Ex-Football Canarsie Chief, Monroe College Standout Kamari Jones-Hunter Makes it Official with LIU Post


By Jerry Del Priore

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# 96 Kamari Jones-Hunter displays look of intensity.

It was a forgone conclusion that Kamari Jones-Hunter would be playing for LIU Post this coming fall. But the listed 6’-1”, 267-pound defensive lineman sealed the deal Wednesday on National Signing Day, as the Ex-Canarsie Chief signed with the Pioneers for the next two years, head coach Bryan Collins and the LIU Post football team announced on its athletic website.

Jones-Hunter was one of 13 players who officially agreed to suit up for the Pioneers, a Division II program in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

While with the Monroe Mustangs, Jones-Hunter was a two-time All-Northeast Football Conference Selection, and registered 30 tackles (14 solo, 16 assist) with three sacks, two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks in 2016.

At Canarsie Educational Campus, the Brooklyn native racked up the accolades. He made the News12 Varsity All-City and Eagle All-Brooklyn First Teams.

In addition, he earned Brooklyn Daily All-Borough Honorable Mention, and set a school record for sacks with 21 in 2014, a mark he now shares with Devonte Malone, who is currently playing football at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y.

Collins sang the praises of his talented defensive recruit.

“Kamari was the best defensive lineman in the PSAL two years ago at Canarsie and excelled at Monroe,” Collins said on the school’s athletic website. “He will be an immediate impact player on the defensive line in the Northeast-10 Conference.”

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Former Canarsie Chief Football Star Accepts Division II LIU Post Offer


By Jerry Del Priore

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Kamari Jones-Hunter and his Mother Nicole at their home in Starrett City, Brooklyn.

Kamari Jones-Hunter and his mother, Nicole, agonized over the numerous college offers he had garnered over the past few months.

The five-eleven, 265-pound nose tackle enjoyed a successful run at Monroe College in New Rochelle, a football program that plays in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

But it came time to decide where Jones-Hunter, 20, who registered 14.5 sacks in his final season with the Mustangs, was going to study and play at the next level.

They said there were over 14 official athletic scholarship offers and expressed interest from Division II colleges.

After going back and forth for a while, Jones-Hunter recently chose LIU Post in Brookville, Long Island, the same school his high school football coach-Kyle Allen at Canarsie Education Campus (CEC)-attended.

Jones-Hunter said most of his conversations with friends and family revolved around what school he was going to go to.

“That’s all everybody asked. Of course, that’s going to be on everybody’s mind,” Jones-Hunter said. “I was stressed out the whole process. I am kind of glad it’s over with.”

Jones-Hunter said Allen didn’t sway him toward his old college, just advised him on the positives and negatives of each school, and left the final choice up to him.

“I just guided the horse to water,” Allen said, “and he drank.”

Though many people believe the defensive stalwart has what it takes to play at a Division I college, including several of his old coaches, Jones-Hunter said D-1 coaches were a little skeptical because he isn’t taller.

But Allen, beaming with pride over his former player, feels LIU Post is still a good fit and opportunity for him—no matter that it’s a D-II program—both academically and athletically.

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Kamari Jones-Hunter at Monroe College.

“First off, I’m real proud of the kid to leave here (CEC) and go to a good academic school, with a successful football program,” Allen said. “It makes me feel good, not only as a coach, but as a parent. He put himself in good position to succeed.”

The Ex-Chief two-way standout, who has turned his academics around since his high school days, said the Pioneers, a team in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), gave him a full ride, including paying for books. Plus, the proximity to Starrett City, Brooklyn, as the main reasons why he selected the school.

In addition, Jones-Hunter said LIU Post’s recent success as a program that finished with a 12-1 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Championship as another motive for his college choice.

As for what type of person and player the Pioneers will be getting, Monroe College defensive line coach Michael Kennedy Jr. said, “As far as Kamari, I think he is a really special person to be around, and is very loyal. He made coming to work very enjoyable, with not only his humor but his focus and leadership.

“As far as his on the field work ethic, no one was close,” the coach continued. “He brought it and competed every day. Never took days off.”

Though Kennedy didn’t doubt that his lack of height limited his D-I options in some coaches’ eyes, he said it didn’t faze Hunter-Jones one bit when it came time to ball out.

“He consistently played bigger O-linemen and had very good success,” he said. “I think LIU is getting a steal with him.”

Instead of the D-1 passover letting it get him down, Jones-Hunter is using the snub as motivation to succeed, and to set an example for other student-athletes in the similar situation.

“A lot big schools skipped over me because of my height,” said Jones-Hunter, who graduated a semester earlier and is already attending LIU Post.

“I feel by them skipping over me made me want to go back into the lab and work harder and never look back or second guess my talent,” he added. “I plan to show that I’m just as good as any player out there, no matter my size. My heart, love, desire and passion for the game is so strong and I plan to show inner city kids it doesn’t matter where you go; it’s what you do when you get there.”

