resident will provide the Knights with another trusted WR.

*Xavier Chapman (Jr.)—A young gun that despite the DL being senior-laden, is too talented to keep off the field and will see significant action in his rookie year on varsity.

*Thomas Graham (Jr.)—At 6’1, 260 pounds, the Flushing resident should break into the starting-11 this season along the OL.

*Troy Powell (Jr.)—Like Chapman, Powell is a future difference-maker on the DL; will fight for snaps as a defensive end.


2019 Overview

A program that is overjoyed at the embarrassment of riches they will have on defense, the Knights will bring back SIX starters on this side of the line, and are blessed to have several newbies who will be hot on their heels looking for playing time…Back for their senior campaigns will be the young studs who finished 2nd (Ladon Hicks), 3rd (Chase Duncan), and 5th (Octavious Bailey) last season in total tackles with 54, 44, and 34 tackles respectively…With Hicks (who added a sack and 2 fumbles recoveries) at strong safety, Bailey (team-leading 5 PDs as a junior) at one corner, and fellow seasoned vet, Jaeden Smith (25 tackles, 4 pass defenses) at the other CB spot, Holy Cross might have the best secondary in the AA division this season…Duncan (44 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 fumble recovery) will team up with Jakari Knoelle (9 tackles) and Isaia Villiata-Ortiz (11 stops) to present a “steel curtain” on a senior-guided defensive line…Newcomers, Xavier Chapman and Troy Powell, will also make quick contributions on the DL….Christopher McElhinney (10 tackles, 2 TFL) will shepherd a linebacking corps that is excited about the additions of juniors, Kemari Ward and Jaedan Alexander.

Offensively, Holy Cross will be introducing a lot of new personnel…However, if history has taught us anything, it is that when attempting to rebuild a unit on the scholastic level, the best place to have stability is the offensive line; and Coach Smith absolutely has that in the persons of seniors, Kyante Watkins (OG) and Jay Brown.  At 247 and 233 pounds apiece, the 12th grade tandem may not blow you away with their measurements, but they are quite adept at blowing you off the ball…260-pound junior, Thomas Graham, will infuse that mass into the OL…Whether it be in the backfield or out wide, in terms of the skill positions, the previously referenced Hicks will be the person that Coach Smith and company will be turning to for explosion…Dealt a crucial blow when All-Catholic recipient, John Beaubrun (334 yards rushing/3 TDs; team-leading 25 catches for 419 yards and 5 touchdowns) decided to transfer prior to his senior year, the onus of being the primary playmaker was inherited by the 5’10, 170-pounder from Williamsburg [Hicks]…As a junior, Hicks rushed for 38 yards and 11 carries, while also making 10 grabs for 151 yards and a pair of scores.  No matter where they line him up in 2019, Hicks will make noise…Junior WR, Jaden Bagwell, received (no pun intended) the praises of the HC coaching staff and should also be regarded as an essential spoke in the wheel.


Holy Trinity

Head Coach:

Kahmal Roy (1st Season As HC)

Last Season:

Record: 8-2; Lost in the AA semifinals, 7-0, to Xavier

Top Returning Players:

*Emilio Ramirez (Jr; QB/CB):  Replaces All-Catholic signal caller, Ryan Razanno; moves under center after being used in a limited role as a receiver last year (1 catch for 13 yards); His importance on defense also increases as he is penciled in to be one of the starting cornerbacks; made 7 tackles and notched one pass break-up in 2018.

*Elijah Tobin (Jr; OG/DT): Consummate two-way player; Returning starter on the OL that helped the Titans put up 2,814 yards and 38 touchdowns; 9 of his 19 tackles on defense resulted in a loss of yardage; his 4 sacks a sophomore ranked 2nd on the team.

*Jonathan Morales (Jr; C/DL): Resumes his role as the starting center; not identified as an expected starter on defense, but should see some action as a reserve; Made 7 stops and logged one successful pass break-up as a 10th grader.

*Jaden Sinclair (Jr; WR/DB): Speedster that will both eat up opposing defensive backs and then transform into an elite D-Back; ended his sophomore season ranked 2nd in both catches (8) and receiving yards (95) on the HT stat sheet; As a defender, he recorded 33 tackles and 4 PDs; One of the top KO/PR specialists, racking up 303 yards in this capacity.

*Stephen Collica (Sr; TE/OLB): After spending his junior season focused on “D”, he will embrace a dual role this season, starting at tight end and outside linebacker; As an 11th grader, he registered 23 tackles (2 TFL) and caused one fumble.

*Brian Holder (Sr; ILB): Probably the best overall returning player on defense; finished his junior year ranked 2nd in tackles (67), tied for 2nd in TFL (9), and 3rd in sacks (3rd); also logged one PD and one fumble recovery.

*Dylan Lewis (Jr; RB/SS): Immense improved player who is expected to start on both sides; as a reserve tailback last year, he displayed solid skill, rushing for 70 yards and 1 TD on 4 carries; from the secondary, he made 19 tackles (3 TFL) and earned one sack as a 10th grader.


Impact Newcomers

*Kameron Robbins (Sophomore)—Transfer from Baldwin HS; will split carries with Lewis at tailback; Anticipated starter at Outside linebacker.

*Otega Uwode (Sophomore)—Full-service lineman who will move immediately into the starting-11s at OT and DE.

*Andre Wilkes (Sophomore)—Will fight for playing time in the secondary; could ultimately emerge as a starter at strong safety,


2019 Overview

After 28 years of glorious service by Tony Mascia, the Titans will begin to write a new chapter in their history this season and in our opinion, they could not have landed on a better individual.  Tapping class of ‘97 alumnus turned NCAA All-American wide-out (on behalf of Hofstra University), Kahmal Roy, as their new maestro, the Hicksville-based school will be determined to build off of the momentum they created when they bounced back from a 1-7 year in 2017 to go 8-2 and advance to the double-A semis last season.

Taking a bit of a hit at the skill positions on offense due to commencement, HT will need to replace the 2,200+ yards of production delivered last season by All-Catholic QB, Ryan Razanno (599 yards in the air, 667 on the ground), and running backs, Spencer Nixon (583 yards) and Jalen Rivers (269), and Chris Porcaro (142)…Announcing themselves as the prime candidates to fill these holes will be junior field general, Emilio Ramirez, and a running back combo consisting of Dylan Lewis (Jr.) and Kameron Robbins (So.)…Seeing the grass on occasion at WR and defensive back last season, Ramirez’s overall athleticism should make him a natural when it comes to running a scheme that has always been predicated on dual-threat proficiencies…Lewis, only carried the ball four times as a sophomore, but displayed tremendous burst, averaging 17.5 yard per touch, including one TD dash…Robbins, a transfer from Baldwin High School, brings a little added size to the backfield, as his 6’0, 175-pound frame, coupled with quickness, makes him the perfect hybrid back…Juniors, Jaden Sinclair and Bryce Ettrick, as well as senior TE, Stephen Collica, will be the main targets in the passing game.  Among this trio, only the Westbury resident [Sinclair] made a catch last season (8 for 95)…Acting as the bedrock for the offensive line will be returning starters, Elijah Tobin (6’1, 250) at guard, and Jon Morales (5’10, 235) in the middle…Otega Uwode (6’3, 206) and John Escobar (5’10, 210) will be at the tackle positions, with Anthony Green (5’11, 200) completing the OL at the remaining guard position.  Not a single senior among this group (four juniors + the 10th grader, Uwode), as solid as the offensive line will be in 2019, just envision the agony they will inflict next season…

A case of déjà vu, the majority of the gentlemen profiled above also fit in prominently on the other side of the ball…Inserting 12th grade ILB, Brian Holder (3rd on the team in tackles with 55, 2nd with 9 TFL, 3rd with 3 sacks), LB should be an especially strong position, with Robbins and Collica (23 stops, 2 TFL) on the outside…Tobin (19 tackles, 9 TFL, 4 sacks) and Uwode are expected to be quite the duo at DT…The starters at defensive end remain to be determined, but after making 7 stops last year, it only makes sense that a player the caliber of Morales has to be part of the game plan…Cornerback, Sinclair (33 tackles, 4 pass break-ups), and strong-safety, Lewis, (19 stops, 3 TFL, 1 Sack) are the most refined members of the last line of defense, but the staff is said to be very impressed with Ramirez (7 tackles, 1 pick), Ettrick, and another high-ceiling prospect, Andre Wilkes.


Moore Catholic

Head Coach:

Nick Giannatasio (4th Season as Head Coach)

Last Season:

Record: 6-3; Lost in the AA” quarterfinals to Holy Trinity, 27-26

Top Returning Players:

*Justin Lacks (Sr; RB): 2x All-State/3x All-Catholic Selection; Rushed for 1,161 yards and 19 touchdowns on 145 carries (8yrd/per)

*Cameron Holmes (Sr; WR/FS): Entering his third year as a starter for the Mavs; His speed will be a tremendous asset on both sides of the ball; Finished 2018 with 19 catches for 326 yards and a team-best seven TDs receiving; ran the ball 7 times for 83 yards; Defensively ended his junior campaign having made 48 tackles, earned 3 sacks, and picked off a pair of passes.

