PSAL Football Week 2 Roundup


By Jerry Del Priore

vikingsIt was an exciting and productive week for the local Southeast Brooklyn PSAL football as three of the four teams won its respective tilts.

One club came from behind for the victory, thanks to a monster effort from its quarterback. The other outlasted its opponent, and the third went down in defeat by six points. The last crushed its foes by a whopping margin.

Currently, three teams sit at 1-1 on the young season while the fourth is undefeated at 2-0.

South Shore – 32, Fort Hamilton – 30 (City Conference)

Led by senior quarterback Jason Martin, the Vikings scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to come from behind for the 32-30 win Saturday in their home opener.

Martin completed 12 of 19 attempts for 277 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 126 yards on 12 carries with two more scores, though he had two fumbles.

Nonetheless, he was responsible for 403 of the 430 yards South Shore amassed in the tilt.

Senior receiver Armand Robinson and defensive player Giovanni Denard, another senior, enjoyed banner days. Robinson caught eight passes for 208 yards and a touchdown while Denard made 16 tackles, recovered two fumbles, and had a sack in the victory.

Bayside – 12, Tilden – 06, (Bowl Conference)

The Blue Devils failed to muster up much of an offensive attack while surrendering 223 yards of offense to the Commodores, leading to a 12-6 defeat Friday night in their home opener.

Bayside was led by junior wide receiver Robert Williams, who found pay dirt on a 75-yard touchdown kick return while senior running back Nathaneal Faison scored on a touchdown rush.

Thomas Jefferson – 14, George Washington – 8 (Bowl Conference)

The Orange Wave posted 276 yards of offensive and senior signal caller Olatundo J. Bruin connected on two of four passes for 79 yards and a score to pace his team to a 14-8 road win Saturday.

Senior running back Dwight Adams scampered for a game-high 125 yards on 12 touches with a touchdown in the close contest. Bruin hooked up with junior receiver Abraham Rodriguez on a 75- yard touchdown strike.

On the defensive side, Adams registered a contest-leading eight tackles to go along with a sack.

Madison – 50, Stuyvesant – 08 (Bowl Conference)

The Golden Knights provided all the luster they needed early on, outscoring Stuyvesant, 36-0, in the first half. For good measure, Madison tacked on 14 points in the third period before the Peglegs broke through with eight points in the fourth quarter. It was a little too late, as the Golden Knights crushed the opposition, 50-8, at home.

Madison’s ground attack was potent as seven different runners touched the pigskin, with junior Jatelle Wilcher leading the charge with 71 yards and two scores. Sophomore Zachary James rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown. Junior quarterback Jack Brandes tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass.

Three other players reached the end zone for the Golden Knights: Senior Elijah Jean Pierre, juniors Matthew Melbourne and Robert Baskin.

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Growing Pains Plague Canarsie In 36-0 Defeat to Midwood


By Jerry Del Priore

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Canarsie Chiefs play versus Midwood, a 36-0 loss Friday night at Aviator Sports Complex has coaching staff searching for answers.

With a team made up of mostly juniors and other underclassmen, the Canarsie Chiefs’ varsity coaching staff expected them to endure a measure of woes, due to inexperience, during the season.

Unfortunately for Canarsie (0-2), its greenness was on full display against Midwood, as it was shutout, 36-0, Friday night at Aviator Sports Complex in a PSAL City Conference game. It was the second consecutive scoreless effort for the Chiefs.

Head coach Kyle Allen said it wasn’t the team effort that led to Canarsie’s demise. Instead, the fifth-year coach said it could be a result of a number of factors, and a wholehearted effort will be put forth to remedy the poor results during the early going.

“It’s a puzzle right now that we got to try and solve,” Allen said. “I’m not sure if it’s the youth, the conditioning, the lack of numbers; I don’t know what it is, but we got to keep trying. That’s all we can do, is keep trying.

“We have a great group of kids,” he continued. “They want to work. We just got to fix what’s wrong.”

The Hornets (2-0) buzzed out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Midwood, considered a team on the rise by several NYC high school insiders, tacked on eight more points early in the second period for a 22-0 advantage.

To make matters more troublesome for the Chiefs, the Hornets returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown to stake them to a 28-0 commanding lead.