 

 

 

 

Kamari

 

Week 4 PSAL Southeast Brooklyn Hoops Round-Up


By Jerry Del Priore

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Brooklyn’s Lady Chiefs Basketball suffer first loss of the season.

With the PSAL hoops campaign quickly moving along, and heading into the holiday break, area teams attempted to keep its momentum while one looked to get back into contention. One squad lost its first game of the season, while another picked up two victories to keep itself from fading into oblivion.

Here’s how the respective clubs fared during Week 4 action.
Harry Van Arsdale – 50, Canarsie – 42 (Brooklyn Girls A East II)
The visiting Canarsie girls team suffered its first defeat of the year, losing by eight points to the Lady Cardinals (6-0) last week.
Sophomore guard Destenee Bailey led the Lady Chiefs (5-1) with 15 points, and had 10 rebounds while senior guard/forward Kemisha Frederick chipped in with 13 and grabbed 10 boards of her own in the loss. Junior forward/center Chrishanta Hunt had a team-leading 12 rebounds.
Senior Alexis Davis recorded game-highs in points (25) and rebounds (15) for Harry Van Arsdale.
Canarsie – 70, Automotive – 58 (Brooklyn Boys A Southeast)
Senior forward Tyres Desinor led the charge for the Chiefs (3-5), scoring 20 points and dishing out 10 assists in the road win over the Pistons (1-8) Friday night.
Junior guard Sameer Akesson contributed 18 points and seven rebounds while senior forward/center Shaquan Belcher added a double-double–13 points and 13 helpers.
Canarsie – 66, Harry Van Arsdale – 55
Desinor paced all scorers with 30 points and 14 boards in Canarsie’s home victory last week. Senior guard Jacob Gayle dropped 15 of his own to help turn the Cardinals aside.
Abraham Lincoln – 88, Thomas Jefferson 71 (Brooklyn Boys AA)
The Railsplitters (6-0) used three players, who registered double-digit points, to ground host Thomas Jefferson (5-1) by 17 last week.
Lincoln’s seniors Michael Reid and Kclejuan Ferguson dropped 22 points each while Donald Cannon Flores, another senior, added 21 in the triumph.
Senior guard Khalil Rhodes scored a team-high 22 points for the Orange Wave. Seniors Kyle Harding, a guard, posted 17 and forward Malachi Faison had 11 with 13 rebounds in the defeat.

Public Address Announcer Antonio Rodriguez Gives Canarsie Football a Voice


By Jerry Del Priore

For the past seven years at Canarsie football home games, every time the Chiefs’ offense moves the chains, public address announcer Antonio Rodriguez will broadcast his trademark call, “And that play is good for a Chiefs’ first down.”

It’s something that helps to motivate the crowd, giving the fans a reason to boisterously cheer on their beloved team.

A lifelong sports fan and former junior varsity Chiefs, Rodriguez started his announcing career with the basketball team. After three years of hoops broadcasting, the East New York native switched to the gridiron when longtime announcer Andy Rizzo retired, prompting then-coach Mike Camardese, a legend at the school, to ask him if he’d be interested in plying his trade for the football team.

I always wanted to be an announcer. Once he (Rizzo) retired, and Camardese gave me the opportunity, I just took it and ran with it,” he recalled at half time of Canarsie JV’s 38-18 win over Flushing High School Sunday. “I didn’t have to think about it. He asked right after a game, and said yes.”

During his time as an announcer, Rodriguez has been fortunate enough to work high school basketball games at the IZOD Center, home of the then-New Jersey Nets, before the franchise moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In addition, he’s performed Chiefs voiceover spots Cozzi Pictures’ City Gridiron, produced and directed by filmmaker Adam Salazar.

Volunteering his services to the football squad, it’s his profound love and passion for the program and sport that has him blissfully sitting behind the mic every season, with no end in sight, he noted.

“I’ve been coming to games since I was freshman,” Rodriguez—who hasn’t missed announcing or attending a game since he entered the booth in 2007—said. “It’s the love of the school, the kids, and the game that keeps driving me back every year. You’re going to have to bury me doing this.”

As far as announcing on a bigger stage, however, the 37-year-old said he would jump at the chance to take his career to a higher altitude.

“Anytime you do something, you always want to go to the next level,” he said. “Everybody has a dream of moving up. If the NFL came and said, ‘we’re looking for an announcer for the Oakland Raiders,’ I would move to Oakland tomorrow.”

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Antonio Rodriguez and the Terror Squad at Canarsie Educational Campus.

*Note: This story first appeared in the November 21, 2013 edition of the Canarsie Courier. 

Week 3 PSAL Brooklyn Southeast Basketball Round-Up


By Jerry Del Priore
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Brooklyn’s Canarsie Lady Chiefs Basketball run record to 6-0 in the Class A of the PSAL.

It was a terrific week for area PSAL hoop squads in the Southeast of Brooklyn as the three local teams in action kept its undefeated records intact with a perfect week.