*Nick Heinemann (Sr; QB): After patiently waiting his turn, assumes starting QB duties in his swan song; Completed both of his pass attempts for 96 yards and one touchdown last season; Not listed as a defensive starter, but did contribute last year, making 27 tackles and being credited with 1 successful pass break-up.

*A.J. Curran (Sr; C/LB): One of three returning starting OLs who enabled MC to accumulate 3,139 yards of total production and record 41 touchdowns; Will be doing double duty this season, starting at LB on defense; Made 23 stops as a junior.

*Tashawn Stephens (Jr; OL/DL): Standing a monstrous 6’4 and weighing 265 pounds, the 11th grader is pegged to be the starting left tackle this season for the Mavs; Should the Mavs need him, he is plenty capable of being a dominant two-way lineman; last season he made four tackles and secured .5 sack.

*Anthony Perlongo (Sr; WR/S): Making a name for himself mostly on the defensive side of the ball as an 11th grader, Perlongo will be a major factor in all areas of the game in 2019; Made 3 catches for 54 yards + 1 TD last year; Credited with 46 stops, 1 sack, and 2 PDs as a junior.

*Artie Padilla (Sr; LB): Big-time hitter who led the Mavs with 6 tackles for a loss last season; finished 2nd on the team overall with 71 total stops; also had two fumble recoveries (1 for TD), one interception, and one pass defense.

*Sixx Johnson (Jr; LB): A year removed from a statement-making sophomore season that witnessed him make 68 tackles and break-up two pass attempts.

*Craig Sorrenti (Sr; OL/DL): Definitive two-way lineman who will play OG on offense and flip over to DE on “D”..An incumbent starter on the offensive line that piled up remarkable numbers (see above); Recorded 16 stops on defense as a junior.

*Matt Heinemann (Jr; OL/DL): The third returning starter on the offensive line for MC, his role on defense will increase in 2019 after registering 8 stops as a sophomore.

Impact Newcomers

*Khalil Martinez (Fr.)—Despite only being a freshman, Martinez already possesses the size (6’3, 275) of an upperclassman; Is being penciled in as the day #1 starter at Defensive tackle.

*Ashton Padilla (So.)—Slides immediately into a starting position in the secondary as a varsity rookie.

*Justin Francis (So.)—Just weeks into his varsity career and is already the recipient of raving reviews; highlighted as an absolute difference maker in his starting role at defensive end.


2019 Overview

“A” Division Champions in 2016, when you look at all of the speed and potential game-breaking ability that the Mavericks will have in 2019, you cannot help but feel as if a return to championship weekend may very well be in the cards in their third season competing in double-A.

Empowered on offense by a 6’1, 215-pound living legend in the person of Justin Lacks, Moore Catholic will be a threat to score on every possession…A combination of linebacker (strength) and cheetah (4.5 speed), the three-time All-League/two-time (5th Team in 2016; 3rd team in 2018) All-State performer has never had a season where he rushed for less than 1,000 yards or scored fewer than 11 touchdowns on the ground.  As a junior, injury would put him on the shelf for multiple games, but yet he still managed to accumulate 1,161 yards (3rd in AA), while finding the promised land on 19 unique occasions (tied for 2nd in AA).  All in all, Lacks will enter his senior season with three-year totals of 3,470 yards and 44 TDs…Junior, Michael Peraino, who averaged 11 yards per touch on three carries, will also see plenty of time in the backfield…A ground attack that is fear inducing under the most normal of circumstances, Lacks/Peraino becomes almost unstoppable when you consider that they will enjoy the benefit of doing their trekking behind a trio incumbent starters on the offensive line— Craig Sorrenti (LG; 235), A.J. Curran (C; 255) and Matt Heinemann (RG; 240)…255-pound sophomore, Kairon Grady (255), will team up with beastly 11th grader, Tashawn Stephens (260) to round out the 1200-pound OL…As a means of keeping defenses honest, the Mavs will look to another very experienced standout, three-year starter Cameron Holmes, to provide the spark for a wide-out corps that lost freshman All-League player, Dashawn Lawton (33 grabs for 692 yards, 6 TDs) to transfer (returned to his home state of NJ to play for West Side HS)…The team-leader in TD receptions last season with 7 (19 catches for 326 yards overall), the 6’2 185-pounder, Holmes, has both the measurables and the skills to emerge as the consummate go-to target in the aerial game…Anthony Perlongo (3 catches for 54 yards, 1 TD), who will take on added responsibility after primarily being utized on”D” in 2018, and one of the program’s most improved players this season, Justin Burriesci, will be the #2 and #3 options in the passing game…Nick Heinemann, who went 2-for-2 (96 yards, 1 TD) last season in limited work under center, takes the reins of the offense, as a senior signal caller…

Defensively, Coach Giannatasio is blessed to welcome back a plethora of experience, including the linebacking trident of Artie Padilla, Sixx Johnson, and Curran…Ranked 2nd and 3rd on the team last year with 71 and 68 stops respectively, Padilla and Johnson are easily two of the most renowned defensive players in the NYCHSFL regardless of division.  Curran himself had a solid 2018, recording 23 tackles as an 11th grader…Perlongo (46 tackles, 1 sack, 2 PDs), Holmes (48 stops, 3 sacks, 2 INTs) and Stephen Gerwer (6 tackles, 1 pass break-up) bring senior maturity to a defensive backfield that will be enriched by the presence of rookie, Ashton Padilla, at one of the CB spots…Sorrenti (16 tackles) will be the foundation of a D-line that packs plenty of bulk, but is short in terms of varsity field time.  Sophomore, Justin Francis, will join his aforementioned [Sorrenti] linemate, at DE, while Anthony Wilson (1 tackle as a sophomore in 2018) and 9th grader, Khalil Martinez (6’3, 275) will be the muscle in the middle.


Mount St. Michael Academy

Head Coach:

Mario Valentini (36th Year as HC; 41st overall on the sidelines)

Last Season:

Record: 3-7; Did not Advance to the AA Playoffs

Top Returning Players:

*Tyrek Ogilvie (Sr; RB/CB): Finished 3rd on the team last year with 416 yards and two touchdowns on 76 carries; can be utilized as a receiver out of the backfield (3 grabs for 28 yards); will be a more active member of the secondary after making 7 tackles and intercepting one pass as a junior; Very dangerous weapon on special teams (averaged 19.9 yards as a KO specialist)

*Theodore Fraser (Jr; OL/DT): Two-way lineman that will start at either center or guard on offense and DT on “D”; helped the offence to rack up close to 3,000 yards and score 34 touchdowns in 2018;

*Delano Muir (Sr; OG/DT): Joins the two men cited above as the only other returning starter this season for the Mountaineers; Recorded 22 stops and half a sack while plugging the middle as an 11th grader.

*Kai Lewis (Sr; TE/DL): At 6’6 and 260 pounds, he possesses imposing size that he will use to beat down smaller foes; Made 16 tackles (1 TFL) in 2018.

*Matthew Marquez (Sr; RB/DB): Will provide a solid #2 option at tailback; will bring valuable experience to the secondary following a junior season where he made 12 tackles.


2019 Overview

Described by their legendary coach [Mario Valentini] as a program that is very young and will rely heavily on underclassmen, the Mountaineers bring back just three starters.  With these sentiments in mind, this is a team that you have to reserve judging for a few weeks until they have been afforded the opportunity of putting some notches on their belt…

Known over the year for their perennially strong ground game, if there is one spot on the field where the Mount enters 2019 with a high degree of confidence, it is tailback…While filling the cleats of departed All-Catholic selection/HM All-State, Conrad Perry (1,150 yards, 17 touchdowns in 2018) might be too much to request of any one player, the good news is that the boys from the Bronx will feature TWO very competent and potentially game-breaking backs in the persons of Tyrek Ogilvie and Matthew Marquez Jr...Both seniors this season,  the former ranked third on the team last season with 416 yards gained (5.5/carry average) and scored a pair of touchdowns.  The latter, whose main output was on the defensive side of the ball as a defensive back, has elite athleticism and should make a smooth transition to his new role as a key offensive weapon…

Turning our attention to the other side of the line of scrimmage, MSMA may not be relishing a wealth of returning starters, but on paper, they do seem to possess several qualified young men who benefited from field time in 2018 and will be prepared to elevate their respective performances this season…Theodore Fraser (40 tackles, 2 TFL, .5 sacks), Delano Muir (22 stops, .5 sacks), and Kai Lewis (16 tackles, 1 stop for a loss) will sit at the head of the table for what should be a formidable DL…Ogilvie (7 tackles, 1 interception) and Marquez Jr. (12 tackles) are the most polished of the defensive backs on the roster.


St. Joe’s by the Sea

Head Coach:

Mike Corona (5th Season at the Helm)

Last Season:

Record: 1-7; Did Not Qualify for the AA Playoffs


Top Returning Players:

*Jackson Tucker (Jr; QB): 2018 All-Catholic selection; threw for 1,774 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore; ran 430 yards and tacked on four TDs on the ground.