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Chiefs defender gets low before play begins.

It seemingly plucked the heart out of the young Canarsie squad’s collective chest. Midwood would take advantage of the downtrodden team, capping the scoring with a TD pass and two-point conversion rush that pushed its lead to 36-0 midway through the third quarter.

While numerous of facets of the game need to be corrected, Allen did spot some glaring areas that need great improvement right away.

“We were getting beat up, up front pretty much the whole game,” Allen said of the offensive and defensive lines. “That’s what it is. We got to get stronger in the trenches. Just work harder in the weight room.” Plus, he added, “They got to grow up a little bit. We’re a little immature.”

The Chiefs return to Canarsie Saturday to face Bronx’s Dewitt Clinton at noon in its home opener.

People Turn Out in Droves for 14th Annual Dan’s 5K Run/Walk in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn


By Jerry Del Priore

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Dan Foster pictured with wife Joann at the 14th Annual Dan’s 5K Run/Walk in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn.

Last Saturday, Dan Foster held his fourteenth annual Dan’s 5K fun run/walk adjacent to the Gerritsen Beach Ball fields in Gerritsen Beach.

The event was a fundraiser for the Colon Cancer Alliance Blue Hope Financial Assistance Program, for which Foster,67, serves as the Brooklyn Ambassador. CCABHFA provides funding to organizations that are making strides to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers, according to its website.

The race was held in honor of Wilbur Friedman, a Midwood resident, and Brain Toomey Sr, a Gerritsen Beach native—both of whom succumbed to cancer.

“Words can’t describe I how I feel,” said a gleeful Foster, a 20-year cancer survivor. “I realize how lucky I am. I really feel like the person up above is really watching me. He knows I have a cause, and something to do.”

Foster said over 275 runners/walkers partook in the race, with around 300 people in total who imparted their moral and financial support. The eventful day featured Rides, face painting, a large-scale educational model of a human colon, and a post-race party at the Cort Club, with donated food and drinks for all attendees to enjoy.

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Dan Foster pictured with wife Joann at the 14th Annual Dan’s 5K Run/Walk in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn.

Anthony Ferrara, 17, a runner on James Madison High School’s track team, took first place overall with a time of 18:05. On the women’s side, Johanna Wilson claimed top prize with a 22:32 finish.

With the race, which raised over $13,000 through racing fees and donations, Foster said he brought in approximately $200,00 over the years.

Other fundraising events the Gerritsen Beach native has organized and/or has been a part of include the Help Knockout Colon Cancer Barbershop Day and the Walk of Hope—a seven-day, 150-mile jaunt from Montauk Lighthouse (on the tip of Long Island) to Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

For more information on colorectal cancer, log onto www.ccalliance.org.

Canarsie Chiefs Blanked By Port Richmond To Open 2016 PSAL Football Season


By Jerry Del Priore

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Canarsie Chiefs football team during a moment of silence for 9/11 victims before their game against Port Richmond, a 20-0 shutout loss to open the 2016 PSAL season.

It was a game of several what ifs for the Canarsie Chiefs football team.

The Chiefs made several mistakes, including four costly turnovers, many dropped passes and other miscues in a 20-0 shutout loss to host Port Richmond. The Sunday tilt opened the season in City Conference play.

Canarsie varsity head coach Kyle Allen said his players continued to shoot themselves in the “collective foot” all game long – and it’s something they cannot do if they expect to win.

“We committed four key turnovers and lost 20- 0,” an exasperated Allen told the Canarsie Courier after the contest. “You can’t win the game like that. We got to figure it out.”

The Red Raiders struck first on a 10-yard touchdown run, followed by a two-point scamper, staking them to an 8-0 advantage early in the first quarter.

The Chiefs had a chance to score, but running back Johnny Watson fumbled the ball inside the five, on first and goal, which Port Richmond quickly pounced on at the two-yard line.

After a few scoreless possessions by both teams, Canarsie committed another unfortunate error. This time it was an interception of quarterback Eric Anderson, which the Red Raiders returned for six points, putting them ahead, 12-0, early in the second period.

