Sunset Park, Brooklyn Boxer Julian Sosa Continues Torrid Fighting Pace With Win On Coney Island


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Julian Sosa after his victory on Sunday on Coney Island.

Professional boxer Julian Sosa is busier than your average 20-year-old.

Sosa, a welterweight from Sunset Park, Brooklyn, has fought seven times since turning professional approximately a year and a half ago, including his impressive, unanimous six-round decision over Rene Marquez (5-2, KOs) Sunday at the Ford Amphitheater on Coney Island.

Though training and fighting don’t leave much time for the typical youthful shenanigans, Sosa (6-0-1, 2 KOs) doesn’t mind putting in the necessary long hours to reach his championship aspiration—something, he said, that’s gradually taking shape.

“It is a lot of work, a lot of sacrifices,” Sosa said. “But I’m willing to make those sacrifices because I have a vision. I have a dream, and nothing comes easy in life. So, I know I have to work for what I want. I’m glad everything is slowly starting to become a reality.”

The Sosa camp, comprised of his father/trainer Aureliano, his uncle Eusebio, and his strength and conditioning coach Hugh, set fourth a strategy in which the young pugilist would strike from the outside, as to avoid Marquez’s interior fighting style. Sosa said it worked like a charm.

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Julian Sosa gets ready to go in for more action Sunday on Coney Island.

While Sosa is usually ready to jump right back into the mix and start preparing for his next bout almost immediately, he said he’ll savor the sweet victory for the time being.

“As of right know, I just want to embrace this moment,” he said. “This (upcoming break) is only temporary. I want to celebrate with my family, and once the next week hits, I’ll be back in the gym, back to the drawing board. Whenever the next fight presents itself, I’ll be ready.”

Sosa and Marquez’s fight was part of the undercard to the Errol Spence Jr.—Lenard Bundu 12-round IBF Welterweight World Title Eliminator — won by Spence — as well as the Heather Hardy-Shelly Vincent 10-round WBC International Women’s Featherweight Championship, claimed by Hardy, on NBCSN.

By Jerry Del Priore

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Undersized Ex-Football Chief Shawn Cabbell Ready To Prove Doubters Wrong At College


By Jerry Del Priore

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Former Chiefs running back/defensive back Shawn Cabbell warms up versus Brooklyn Tech in last season’s opener, a 24-6 road victory.

At a modest five-foot-seven and 167 pounds, many people had their doubts if Shawn Cabbell could make a college gridiron squad due to his lack of size. But they failed to measure the one intangible that mattered most: Cabbell’s intense desire to play the game he loves at the next height.

After three years as a member of Canarsie Education Campus’ football program, Cabbell defied the odds and signed with Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC)—a two-year school affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region III as an independent conference football team, according to its website—in late June.

Cabbell, 19, has already exceeded the naysayers’ lack of faith, which only provided fuel for his college football aspiration.

“A lot of people did,” Cabbell said of the pessimists who told him he was too small to suit up at a higher football level, “but I kept that in my head,” which, he said, helped motivate him to work even harder to accomplish.

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Shawn Cabbell is far wide right against the Engineers last year.

 

Cabbell played four years of youth football with the Brooklyn Chiefs, and starred on Canarsie’s junior varsity squad as a running back, leading the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) in rushing with 1231 yards on 78 carries during the 2013 season.

The East New York native, who also participated on the track and rugby teams at CEC, spent two solid seasons on varsity, scoring five touchdowns—four on offense and one on an 82-yard kickoff return—in his senior year.

Now, Cabbell is taking his speed and overall gridiron skills to Troy N.Y., where he’s more than ready to prove himself while soaking up the positive college football vibes, as well as the overall student-athlete experience.

“I am going to keep working hard and keep pushing my stuff to high potential and prove everyone that they’re wrong,” he said. “Practice is going great. I like it here and it’s better competition out there, and I’m doing my thing. Coach (Michael Muehling) likes me already, and I’m happy I’m playing on a different level.”

A level that several nonbelievers thought he never reach.

Ex-Canarsie Football Player Darius Lancaster Eyes College Success On And Off The Field


By Jerry Del Priore

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Darius Lancaster lines up on defense against Brooklyn Tech last year in the Chiefs’ season opener, a 24-6 win on the road..

Darius Lancaster started playing organized football with the Mill Basin Mariners at the age of 13. It’s late for anyone who realistically aspires to put the pads on at the collegiate level. He chose other sports, such as basketball and baseball, over the gridiron.

Though Lancaster was behind football-wise to other children, it didn’t stop him from achieving his ultimate goal. The former Canarsie Chiefs wide receiver committed to college in February, selecting Morrisville State College—a Division III school in the Empire 8 Conference—in Upstate New York.