*Vincent Vazquez (Jr; WR): Leading receiver In 2018 w/45 catches for 501 yards and three TD grabs.

*Danny Doyle (Sr; OT): Starting OL for an offense that generated close to 3,000 yards of total production; Could also see time on the DL.

*Kyle Gaor (Sr; RB): Jack-of-all trades who will factor in prominently as a running back and place-kicker/punter; caught 10 passes last season for 127 yards and two touchdowns; connected on all six of his kick attempts (5-for-5 on PAT; 1-for-1 on FG); averaged 37 yards per punt while placing five within the 20-yard line.

*David Maj (Sr; TE): Was the back-up QB as a junior; will move to TE in 2019.

*Nick Ruvolo (Sr; LB): Primary assignment will be as the starting OLB, but did showcase talent on both sides of the ball as an 11th grader in 2018; recorded 16 tackles last year; made 13 pass catches for 166 yards.

*Jesse Addesso (Sr; FS): Returning starting defensive back; made 19 stops and was credited with two successful pass defenses in 2018.

*Nick Gagliardi (Sr; LB): Another returning starter on “D”…Logged 19 tackles and one INT last year.

*Aidan Ryan (Sr; FS): All-Catholic honoree in 2018; Led the team in both interceptions (2) and pass defenses (4), while making 22 stops…One of the purest athletes on the squad, he can also be utilized as a threat on offense (78 yards and two TDs rushing on just 15 carries; 94 yards on 5 catches) and special teams (averaged 25.1 yards per kick return).

*Chris Gulemmo (Sr; DL): Two-way lineman with the potential to dominate on both ends.


Impact Newcomers

*James Speciale (Jr.)—Will see significant time as a wide-receiver.

*Adonis Trejo (Jr.)—Listed as an OL, he has the chops to make noise on both ends of the field.

*Jordan Savinon (So.)—Only a 10th grader, will be a future star on the defensive line.

*Christian Clavell (So.)—Will be a great complementary piece in the offensive backfield; could emerge as the #2 RB behind Gaor.

*Logan Auerbach (So.)—A polished receiving target, he can be lined up out of the backfield, out wide, or at TE.  His versatility makes him a valuable asset.


2019 Overview

One of the most experienced teams in the Double-A division this season, when you look at the roster, it seems as if there is a future or current star at just about every money position on the field…

Leading the offense will be returning All-league field general, Jackson Tucker.  Fresh off of a remarkable sophomore campaign that saw him hurl for the second most yards in AA (1,774), while simultaneously running for the third most yardage among QBs (430), the 11th grader is without question one of the top overall weapons in all of the NYCHSFL, regardless of division….Senior, Kyle Gaor, who made his mark more as a receiver in 2018, will now be asked to step up and assume a major role as the top rushing option for the Vikings…Vincent Vazquez (45 grabs, 501 yards, 3 TDs), John Sciulla (6 catches for 49 yards), and Justin Alexander will compromise a very gifted receiver corps.  Nick Ruvolo (13 catches for 166 yards) was not listed as a starting receiver, but his resume makes us confident that he will be a definitive option in key situations…David Maj will man the TE position….Senior tackle, Danny Doyle, will be the backbone of an offensive line that will also rely on the likes of 11th grader, Matt Cordero, to provide stability…. James Speciale (RB), Adonis Trejo (OL), Christian Clavell (RB), and Logan Auerbach (RB/WR/TE) are all first-year varsity players who came out of the gate strong and will be ones to watch, both in 2019 and beyond on “O”.

Defensively, you could blindly toss a dart at the depth chart and you would unquestionably land on a person who garnered significant playing time in 2018…With the exception of strong safety, where no individual was identified as the clear-cut day #1 starter, every other spot on “D” will be occupied by trusted senior personnel….Chris Gulemmo and James Colesanti will be at DE….Dylan Bille (one of the most improved on the roster) and Paul Quick (11 stops) will plug the middle…Ruvolo (16 tackles), Nick Gagliardi (19 stops, 1 INT), and Corey Tehe (31 tackles; most among returning student-athletes) headline the linebacker unit…Championing the defensive backs will All-Catholic selection, Aidan Ryan (22 stops, 2 interceptions, 4 pass break-ups).  Jesse Addesso (19 tackles, 2 PDs) and Vin Grillo will both give consistent effort at the two cornerback spots…Jordan Savinon (DL) is another young gem whose performance will be so lights out that you forget that he is only a 10th grader.


St. John the Baptist

Head Coach:

Philip Alba (1st Season at the helm)

Last Season:

Record: 3-6; Lost “AA” Quarterfinals to Fordham Prep, 39-12

Top Returning Players:

*Nicholas Mazziotti (Sr; QB): Back for his second season taking the snaps; the Shoreham resident completed 40% of his pass attempts (32-for-80), tossing for a total of 629 yards and four touchdowns; Carried the pigskin on 31 occasions for a net of 64 yards and two more scores.

*Christian Maisel (Jr; WR/FS): Guaranteed starter on both sides of the line, the 11th grader will see is numbers grow exponentially at WR, after making six catches for 149 yards and two TDs as a sophomore; also rushed 38 yards and scored twice on three carries; Defensively, he will remain a significant presence in the secondary; Last year he logged 31 tackles, 4 TFL, and tied for the team-lead with two interceptions.

*Jayden Louis (Jr; RB/CB): Had a tremendous season offensively as a sophomore, finishing the year ranked 2nd on the team in yards (426) and touchdowns (3); proved that he also a threat as a receiver, making 9 grabs for 105 yards and one additional TD; Credited with three tackles last season on “D”, his role in this area will increase quite a bit as he assumes a starting duties at cornerback; Has take it to the house potential as a kick/punt returner.

*Matthew Stroble (Sr; Center): Returning All-Catholic selection off of an OL that helped to generate approximately 2,500 yards and score 20 touchdowns; not listed as a DL starter, but if need be, could absolutely serve as an ironman.

*Thomas Jaycox (Sr; OT): By far the biggest player on the Cougars, at 6’4, 270, he knows how to push people around and will do an extraordinary job keeping the QB upright.

*Anthony Ermelino (Sr; OL/OLB): Another two-way superstar, on offense he will line-up at guard; on “D”, he is fresh off of a junior campaign that saw him record 52 tackles (11 for a loss) and force two fumbles.

*Jeremy DeJesus (Sr; ILB): The other returning standout LB for SJB, DeJesus notched 43 stops, including six for negative yards.

*Liam Clifford (Sr; DE): Sleeper who is under the radar but is expected to have a great senior year on the DL.


Impact Newcomers

*Matthew DePaola (Jr.)—Will make for an excellent #2 option out of the backfield at RB.

*Darius Adbulhagg (Jr.)—Plugged in as the starting strong safety from the opening whistle.

*Kyle Chase (So.)—Expected to be a mainstay at cornerback every second of the next three years; per the coaching staff, he will also compete for snaps under center; Was a late-season call-up to the varsity and shined in his one appearance, connecting on 14 of 23 attempts for 250 yards and two touchdowns…Was the #1 pitcher on the Cougar varsity last season as a freshman; hence, the moment will never overwhelm him.


2019 Overview

A perennial postseason program that has won three or more games every year since 2006, despite facing the obstacles that accompany returning only five starters and breaking in a new head coach (Philip Alba), we see no reason why 2019 cannot still be a very successful season in West Islip…

Loaded with qualified, if not outstanding, student-athletes from top to bottom, even in areas where SJB may be replacing a graduated starter, there seems to be a “next man up” mentality that will inspire this band of 36 young gentlemen!

Finding themselves in quite the advantageous situation of being strong at the skill positions, St. John the Baptist will put their faith and trust in the likes of Nicholas Mazziotti, Jayden Louis, and Christian Maisel among others to provide the electricity and/or firepower when the pigskin in their possession…Mazziotti, now in his second year running the offense, threw for 629 yards and four touchdowns last season, and displayed glimpses of having dual-threat ability by scoring two additional TDs with his legs (ran for a total of 64 yards on 31 keepers)…Louis had a fantastic sophomore season in 2018, finishing 2nd on the team in every major rushing category (78 carries, 426 yards, 3 touchdowns).  In addition, he ranked 2nd in total receptions, catching nine balls for 105 yards and one score.  Hence, there is no telling how #21 in your program will torment you on a week-to-week basis…Like Louis, Maisel is also something of a jack-of-all-trades, when it comes to stretching an opposing defense; as a runner last year, he averaged 12.7 yards on limited touches (38 on 3 carries); with his hands, he was 3rd in catches (6) and 2nd in both receiving yards (149) and TD grabs (2)…Another upperclassman that you ought to keep an eye on is senior, Jeyse Osorto (2 yards on 3 carries); lost early in the 2018 season to a knee injury, the 170-pound resident of Wyandanch busted his butt rehabilitating and will be adamant in his desire to make up for the lost time…Junior, Matthew DePaola, is one of the top rookies on the roster and is certain to add further boost to the backfield…Captained by All-League center, Matthew Stroble (230 pounds), the offensive line will consist of fellow seniors, Thomas Jaycox (OT; 270) and Anthony Ermelino (OG; 210), junior, Andrew Unterschuetz (OT; 240), and sophomore, Spencer Shaughnessy (220)…One last individual that we want to put on the radar is sophomore, Kyle Chase.  At the moment, he is #2 on the depth chart at QB, but we see him as a game-altering wildcard.  A late call-up to varsity as a freshman, he completed 14 of 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his only appearance.  The Levittownian also happened to be the ace of the varsity pitching staff as a 9th grader, meaning that he seems to be at his best the higher the stakes.