The Chiefs’ blunders continued to compound. Anderson threw his second pick six of the day, and Port Richmond made good on a two-point pass play, resulting in 20-0 lead with 4:00 remaining in the half.

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Canarsie Chiefs football team during a moment of silence for 9/11 victims before their game against Port Richmond, a 20-0 shutout loss to open the 2016 PSAL season.

With Canarsie effectively moving the ball down field, a second fumble inside the red zone thwarted another opportunity to punch it in, in the third quarter.

If muffs and interceptions weren’t enough to doom them, the Chiefs dropped a surefire touchdown pass, killing any opportunity for a comeback, albeit slim.

From there, the rest was academic, as the Red Raiders won going away, even taking a knee at the two-yard line with time ticking away to mercifully spare Canarsie from giving up another touchdown.

The Chiefs travel to Aviator Sports Complex to take on Midwood tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

Vikings Suffer Devastating, Key Injury in Opening Season Rout to Lincoln


By Jerry Del Priore
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Viking receiver is slotted wide left against Lincoln.

Early in its game against Lincoln High School, South Shore running back Rafael Cordero broke his leg after catching a pass down field. It would change the complexion of the tilt as the Vikings lost one of their best players in Cordero, a speedster who the coaching staff said had the potential to be one of the top backs in the PSAL.

South Shore (0-1) went on to fall, 58-28, to the Railsplitters Friday night at Abraham Lincoln High School Field in City Conference action.
“That was the worst of tonight’s loss,” Vikings head coach Matt Ciquera said of Cordero’s injury. “I can take losing the game, but we lost one of the best players in the program in the first drive of the game. It hurts us. We don’t have the depth.
“In my opinion, he would’ve been one of the best backs in all of New York City,” he added. “I was fixing for that. So, it’s very sad to see that happen on the first drive to a kid like that. It’s part of the game; injuries happen.”
South Shore led early in the contest, but Lincoln (1-0) pulled ahead, 20-8, with 8:01 remaining in the second quarter.

Refusing to lay down, senior Vikings quarterback Jason Martin completed a long touchdown pass that sliced the deficit to 20-14 with 6:39 left in the second period.

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South Shore Football players hydrate on hot, humid Friday night at Lincoln High School, a 58-28 defeat to the RailSplitters.

A South Shore interception returned to their own 32-yard line gave them hope for the moment. But the Railsplitters picked off the ball to thwart any attempt of a Viking comeback.
Soon after, a deep completion and TD pass, followed by a successful two-point conversion that extended Lincoln’s lead to 28-14 near the end of the first half.
From there, the Railsplitters peeled off 16 unanswered points before sophomore Frankie Cullum scored, followed by a successful Viking two-point run that cut the lead to 44-22, in favor of the opposition.
Though Lincoln battered South Shore, Ciquera put the defeat in perspective.
“We did some good things. It’s a pretty young group, so we got to fix It and get better,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t want to start the season this way but we still got eight more games to go. We’re not going to sit here and hang our heads. It’s not going to do anything for us.”
The Vikings return to Canarsie Saturday at 1:00 p.m. for its home opener against Fort Hamilton. 

Canarsie 2016 Football Preview: Chiefs Turn to Youth For New Season


By Jerry Del Priore

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Head Coach Kyle Allen lends a watchful eye as players practice Sunday before Canarsie’s season kicks off this weekend

After losing over twenty players to graduation in 2015, the Chiefs are leaning on last year’s junior varsity squad to step it up this season.

Though fielding a young, inexperienced team, head coach Kyle Allen is still thinking playoffs, hoping to build on Canarsie’s JV’s 2015 success as a number of players have moved up to its varsity ranks.

“We made great strides with them last year on JV. They went from being 0-10 as freshman to 7-3 as sophomores,” Allen recalled. “So, it’s constant progress, and they got bigger and stronger and more intellectual and cerebral as far as the game in concerned.

“This is not the type of team that I think is a long shot for the playoffs, by any means,” he added. “I think we have enough talent and enough size and ability to be able to compete on the level that we’re on. And I think we can muster up some wins.”

One of Allen’s main arduous tasks, however, is to develop the maturity of his young players as the season progresses.