It was Lancaster’s top choice, and he knew right away after his first and only campus visit that he wanted to go to Morrisville State.

“The coaches showed me a lot of attention, a lot of love and stuff like that,” Lancaster explained. “I felt comfortable. Two days later, they wanted me to commit, and I wanted to commit because it felt like home already.”

But playing football wasn’t the only reason the Far Rockaway, Queens resident wanted to attend Morrisville State College.

“I feel like it’s a place I could grow academically as well as athletically,” said Lancaster, who earned the Scholar Athlete Award for achieving academic excellence while a Public School Athletic League (PSAL) participant during his time at the High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM) at Canarsie Educational Campus (CEC).

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Darius Lancaster all smiles earlier this month before training camp.

Nevertheless, the 17-year-old’s high school grades were never an issue for him, according to his mother, Patrice Mckoy.

“His grades were awesome. He stayed on the honor roll,” Mckoy said. “He’s not that much on bragging; that’s my job. He was a true student-athlete.”

Lancaster plans on studying human performance and health promotion, a natural fit for a fine student and promising, young athlete.

Moreover, going into training camp, Lancaster is gleefully optimistic regarding his school choice.

“I am happy with my decision,” he said. “I feel like I am going to take my game to the next level, and better myself (as a person).”

A true mark of venerable character for anyone looking to achieve excellence on the next level, football or otherwise.

 

Former Standout Chiefs Running Back Palyte Stubbs Set To Hit College, Gridiron The Right Way


Text and Photos by Jerry Del Priore

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Palyte Stubbs posses at Canarsie Educational Campus last week.

As Palyte Stubbs’ high school career at Canarsie Educational Campus started to wind down in May, he grew increasingly anxious because he had not yet heard from any college football programs.

“Yeah, that was going through my mind a lot, every morning and night,” Stubbs said when asked if he thought his playing days were over. “I was thinking if I was ever going to put on helmet again, if I am ever going to get the opportunity to play football again.”

But then he received word from Hudson Valley Community College Head Coach Michael Muehling, that he was interested in him joining its National Junior College Athletic Association Region III (NJCAA) football program, lifting a huge weight off his shoulders.

“It was overwhelming.  I didn’t know what to do, or what to say,” Stubbs recollected. “But I know what to do now. I know how to handle situations better, where I am not going to mess up again.”

And that’s to study and play hard, which, Stubbs said, should help him avoid a few senseless mistakes he made in high school.

“I am going to keep it real. I didn’t graduate on time, but God gave me the opportunity to do what I got to do to make it right,” the Brownsville native admitted. “I went to summer school, and finished school. Now I get to do my thing.”

Canarsie head coach Kyle Allen believes Stubbs has what it takes to thrive on the collegiate level, both academically and athletically, as long as he keeps his feelings in check.

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Palyte Stubbs turns the corner on a run against Port Richmond during the 2015 season.

“He was one of those kids that had so much hard work and potential inside of him, but he had to learn how to control his emotions,” Allen said. “Once he became more of a master of his emotions, he was able to clearly see what was going on around him. And as long as he takes that with him to the next level, he’ll be real successful. He’s hard a worker, so he’ll be able to get through academically and obviously, athletically. He just has to stay focused.”

When healthy, Stubbs was one of the PSAL’S better running backs. But avoiding getting hurt was tricky. He played through a few nagging injuries in his junior and senior years, which hampered his play, and cost him a game both seasons.

However, Stubbs has been working out hard during the summer, and says he’s healed and ready to hit the field with a vengeance.

“I’m ready to go,” he said emphatically. “I am very excited. I can’t wait to get in there with my new teammates. I’m going to miss my old teammates, but life goes on.”

Stubbs won’t be totally alone, though, as he will be playing with a few former Chief chums. Devonte Malone, Jesse Rivera, Shawn Cabbell and Ralph Foreste are all headed to HVCC in Troy, N.Y.

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Palyte Stubbs posses at Canarsie Educational Campus during the 2015 season.

“It makes me feel more comfortable, because I have someone to talk to, get advice,” the 19-year-old two-sport athlete explained. “We can learn together, grind together, and pick each other up because we’re from the same place.”

This school experience will be much different for Stubbs this time around, as he said he will be a student first and athlete second.

“I am going to be a real student-athlete this time,” Stubbs said. “In high school, I was just an athlete. Coach Allen was telling me for the longest that school means more than anything in life. I saw it the hard way. So I know I got to be a student-athlete the right way.”

Hit the books first, gridiron second—because Coach Allen always says there’s no football without the grades. And Stubbs evidently understand that.