Polished/battle-tested everywhere but the DL on defense, senior, Jeremy DeJesus (43 tackles, 6 TFL), and Ermelino (52 stops, 11 TFL, 2 forced fumbles) will be rock stars at LB,  and FS, Maisel (31 tackles, 4 stops for a loss, team-high 2 interceptions), will combine with cornerback, Louis (3 tackles), to fortify the secondary…Senior, Liam Clifford (DE), will be the only senior on a DL constructed of 11th graders, Christopher Annitto (DE), Brian Moloney (DT), and Jayson Smalls (DT)…12th grader, Christian Sosa (9 tackles) could play his way into the line-up along the line…10th grader, Jason Campo, will be OLB…Chase (CB) and highly-touted junior strong safety, Darius Adbulhagg, are welcomed fresh faces in the defensive backfield.



Head Coach:

Mike Jioia (7th Season at the Helm)

Last Season:

Record: 5-4; Lost in the “AA” Quarterfinals to Xavier, 27-0

Top Returning Players:

*Derin Hansen (Sr; OL/DL): Returning All-League performer; Two-way Lineman who on offense helped the team accumulate over 2,100 yards of total offense and score 17 touchdowns; defensively, registered 57 tackles, forced 3 fumbles, and had earned a sack.

*Shane Greene (Sr; RB/OLB): 2018 All-Catholic selection; Probably the team’s most important player, Greene will be the #1 option out of the backfield (323 yards and a team-best six rushing TDs as a junior; added 4 receptions for 59 yards and two scores), as well as a key component to the linebacking cohort (40 tackles, 1 sack).

*Tom Resker (Sr; WR/SS): Named to the 2018 All-Catholic Team on defense as a junior; will be a dynamic play-maker on both sides of the ball in his swan song; rushed for 177 yards and scored once on just 11 carries; caught 15 passes for 202 yards and 1 TD as a receiver; Recorded 33 tackles and notched 1 sack on “D”.

*Jordan Murrell (Sr; WR/CB): Ironman player who will utilize his speed and agility to make noise anywhere and everywhere; gained 117 yards on the ground on 17 carries; made 4 grabs for 75 yards and one touchdown as a receiver; logged 19 tackles and picked off one pass as a defensive back…Is also an explosive kick-returner (averaged nearly 40 yards per return).

*Joshua Rivera (Sr; OL/DL): Like Hansen, Rivera is not afraid to bang in the trenches and will make his presence felt as both a blocker on one end and an untamed pursuer on the other; Made 27 tackles, earned one sack, and had a fumble recovery a season ago.

*Francis Ezeagbor (Jr; OG/LB): Another Clipper doing double-duty in 2019; he will start at OG on offense and star at ILB on defense; Compiled 20 tackles and recovered a fumble as a 10th grader.

*Justin Wolf (Sr; TE): Finished 2nd on the team in 2018 with 21 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns; Standing 6’4 and weighing 215 pounds, his measurables will make him a match-up nightmare for most defenders.

*James Resker (Sr; QB): Took the majority of snaps under center last season for the Clippers; completed 56.7% of attempts (55-for-97) for 780 yards and six touchdowns.


Impact Newcomers

*Tom Leahy (Jr.)—Expected to start this season at cornerback, while further bolstering the receiving corps.

*Anthony Rosati (Jr.)—Turned in a solid season last year on the junior varsity as a running back/defensive back…Adds depth to both positions in his first year on varsity.

*Ryan Kenny (Jr.)—Not a complete rookie, Kenny did make a late-season appearance on varsity at QB, completing 3-of-5 pass attempts for 31 yards.  However, in his first full season with the big club, his main contribution will come as the starting free safety.


2019 Overview

Exceeding all preseason expectations (aside from their own) after making the jump up to AA last year, Mike Jioia’s Clippers earned the top-seed in the Western Division last season and will be armed and/or well-positioned to build off of that momentum and make 2019 a year to remember in Brooklyn…

A brigade that Is loaded with talent at all of the glamour positions, if all goes according to plan, there is every reason to believe that Xaverian could make their fifth trip (Single-A runners-up in 2013, 2014, and 2017; “A” titlist in 2015) in the past six years to championship weekend…Spearheading this quest for hardware on offense will be the four-headed senior monster comprised of running back, Shane Greene (323 yards + 6 TDs rushing on 83 carries), Tight End, Justin Wolf (leads all returning players in every major receiving category—21 grabs for 217 yards and a pair of TDs),  and the double dose of Resker, quarterback, James (780 yards and six touchdowns hurled in 2018), and wide-out Tom (15 snatches for 202 yards and  1 TD; also ran for 177 yards)..The well-roundedness of Jordan Murrell (75 yards receiving on four touches; 117 yards on the ground on 17 carries) should also be put to good use, as he is slotted to start at WR, but could be utilized in a number of different ways…Don’t sleep on newcomer, Anthony Rosati, either.  Regarded as one of the top players from last year’s JV, the junior may not have a defined role yet, but ought to feel optimistic about where his talents will take him during the next two seasons…Seniors, Derin Hansen, Joshua Rivera, and L.J. McGurk, will combine with 11th graders, Kevin Moylan and Francis Ezeagbor, to form the offensive line.

Priding itself on toughness, Xaverian has always been huge advocates of the two-way system, which means that several of the names already cited will be busting their butts on defense too…Returning All-Catholic standouts, Hansen (DL; 57 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack) and [Tom] Resker (DB; 34 stops, 1 sack) will be the ones that set the example…Greene (OLB; 40 tackles, 1 sack), along with Rivera (DT; 27 stops, 1 sack), Ezeagbor (ILB; 20 tackles), Murrell (CB; 19 stops, 1 pick), and Jayden Victor (OLB; 16 tackles) all provide a second wave of experienced defensive personnel…Seniors, William Graham (4 tackles) and Jack Ward are eager to make the most of their expanded roles along the DL…Labeled as day #1 starters in the secondary were rookies, Tom Leahy and Ryan Kenny.

Dec 042018


December 2, 2018

NYCHSFL Senior Bowl

Scoring Summary & Stats


1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
New York City 7 14 7 6 34
Long Island 0 0 7 7 14


1st 06:25 NYC Seth Surrett 2yd run (Nick Guglielmo kick) 7-0
2nd 03:34 NYC Angel Tamarez 22yd reception from Michael Regan (Brendan Lebitsch kick) 14-0
2nd 00:50 NYC Tafari Mason 20yd reception from Derek Bufano (Nick Guglielmo kick) 21-0
3rd 06:06 Island Jahlil Watson 18yd Rumble Recovery/Return (Anthony Peccorella kick) 21-07
3rd 01:47 NYC Jack Goodkin 29yd reception from Michael Regan (Gearoid Kennedy kick) 28-07
4th 09:52 Island Brandon Janosko 4yd run (Anthony Peccorella kick) 28-14
4th 01:47 NYC Jeremye Brown 49yd reception from Derek Bufano (kick blocked) 34-14


Team Totals New York City Long Island
Rushing 6 3
Passing 8 4
Penalty 0 3
Rushing Attempts 27 29
Average Per Rush 4.5 3.9
Rushing Touchdowns 1 1
Yards Gained Rushing 121 132
Yards Lost Rushing 0 -18
Completions-Attempts-Int 17-22-3 8-15-0
Average Per Attempt 15.4 8.7
Average Per Completion 20.0 16.4
Passing Touchdowns 4 0
Total offense plays 49 44
Average Gain Per Play 9.4 5.6


New York City


Name # Gain Loss Net TD Long Average
Conrad Perry (Mount St. Michael) 4 28 0 28 0 21 7.0
Vin Wagner (Monsignor Farrell) 6 28 0 28 0 13 4.7
Jeremye Brown (Cardinal Hayes) 6 21 0 21 0 6 3.5
Michael Regan (Monsignor Farrell) 3 20 0 20 0 8 6.7
Seth Surrett (Kennedy Catholic) 5 12 0 12 1 5 2.4
Jack Goodkin (Fordham Prep) 2 8 0 8 0 5 4.0
Derek Bufano (Fordham Prep) 1 4 0 4 0 4 4.0
TOTALS 27 121 0 121 1 4.5


Name Att Cmp Int Yds TD Long
Michael Regan (Monsignor Farrell) 7 7 0 141 2 32
Derek Bufano (Fordham Prep) 7 6 0 130 2 49
Sonny Badyna (St. Peter’s) 5 3 0 10 0 8
Vin Scarola (Moore Catholic) 3 1 2 58 0 58
TOTALS 22 17 2 339 4