“The immaturity level is a little scary because they’re so young,” Allen said. “So, I’m trying to get them to mature quicker than you usually expect because this is what we need to have to be successful.”

Allen is looking to running back Johnny Watson to provide the team with much needed leadership — something he saw in his athletic, budding star in training camp.

“It took a while for somebody to take the leadership role and start to reel everyone in,” Allen explained. “Eventually, Johnny Watson started to take that role and kind of bring the kids under his wing. I’m putting a lot of pressure on him this year to be that guy for us.”

Fortunately for Watson, he won’t have to shoulder the leadership responsibility alone.

“Our quarterback (Eric Andersen) has been taking that leadership role, too,” Allen said. “Last year, we had him at slot. He was the JV quarterback his freshman year. And he was the best fit for where we are trying to go, so we moved him back to quarterback. He’s taking on the responsibility like man, and he’s developed well. He had a really, really good offseason.”

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Head Coach Kyle Allen lends a watchful eye as players practice Sunday before Canarsie’s season kicks off this weekend

Adding to the Chiefs’ offensive prowess is six-foot-five-inch sophomore receiver Adisa Isaac, who Allen said has, “shown flashes of being great in the preseason, so we’re going to count on him when the ball’s in the air.”

In addition, there’s senior speedster Akeem King, a track athlete who Allen believes has the potential to be a big offensive playmaker with the ball in his hands in open space.

On the defensive side, Allen spoke of weak-side linebacker Lamar McBeth, junior safety Jamel Cayard, and senior Romone Brown—all gifted players.

Up front, the offensive and defensive lines look solid, according to Allen, but lack of viable backups could spell trouble if injuries and academic ineligibility set in.

“Our first units are good; we just don’t have a lot depth,” the fifth-year coach said. “That’s always the problem around here (Canarsie Educational Campus), because it’s small population-wise.”

Canarsie kicks off the season on Staten Island at Port Richmond Saturday at noon.

Ex-Chief Defensive Star Devonte Malone Ready to Take it to Next Level


By Jerry Del Priore

 

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Former Chiefs linebacker Devonte Malone gets ready to lower the boom on Boys & Girls quarterback Jelani Bostick Oliver last season.

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Ex Canarsie defensive stalwart Devonte Malone, pictured during half time warm-ups, picked up three sacks in last game of season last year, tying an all-time Chiefs record with 21.

Former Chiefs defensive standout Devonte Malone was arguably the best player on the team in 2015. That speaks volumes as Malone didn’t start playing organized football until his freshman year at Canarsie Educational Campus High School.

He learned the game quickly, and went on to become a defensive stalwart at CEC, where he attended Urban Action Academy. After carving out a solid career at the school, he decided to continue his ascend on the gridiron at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy N.Y.
Malone, who tied an all-time team record with 21 sacks last season with Kamari Jones-Hunter, who’s now in his second year at Monroe College, believes he’s just beginning to hit his promise in stride. And Hudson Valley is the right fit for him to develop as a football player.
“I feel like I have a lot of potential to reach,” Malone said. “I really just started to learn how to play football. I feel Hudson Valley, for the next two years, is a good opportunity for me. I do want to play at a big school (someday).”
Moreover, the better competition is raising Malone’s level of play, something he said is to his liking.
“It feels good to play here,” he said. “There’s a lot of competition. You have to beat out a lot of players to get in the rotation. It’s making me a better football player.”
Malone arrived early at camp on August 1st, and he said he was seeing a lot of first team reps. But he suffered a minor concussion in practice a few weeks ago. So, he’s waiting until he receives full medical clearance to hit the field before the Vikings’ season opener on Sunday against Morrisville JV.
However, the 19-year-Buswick native isn’t overly concerned with the injury, and believes he will be in uniform come game time.
“I’m confident I will be on the roster in the home opener,” Malone said. “I feel good. I’m not worried. I’m just waiting to get cleared. This Tuesday I will be in full pads, and Wednesday (both before press time) I should be officially cleared for full contact.”  
But football is only part of the equation for Malone, who plans on studying Criminal Justice at HVCC.
“I feel blessed to play football on this level,” he said. “In high school, I was focused mostly on getting better at football. But I’m ready to focus on my studies, too.”