Name # Yds TD Long
Angel Tamarez (Cardinal Hayes) 3 99 1 58
Jeremye Brown (Cardinal Hayes) 1 49 1 49
Jack Goodkin (Fordham Prep) 2 37 1 29
Michael Escobar (Cardinal Hayes) 1 32 0 32
Seth Surrett (Kennedy Catholic) 2 28 0 31
Matt Panker (Iona Prep) 2 25 0 21
Tafari Mason (Cardinal Hayes) 1 20 1 20
Ryan Soules (Iona Prep) 1 16 0 16
Vin Wagner (Monsignor Farrell) 1 15 0 15
Eric Torres (St. Peter’s) 2 13 0 8
Lance Powell (Cardinal Spellman) 1 5 0 5
TOTALS 17 339 4


Long Island


Name # Gain Loss Net TD Long Average
Nazareth McFarlan (St. Francis) 4 46 0 46 0 18 11.5
Greg Campisi (St. Anthony’s) 5 25 (1) 24 0 15 4.8
Brandon Janosko (Chaminade) 6 16 (1) 15 1 5 2.5
Andre McGann (Christ the King) 2 15 0 15 0 13 7.5
Michael Henglein (Holy Cross) 2 9 0 9 0 7 4.5
Matt Sluka (Kellenberg) 3 10 (2) 8 0 9 2.7
Jalen Rivers (Holy Trinity) 2 3 (2) 1 0 3 0.5
Ryan Razzano (Holy Trinity) 4 8 (10) -2 0 5 0.0
Bobby Spano (St. John the Baptist) 1 0 (2) -2 0 0.0
TOTALS 29 132 (18) 114 1 3.9


Name Att       Cmp     Int Yds TD Long
Greg Campisi (St. Anthony’s) 7 4 0 59 0 33
Michael Henglein (Holy Cross) 4 2 0 38 0 24
Ryan Razzano (Holy Trinity) 4 2 0 34 0 32
TOTALS 15 8 0 131 0


Name # Yds TD Long
Matthew Mongelli (Kellenberg) 2 34 0 32
Tyrick Dodd (Holy Cross) 1 33 0 33
Seth Orengo (Holy Cross) 1 24 0 24
Connor McCormick (Chaminade) 1 22 0 22
Frankie Roder (Kellenberg) 3 18 0 14
TOTALS 8 131 0
Nov 262018

The Senior Bowl Practices scheduled for this afternoon are cancelled due to inclement weather. Practice will be held for the remainder of the week as scheduled.

Senior Bowl Practice Schedule;

City Practice Schedule
(11/26) Monday at Monsignor Farrell (4:30 – 6:30) (CANCELLED)
(11/27) Tuesday at Fordham Prep (4:30 – 6:30)
(11/28) Wednesday at Fordham Prep (4:30 – 6:30)
Island Practice Schedule
(11/26) Monday at Mitchel Athletic Complex (4:30 – 6:30) (CANCELLED)
(11/27)  Tuesday at Mitchel Athletic Complex (4:30 – 6:30)
(11/28) Wednesday at Mitchel Athletic Complex (4:30 – 6:30)
Combined Practice
(11/29) Thursday at Holy Trinity High School (4:30 – 6:30)
Jun 062018

From Xavier:

Xavier mourns the passing of John Kelly P’09 ’10, Honorary Graduate of the Class of 2015, husband of Janine, father of Seamus ’09 and Sean ’10, and freshman football and rugby coach from 2005-15.  John passed away after a long and courageous battle with ALS.

In learning of Kelly’s passing, Xavier’s president Jack Raslowsky noted: “St. Irenaeus said that ‘the glory of God is a man fully alive.’ John Kelly was such a man. In his love for Janine, Seamus and Sean, in his love for the young men of Xavier, in his work with our teams and athletes, John was indeed the glory of God. He was a model of goodness and kindness, loyalty and friendship, and love for others. I count my friendship with John as one of the great gifts of my time as president of Xavier.”

Please pray for the family and repose of the soul of John Kelly at this time.

A Donation can be mad in John Kelly’s Name to ALS ONE by Clicking Here




Nov 172017

By Matt Diano:

#1 St. Anthony’s (9-1) vs. #3 Archbishop Stepinac (8-2)

When: Saturday November 18th, 2016

Where: Mitchel Field Athletic Complex

Time: 6pm

The last time they met:

-Stepinac dealt the Friars their only loss of the 2017 season, 38-19, on September 15th

-Crusader Senior Quarterback, Michael Nicosia, completed 11 of his 19 pass attempts for 271 yards and four TDs.

-On the receiving end of two of those aforementioned touchdown hurls was reigning Player of the Week honoree, Shawn Harris, who accumulated 75 yards as a receiver on this two grabs….The junior was also very dangerous on special teams, averaging 35 yards on three KO returns to give his school excellent starting field position.

-While Harris may have scored twice, it was Alex Thomas who had the best overall night out wide, racking up 145 yards and 1 TD on three snatches…Tyler Winston (3 for 31) caught the remaining TD ball.

-Using a ball carrier by committee approach, AS ran for an average of 6.4 yards, totaling 224 yards on the ground…Nicosia (73 yards on 10 carries) and junior, Jamal Dallas (71 yards on 10 touches) were the top-2 rushers in the game for the Crusaders….Trill Williams took a snap from the wildcat formation and trekked 29 yards for the only rushing TD of the game for Stepinac.

-Stepinac’s defense played outstanding in stuffing the run; they held a Friar squad that averaged 182 yards rushing on the season to just 82 yards total on 34 attempts (2.4/carry)….A big reason for their success was the play of junior LB, Kevin Gray, who posted a season-high 19 stops…Fellow linebacker, Justin Hairston, made 12 tackles of his own, while D-Linemen, Matt Mitrakos and Joseph Garbowski, set the example up front with eight and seven stops respectively

-Providing a fierce pass rush for AS was junior, Doug Simmons, who posted two of his league-leading 16 sacks….Alexis Pena, whose versatility was on full display (6 tackles) contributed the third sack of the game for Stepinac

-Crusader junior place-kicker, Nate Henderson, was incredibly steady, converting his only FG attempt from 28-yards away, and going a perfect 5-for-5 on PATs.

-In the defeat, STA dual-threat quarterback, Greg Campisi, still had a respectable evening, throwing for 192 yards on 19-for-26 passing, with one TD, and running for another TD on an five-yard scamper.

-Senior TB, Sean Bryan, who entered the game fresh off of a 254 yard effort in a non-league win over Delbarton, was contained to just 39 yards on 14 carries.  This was his lowest output of the season in appearances where he received 5 or more touches.  He was also kept out of the end zone, which only happened three times in the Friars’ 10 games.

-In the losing effort, both WR Julian Chung (6 catches for 105) yards and Tight End, Conor Ryan (5 for 46, 1 TD) had solid games in leading the list of receivers.

-Senior DB, Phil Platania, was responsible for creating the only turnover of the game for St. Anthony’s, when he picked off Nicosia and returned it 15 yards.

-Just like Stepinac got an excellent game out of their PK, so too did the Friars, as Jeremy Miller connected on a pair of 3-pointers (long of 42) and hit his only PAT try to personally put seven points on the board for STA.


A showdown of the perennial powerhouse (St. Anthony’s) versus the present-day dynasty (Stepinac), since the year 2000, 13 CHSFL titles have been won between the two schools, with the Friars claiming 11 (including seven in a row from 2001-2007), and the Crusaders seizing two of the last three (2014, 2015)….Having an amazing 15-year streak of reaching championship weekend snapped in 2014, the Rich Reichert coached Friars approach the weekend looking to prove that the last three seasons were flukes and that the program is as strong as ever !!!!   Stepinac on the other hand, making their fourth consecutive appearances in the title contest, is out to prove that there while they respect the legacy of the Black & Gold, this is a new era, and that era exists in Westchester, not Long Island.

St. Anthony’s Head Coach Rich Reichert

Billed in the pre-season as a potential finals preview, when the two schools squared at Stepinac during the second week of the 2017 season, the result was slightly shocking…While a Crusader victory certainly was not a surprise, the margin in which they delivered that “w” was completely unexpected…A big reason for the one-sided contest was the play on both sides of the line by Stepinac….If there is one thing that Friar Nation prided itself on during their decades-plus of dominance, it was that every time they stepped onto the field, they knew they were tougher than you in the trenches.   However, on this Friday night in September, it was the host school that dictated terms to their visitors, holding STA to 100 yards fewer than their seasonal average on the ground….If the top-seeds from South Huntington hope to bring the plaque back to their campus for the first time since ’13, it is imperative that unlike the first meeting, they must demonstrate an ability to get the ground game working.  While Campisi is more than capable of beating you with his arm, the bread-and-butter of the Friar offense has always been to use the explosive run game to set up the aerial attack…For this reason, STA is going to need to get solid games out of their usual 1-2 punch of Bryan and Campisi.

Held to a little more than 60 yards combined in the first meeting, Bryan (828 yards, 12 TDs on 120 carries) and Campisi (627 yards, 10 touchdowns on 90 touches) are both “take it to the house” type of runners….Last week in STA’s semifinal win over Iona Prep, Bryan punched the ball over the line on three separate occasions, finishing the game with 77 yards on 18 carries (4.3)…Campisi, who is a magician when it comes to escaping pressure and turning nothing into a big gainer, notched his second 100+ rushing game of his junior campaign, running for 101 and a score on 18 carries…..This is the Friar proficiency that we are used to seeing in big games and when push comes to shove, we anticipating seeing a much better effort the second time around from this potentially game-changing duo….Another name to be mindful of is junior Kyle Angus.   In the past three weeks, he has seen his level of responsibility increased and has responded well to the heavier load, running for a season-high 66 yards on 12 touches in last Friday’s victory over the Gaels.

As noted above, while tradition tells us that the run is the key to success for the Friars, Campisi can definitely sling it around the field when necessary…Connecting at a remarkable rate of 73.1 percent (152-for-208), the Harvard (lacrosse) bound junior has thrown for 1,721 yards and 10 touchdowns this season…On the back end of all of those completions has been three primary faces—Chung (57 catches, 715 yards, 3 TDs), Heron Maurisseau-O’Neal (29 grabs for 436 yards, team-leading 5 TD receptions), and Ryan (26 snatches for 282 yards; his lone TD came against Stepinac)….Chung, who has also been utilized as a runner in short yardage situations (4 TDs on the ground) is the consummate playmaker.  You’ll see him take a short completion and turn it into a huge play by using his speed and agility to make tacklers miss….The future UConn Husky, Maurisseau-O’Neal is your traditional, route-running, deep threat.  He’s the person you put your #1 CB on, because if you don’t, he finds a way to make you regret it….Ryan is your chain mover.  He has good size, steady hands, and is as tough as they come.   When you need a 5 to 10 yard completion, you best believe he will be open and ready to make the catch.

Archbishop Stepinac won back to back Titles in 2014 & 2015

Stepinac and their #2 (in AAA) rated offense will counter by incorporating a very balanced attack of their own….Averaging 33.1 points per game this season, if you look at the TD splits between the passing and ground game, you notice that the 26:22 ratio is about as even as you will find on the scholastic level…Simply put, they don’t have just one means of which to beat you.  If you stack the box and try to stop the run, they will torch you in the air with their speed and accuracy.   If you drop your linebackers back into coverage, you are inviting their array of talented backs to have a huge evening…

Unlike last year’s runner-up squad that featured a pair of dominant senior running backs in the persons of Antonio Giannico and Johnathan Gomez (1,682 yards, 17 TDs rushing between them; 48 catches for 634 and six TDs as pass catchers), the 2017 version of the Crusaders backfield does not have that workhorse, game-plan against them type of back…Instead, they come at you with depth….Four different players on the AS roster have run for 200+ yards this season, and a fifth, [Trill] Williams (194 yards, 4 TDs) is probably the most dangerous ball carrier of all, but is only used in special circumstance so  that he can conserve energy as a shutdown CB on defense….Leading the team in rushing is  the junior classman, [Jamal] Winston, who averaged 5.9 yards per carry on his 83 touches to enter the title game with 492 yards and one TD…Complementing Dallas for much of the season, but likely to see more than his fair share of touches (as both a runner, receiver, and return man) will be the always dynamic and electric Harris, who had season-highs for carries (16) and yards (116) last week in the semifinal win over defending champions, Cardinal Hayes.  As noted above, Harris was used more as a deep ball/home run threat out wide when the two schools played in September.   He may be called upon to be a jack-of-all trades tomorrow evening.  Harris leads all Crusaders with six rushing touchdowns on the ground in 2017….Just behind Harris on the TD list with five is Malik Grant, who has tallied 271 yards on 51 carries…Rounding out the list of 200+  runners is Nicosia.  Still an individual who is more comfortable in the pocket, the senior QB has shown a willingness to take what defenses give him.  The perfect example of this was that first meeting when he ran for 73 of his 201 total yards in the early season win over STA.

The more polished of the two quarterbacks in tomorrow’s title game, if his offensive line gives him ample time to work, he is a known sniper with this throws.   The owner of a 64.1 percent completion rate, the 12th grade field general has tossed for 2,262 yards and 24 touchdowns (compared to just four INTs).  He makes smart throws and has amazing field vision….Just like Campisi has his trio of favorite targets, so too does Nicosia, who has seen 18 of his previously referenced 24 TD hurls land in the direction of Winston (34 catches, 507 yards, 5 TDs), Thomas (32 catches, 854 yards, team-leading 7 TD grabs), or Harris (22 snatches for 407 yards and six 6’s).

As we alluded to in the “what happened last time” section of the preview, the play on defense will also be a huge deciding factor….While we have already highlighted some of the names that led the Crusaders to that eye-opening week #2 triumph, a few others that need to be mentioned are as follows: Kevin McKenna (2nd on the team with 70 tackles; coming off of a 19-stop effort in the win over Hayes), Joey Cappiello (64 tackles, 4 INTs, 8 pass defenses), Isaiah Walker (41 tackles, team-leading 14 successful PDs), Dexter Chance (41 tackles, 2 INTs), D’Andre Smith (41 tackles, 7 PDs), and Tyler Decrescenzo (42 tackles,  5 pass breaks-ups) are a sampling of the individuals you need to keep an eye on when Stepinac is on “D”.

Looking to erase the memories of their single imperfection will be the top-ranked Friar defense….Surrendering 13.5 on the season, the 38-point output against them is most definitely the exception and never the rule….After all, when you have beasts like Bucknell bound Grayson Cherubino, defending CHSAA State Wrestling champion, Nick Greer anchoring up front, Tyler Sorrentino, Ryan Vahey, and Tynan Hillery excelling as LBs, and Makhai Murphy (4 INTs), Platania (3 interceptions), and Gershom Delva patrolling the no fly zone, you are always going to be in a position to shutdown opposing offenses.

One last tidbit that we will reflect upon in the intangible of “experience”….Because they have reached this point in each of the previous three seasons, many of the players on the Stepinac roster knows what it feels like to deal with the adrenaline rush, the nerves, and all that accompanies playing for all the marbles….Student-athletes like Nicosia (20-for-31, 345 yards, 4 TDs), Harris (6 catches, 109 yards, 1 TD), Thomas (4 grabs for 45 yards),  Pena (8 tackles, 1 sack), Hairston (6 stop), Simmons (5 tackles), Cappiello (5 tackles, 1 pass defense), Mitrakos (4 stops), and Gray (4 tackles) all saw considerable playing time in last year’s finals loss…Might this familiarity with the big stage allow them to come out of the gate more relaxed and poised?   Given how the first meeting transpired, the last thing STA needs is for Stepinac to get off to a quick start. If they do, it might feel like déjà vu for the #1 seeds.


We’ll see everyone at Mitchel Athletic Complex Saturday

Nov 162017

By Matt Diano:

#1 Kellenberg Memorial (10-0) vs. #2 Fordham Prep (9-1)

When: Saturday November 18th, 2016

Where: Mitchel Athletic Complex

Time: 2:30 pm


The last time they met:

-Kellenberg handed the Rams their only loss of the season, 34-24, on October 6th

-The Firebirds rans for 337 yards and five touchdowns, led by junior QB, Matt Sluka, who tallied 244 and three by himself…His TD dashes came from distances of 11, 80, and 42 yards.

-Excluding sacks, the KMHS defense limited Fordham Prep to just 38 yards on 10 rushing attempts.

-Juniors, Jake Deakin and Alain Telford, each had an interception, making it the only game this season that Fordham Prep All-State field general, Matt Valecce, has been picked multiple times in a game.

-Anchored by junior, Dan Wilson’s three, Kellenberg put extreme pressure on Valecce, sacking him six times….Peter Talicercio, Elijah Eddy, and Matt Olsen, also joined the party with one apiece.

-A second half team for much of the 2017 season, the Berg turned a 15-14 deficit at the break into victory by outscoring Fordham Prep, 20-9, over the course of the final 24 minutes of play.

-Despite getting intercepted two times, Valecce still had a great night, completing 24 of his 39 attempts (61.5 completion rate) for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

-The Rams’ dynamic pass catching trio—Will Loffedo (5 for 61), Liam McHale (8 for 99), and Thomas Walsh (7 for 133, including both TD grabs) all had their usual explosive games despite the loss.

-While they struggled in their ground defense, FP excelled in pass coverage, holding Sluka to just seven yards on 1-for-6.

-Fordham Prep would make things uncomfortable for Sluka as well on drop backs, as they responded to KMHS’s six bags by getting three of their own, including a pair by junior, Jack Goodkin…Goodkin, who has also been utilized as a receiver on offense, also contributed a pair of catches for short yardage…The other sack on the evening was courtesy of the game’s leading tackler, George Gaspar, who ended the contest with 10 stops.  One of these 10 tackles resulted in a 3rd quarter safety.

-Despite the double digit margin of victory for Kellenberg, this was a back-and-forth war all night that witnessed seven lead changes.




The rematch that the Catholic football world has been eagerly awaiting has come to fruition following a pair of one-sided semifinals that saw the top-seeded Firebirds remain undefeated in 2017 behind a 28-7 victory over nemesis, Xavier, and Fordham Prep completely overwhelm fifth-seeded St. Francis Prep to the tune of a 41-14 triumph.

A game that no matter who wins on Saturday will contain a great human interest story, for Kellenberg, this weekend represents a chance to post the first immaculate season in Firebird football history while at the same time claiming the brass ring for the first time since winning “A” in 1999…..On the opposing sideline, November 18th is about closure to one of the greatest scholastic careers ever by a New York State quarterback.   Already in the top-3 All-time for TD passes and yardage thrown, when we say that Valecce is a living legend, we are not just limiting our praise to within the NYCHSFL.   If you took this same young man and put him anywhere, he’d still tower over the rest of the field….The catalyst behind leading FP to the Single-A title as a freshman in 2014, there could be no better and more fitting conclusion to his decorated resume than to tack on a bookend title in the AA.

The classic tale of a dominant rushing attack (Kellenberg has run for close to 3,000 yards and 42 touchdowns) versus an explosive, air it out as much possible aerial strike, the double-A title will be decided by whichever team has been able to make the necessary adjustments since they last played in week #5.

To the credit of our second-seeded Rams, in advance of their championship appearance, we already started to see them make the effort to become more balanced with their ball in their hands….Running for 75 of fewer yards in their first five games of the season, Fordham Prep has discovered something on the ground during the second half of the year, running for 90 in yards on a season-high 29 attempts in sixth week victory over Moore Catholic and keeping the trend going by surpassing century mark in three of their last four games.   Last week in the aforementioned semifinal win over the Terriers, the Pete Gorynski mentored Rams established season-bests for yards (219) and scores (3) on the ground….The ground game was so effective that Valecce was only asked to pass 12 times a week ago.  This power football strategy was unheard of from FP when the season started.  However, now that they have it working well, it gives the #1 ranked KMHS defense something else to think about.  No longer can Kellenberg focus solely on the pass.  They now must be prepared for anything and everything.

All of that above having been stated, it goes without saying that even with FP senior tailback, Justin Ancheta (681 yards, 4 TDs on the season), in the midst of a two-game 100+ yard streak, the Rams certainly are not about to abandon the most potent passing attack in all of the CHSFL….With Valecce (ranked 4th in NYS with 2,712 yards; 2nd in TD passes with 34) at the controls, the Rams offensive machine is averaging 271.2 yards per game in the air and scoring an average of approximately 34 (33.9) points per game…As the saying goes, you don’t fix what ain’t broke.  Hence, while Ancheta may be given a few extra carries to keep Kellenberg on their toes, there will still be quite a bit of gun slinging out of the Maroon jerseys….And when he does drop back to chuck, Valecce will have the luxury of choosing among a 1, 1A, and 1B repertoire of gifted pass catchers in the persons of fellow All-Stater, Loffredo (4th in NYS with 61 catches; 4th in TD receptions with 12; 10th in yardage with 834), Walsh (also tied for 4th in the Evil Empire with 12 TD grabs; 3rd in AA division with 694 yards; 5th in AA with 32 total catches), and McHale (7th in New York with 57 grabs; 11th in receiving yards with 834; 3rd in AA behind his teammates with seven touchdown snatches).  Goodkin (18 catches, 242 yards, 3 TDs) can also not be underestimated as a worthy target.

The undefeated top-seeds who call Uniondale home will counter by doing what they do best, run, run, run…By far the deepest team in the Catholic League in terms of potential playmakers out of the backfield, while it is Sluka (1,381 yards total, 19 touchdowns; both ranked #2 in AA) that gets the bulk of the press, the truth is that even without their once-in-a-lifetime junior quarterback, Kevin Hanifan’s program is not hurting for guys whom they can hand the rock off to…As noted above, this is a team that has put up just under 3,000 yards total with their legs.   You math majors probably have already figured out that this means that even if you pretended that Sluka was never born, KMHS would still have run for 1,552 yards and 23 touchdowns….HOLY DEPTH!!!!.

Providing that second wave of endless rushing prowess will be the likes of Frankie Roder (667 yards, 14 touchdowns), super sophomore Jordan DeLucia (who despite missing time with an injury still ran for 493 yards and four scores), Deakin, who when he is not taking away TDs in the defensive backfield is capable of putting a few on the board as a running back (144 yards, 2 scores on 32 carries), and Jimmy Musso (averaging over 10 yards per touch on his 10 carries; 108 yards)….Ryan Tyznar, who has not gotten many carries because of the ferociousness of the depth chart, scored in the first meeting between the two schools and could get his number called again this weekend.

Admittedly while his is still at the stage where he is more pure athlete than he is polished pocket passer, if you think that Sluka is a one-trick pony, then he is going to burn you and prove otherwise…..Because his feats with his feet have been so remarkable, it is easy to overlook the fact that the 11th grader from Roslyn still threw for nearly 1,000 yards (917), completed 61.5 percent of his attempts, and had a TD to INT ratio of 3:1, tossing nine touchdowns…Thus, if FP attempts to stack the box, don’t be surprised if we see a career day in the air out of the red-headed assassin…..If Sluka is forced to rely on his arm more this weekend, look for him to be on the same page with fellow junior, Matthew Mongelli, all afternoon…The #1 receiving option for the Firebirds, Mongelli caught 17 balls for 426 yards and four TDs to lead in all categories.

Defensively, the story is quite similar….For Kellenberg to put that last cherry on the perfect sundae (on Saturday), they will need to get another banner game out of Wilson, Olsen, and their D-line brethren…Reigning Player of the Week, senior Brendan Whitehead, is fresh off of career highs in sacks (2) and tackles (9), so he too carries immense momentum into his final appearance in the Blue & Gold….While ideally, the pressure applied would be so great that Valecce is unable to even get the ball out of hands.  However, when he does manage a successful release, the responsibility will fall on the pads of Kellenberg’s star DB, Aidan Fitzgerald, to set the example.   “Fitz” leads KMHS with five interceptions and 14 successful pass defenses.  He will need to save his best for last!

Fordham Prep, which in the past has had their title hopes derailed by shaky defense on the ground will turn to Gaspar (75 tackles), Lucas Petit (62 stops), another reigning POTW, Ian Devine (59 tackles), Goodkin (51 tackles), and Christian Dimitri (50 tackles) to form an impenetrable wall up front in the hopes of holding Kellenberg well below the 293.3 yards per game they are averaging heading into the main event.

Check back tomorrow for Matt’s AAA Championship Game Preview

Oct 302017


The following are the JV Playoff matchups for Saturday 11/4.  Games will

be played at higher seeds, Times TBA



(1) Cardinal Hayes BYE

(2) Archbishop Stepinac BYE

(3) Iona Prep vs (6) Christ the King

(4) Chaminade vs (5) St. Anthony’s


(1) Moore Catholic BYE

(2) Xavier BYE

(3) Kellenberg vs (6) St. Francis Prep

(4) Fordham Prep vs (5) Holy Cross

Sep 272017

By Matt Diano:

Marquis Jimenez (Sr.); QB – Mount St. Michael Academy Mountaineers

The proverbial straw that stirs the Mountaineers offensive drink, even in the team’s two previous losses to AA title contenders Kellenberg Memorial (week #1) and Holy Cross (week #2), the senior signal caller from the Bronx left no doubt to the range of his immense talent…This past Saturday, his individual heroics would finally be rewarded a victory as MSMA improved to 1-2 behind a 44-26 win over 2016 Single-A Catholic Champions, Moore Catholic.

Barely missing the 100-yard rushing mark the previous weekend when he gained 91 on 15 carries (1 TD) in the aforementioned loss to Holy Cross, the 5’10, 150-pound 12th grader would not be denied of the milestone in week #3, averaging 11.2 yard per carry on only 10 touches to finish the game with 112 yards,   Two of these 10 carries were broken for touchdowns as Jimenez logged scoring runs of 10 and 47 yards.   His pair of TDs were two of the six overall recorded on the ground by the Mount as five rushers combined to gain 396 yards.

With another huge game coming up in week #4 against undefeated Fordham Prep, Jimenez, who will step onto the field averaging 6.6 yards per carry for the season (212 yards on 41 touches, 3 touchdowns), will have the opportunity to put Mount St. Michael’s back in the title picture…The Rams are coming off of a game that witnessed them surrender 311 yards and three scores on the ground.  Hence, they may be feeling vulnerable in the run-stopping aspect of the game.      


Matt Sluka (Jr.); QB – Kellenberg Memorial Firebirds

Hailed in our season preview as possiblu the most gifted Firebird field general since All-State quarterback Bobby Seck, week after week, the 11th grader from Roslyn Heights is proving that the hype is warranted and most certainly deserved….

Entering week #3 having thrown for a pair of touchdowns and ran for a third, the two-time grade level team Most Valuable Player turned Kellenberg’s 47-10 victory over St. John the Baptist into his own personal combine workout, dazzling those in attendance at Mitchel Field with both precision passing and explosive runs in sending the Marianist School to their first 3-0 start in over 15 years.  

Utilizing all of his limbs to the maximum of his abilities, Sluka’s total production under center measured 339 yards, as he tossed for 188 on 6-for-11 passing and ran for an additional 151 on only 11 carries (13.7 average).    He would also have a hand in four of the Firebird’s seven total touchdowns, hurling a pair and running two others in all by himself.

Sluka’s first score of the night would also be the initial score of the game, as he would power his way in from 1 yard out to give Kellenberg the 6-0 advantage.  The flair of his contributions would only grow in magnitude as he closed out the opening 24 minutes by scrambling and then firing to hit Matt Mongelli on a 25-yard strike to make the score 27-10….Knowing that they had the always tough Cougars on the ropes at the onset of the second half, Sluka would pick up where he left off connecting with Jordan DeLucia on a 19-yard TD pass which all but officially put the “w” on ice for KMHS….Saving the best for last, Sluka’s fourth and final touchdown of the night came via one of the best highlights you will see all season.  Keeping the ball on a QB option, Sluka would dash 20 yards before being met by a SJB defender.  Left with no other choice, he would utilize a killer stiff arm and then cut back, going 10 yards in reverse, before finding a fresh hole and cruising 50 final yards down the opposite sideline to the house.   While the box score credits the red-headed assassin with a TD run of 55 yards, in truth, he easily ran close to 90 yards in order put that 6 on the scoreboard.

On an evening where he did just about everything else, Sluka also successfully converted 5 of 6 PAT attempts, meaning that between his rushing and kicking, he single-handedly out-scored the opponent, 17-10.          


Matt Kindya (Sr.); OL – Monsignor Farrell Lions

Kindya may have played his final game in the Maroon & Gold, as he suffered a most likely season-ending injury during the 4th quarter of their 21-17 comeback victory over Chaminade during week #3….However, as pained as we are to see him no longer be able to strap on the pads and do battle in the trenches, if there is a silver-lining, it is that if you had to have your senior season ended prematurely, it is doubtful that your final appearance could have been more impressive than the effort put forth by the 6’1, 225-pound leader of the offensive line. 

A captain, anchor and road-grader during every moment of the 2017 season, under his leadership and direction, the O-line has been so outstanding that the Farrell running attack has averaged 290 yards and 2.3 touchdowns per game behind their beastly blockers…First-year starting tailback, Vin Wagner (POTW honoree during week #1) has especially benefitted from running behind Kindya, surpassing 200 yards twice in three attempts to run for 634 of the Lions’ 868 yards thus far. 

Last Saturday, with Kindya playing the majority of the contest before going down with the previously cited ailment, the Lions were unstoppable on the ground, averaging 12+ yards per carry to gain an incredible 314 yards, including touchdowns runs of 52, 47, and 1 yard from Wagner and junior QB, Mike Regan…The 1-yarder by Regan (also had the 47-yarder) capped off a six minute, 80-yard game-winning drive to enable Farrell to prevail in the clash of unbeatens.


John Stroughn (Jr.); OL/DL – Holy Trinity Titans

A true ironman, if not for Stroughn elevating his game in the 4th quarter, it is very likely that the defending AA runners-up would have seen their 2017 record fall to 0-3….Starting and playing the entire game on both sides of the ball along the line, the 6’1, 235-pound junior provided all of the little intangibles that enabled the Hicksville based school to climb out of a 14-0 fourth quarter hole by rallying to score 15 unanswered points in the final eight minutes to defeat Xavier, 15-14. 

Lining up at guard when his team had the ball, Stroughn’s run-blocking would aide in yielding a season-high 82 yards of ground production.   He would also contain any pressure that the Knights attempted to apply up the middle, giving senior quarterback, Joseph Hall, the necessary time to step into his throws and hit Armani Cruz for a pair of homerun passes for scores to cut the deficit to 14-12. 

Well aware that any further scoring by Xavier might put the game out of hand, Stroughn would energize the Titan defense, making nine tackles (2 TFL), notching a sack, and putting so much pressure (2 hurries) on the opposing quarterback that Xavier failed to complete a single pass in four tries.  By holding their visitors from Manhattan scoreless during the last 12 minutes of play, the defense set the stage for the offense to steal the “w” and break Holy Trinity (1-2) into the win column. 


Greg Campisi (Jr.); QB – St. Anthony’s Friars

Fresh off of suffering the first loss as a starter of his varsity career to Stepinac in the second weekend of the 2017 season, Campisi was not always perfect (he threw two interceptions) in his most recent outing last Saturday.   However, like a true leader and money-performer, he was lights out when he needed to be, throwing for one score and running for the game-winner to lead the Friars to a 14-7 win over Iona Prep in the marquee game of week #3. 

A defensive battle where penalties seemed to play a part in derailing multiple drives for both teams, Campisi would complete 16 of his 24 pass attempts for 150 yards….A consummate dual-threat signal caller, the future Harvard lacrosse player also took off with his legs seven times to gain an additional 27 yards….While these numbers may not seem overwhelming at first sight, we caution you to look not at the quantity and instead focus on the quality of his production. 

With this team trailing 7-0 at the time, the junior field general capitalized off of a huge INT return by STA linebacker, Tynan Hillery, hitting star wide-out, Heron Maurisseau-O’Neal with a 10-yard bullet to even the score seven seconds into the 2nd quarter.

Well aware of the stakes and how this game would undoubtedly factor into playoff seeding, both defenses dug deep, keeping the game deadlocked for the next 33 minutes…But alas, someone needed to step up and embrace the hero role and that person was Campisi, who on the final drive of the game made at least three or four plays that preserved the eventual winning march. 

Taking over possession at their own 28 yard line with approximately eight minutes remaining, Campisi’s first game-changing display came a little more than two minutes into the drive when he connected again with Heron Maurisseau-O’Neal on a 38-yard pass to put the Friars in business at the Gaels’ 22-yard line….Three unsuccessful plays that resulted in STA moving seven yards in the wrong direction would set the stage for the greatest of Campisi’s works.   Facing 4th-and-17, Head Coach Rich Reichert elected to pass up a 46-yard field goal attempt and instead put the game in the hands of his 11th grade quarterback.  His faith and confidence was rewarded two-fold as Campisi kept the drive going when he scrambled, cut back, and found a hole, picking up the needed yardage and more to set up a 1st and goal….Having gone above and beyond to move the chains on that priceless and clutch run, it was only fitting that a few snaps later, it was Campisi that posted the game-winner, calling his own number on a QB keeper to plunge the ball across the line from a single yard out.

Through three weeks, Campisi is completing 68.5 percent (50-for-73) of his passes for 523 yards and three touchdowns.   He has added an additional 174 yards and three scores on 28 carries with his legs.

Having already played Stepinac and Iona Prep in back-to-back weeks, St. Anthony’s continues this monster part of their schedule when they faceoff with undefeated Monsignor Farrell under the lights Friday Night on September 29th.  


Sonny Badyna (Jr.); QB – St. Peter’s Eagles

In the AAA season preview, we posed the question, “is there life after Bobby Wing for the Eagles?”  The answer is an emphatic yes and a big reason for it is the quick emergence and development of their junior quarterback from Brooklyn, Badyna. 

Throwing for an average of 281.5 yards and one touchdown apiece in each of his first two games of the season (both hard fought losses to current undefeated teams—Stepinac/Farrell), as if it had not already happened, week #3 would be the definitive coming out party for #12, as he posted his best statistical game despite playing without two of his preferred targets (Chris Ledlum and Shakim Douglas; both scratched late because of injuries) in a 34-19 non-league victory over Poly Prep.

Seeing his team leading only 7-2 at the half, Badyna may have only been playing in his third varsity game, but he performed like a cool, collected, and polished veteran during the final 24 minutes of play, launching three second half touchdown passes to clinch the first win of 2017 for the boys from Staten Island. 

Following a 30-yard field goal make by Poly Prep to cut the deficit to just two points (7-5), Badyna wasted little time in regaining the momentum, targeting John Martello multiple times, including a 16-yard TD strike that culminated the drive in the final 10 seconds of the third quarter to increase the Eagles’ advantage to 14-5.

Points would be flying up on the board in the fourth quarter as the two programs combined to score five touchdowns….Of the three touchdowns scored by St. Peter’s, two were direct lines from Badyna to Frank DiMattina, as the duo hooked up for a 55-yard missile for the first score of the quarter to make the score 21-5, and then continued their own personal arms race when no more than 90 seconds later, they responded to an 80-yard Blue Devil TD by again playing pitch/catch for another TD to reestablish a comfortable 15-point advantage (27-12).

On the day, Badyna completed 13 of his 21 attempts for 249 yards (144 to DiMattina) for the aforementioned three touchdowns….For the year, his growing stat line presently reads as follows: 54-for-96 (56.2 percent completion rate) for 812 yards and five touchdowns…These numbers currently have him ranked 3rd overall in NYS for total passing yards and 4th for average per game (270.7). 

While it appears that the learning curve does not/never did exist for him, Badyna will continue to get tested as the Eagles will square off in week #4 against defending AAA titlists, Cardinal Hayes…Already safely on the radar, if Badyna plays as well against the Cardinals as he did against Poly Prep, his stock may just explode out of the atmosphere and into a new dimension.