Here’s how the clubs fared:
Canarsie – 33, Prospect Heights – 32 (Girls Brooklyn A East II)
The Lady Chiefs (6-0) led 25-19 heading into the fourth quarter against Prospect Heights. The Lady Cardinals tested Canarsie, and it proved up to the challenge as it held off the opposition’s surge to walk away with the win last week on the road.
Sophomore guard Destenee Bailey led the Lady Chiefs with 12 points while senior forward/center Chrishanta Hunt provided added firepower and toughness with eight points and 15 rebounds.
Tilden – 53, John Dewey – 23 (Girls Brooklyn B South)
Sophomore center Stephanie McBride led the visiting Lady Blue Devils (4-0) with an impressive double-double, posting a 31-point, 15-rebound effort in the commanding victory over John Dewey (2-2) last week.
Senior guard Brittany Brathwaite contributed eight points in the win.
Tilden – 77, Summit Academy – 65 (Boys Brooklyn Boys B South)
A pair of senior ballers led the Blue Devils (7-0) to a 12-point triumph over Summit Academy (2-5) Monday night.
Jallah Hazelwood put up 22 points and grabbed 16 boards while Reginald Miot scored 22 of his own and added 12 assists.
Senior Andrew White chipped in with 12 points and 15 rebounds in the victory.
Tilden – 55, Wingate – 53
Hazelwood paced Tilden with 22 points and 14 boards to help his squad upend the Generals last week at home.
Senior Kamar Gowie added 13 points and Miot had 10 while White pulled down 12 rebounds to help complete the total team effort.
Top Individual Performance:
Sophomore guard Kayla Bridgeman, who hails from East New York, scored a game-high 17 points to help host Lab Museum United crush Thurgood Marshall in a Manhattan A West Division game last week. 

 

Canarsie Lady Chiefs Hoops Split Games In Lab Museum Thanksgiving Tourney


By Jerry Del Priore

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# 24 Junior center Chrishanta Hunt shoots one of two free throws in Friday’s game versus Medgar Evers College Preparatory, a 51-39 win at the Lab Museum Thanksgiving Tourney in Manhattan.

Canarsie head coach Keiya Smith isn’t exactly sure what type of basketball team she’ll have this year, given the fact she has a group comprised of mostly young players. While the regular season hasn’t tipped off yet, Smith is happy with the performance of the youthful Lady Chiefs at the Lab Museum Thanksgiving Tourney at Lab Museum United High School last weekend.

Canarsie split the two tilts in the competition, losing to St. Vincent Ferrer (Manhattan), 47-39, Saturday night, and beating Medgar Evers College Preparatory, 50-39, Friday in Manhattan.

In Saturday’s contest, sophomore Destenee Bailey led the Lady Chiefs with 12 points while junior center Chrishanta Hunt and sophomore forward Destiny Drummond contributed with nine and eight points, respectively, in the losing effort.

In Friday’s game, which they won, the Lady Chiefs jumped out to a 10-0 lead with 4:44 to go in the first quarter. The Lady Cougars cut the deficit to 12-6 with 1:29 remaining in the period, but Canarsie added five quick points to close out the quarter ahead, 17-6.

Both teams went back and forth to begin the second period until the Lady Chiefs pulled away, punctuated by a three-pointer from Bailey for a 25-15 advantage with .50 seconds left in the half.

Canarsie went into the locker room in front by a score of 25-17. But MECP slowly chipped away at the lead in the third period, narrowing the gap to 33-31 on a buzzer-beater to close out the third quarter.

The Lady Cougars tied the affair at 33-33, .15 seconds into the fourth period. But the Lady Chiefs retook the lead, 35-33, ten seconds later, only for MECP to knot the game again. However, Canarsie went on a 12-0 run to push the score to 47-35 with 2:31 remaining in the tilt.

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Medgar Evers College Preparatory School Lady Cougar drives to hoop Friday night in game against Canarsie.

By then, the Lady Chiefs had done more than enough damage to secure the victory. 

Though Canarsie is on the short side of experience, and will be a work in progress as the season moves along, Smith feels the team will make waves in the Brooklyn A East II Conference, with the playoffs as a realistic possibility.

“We’re young, need a lot of work, but I think they’ll come around,” Smith said. “We’ll definitely going to contend in our conference, and we’re hopeful for the playoffs.”  

As far as scoring and play making goes, Smith said, “Bailey and Drummond, that’s going to be the difference, with Chrishanta Hunt, if she shows up every game, that will be the difference, too.”

But Smith believes senior Kemisha Frederick will be the team’s X Factor, providing the experience the Lady Chiefs will need during crunch time because she’s battle-tested.

“She’s our glue, because she has experience,” the longtime coach said. “She knows what it feels like to win, she knows what it feels like to go through those loses. She’s been here for a while.”

Drummond led the charge for Canarsie with 21 points, with Bailey and Hunt adding 16 and seven in the victory.

The Lady Chiefs begin the regular PSAL campaign on Tuesday, December 6th at 4:30 p.m. against host Wingate Educational Campus. 

Canarsie Shutout, 32-0, By Juggernaut Erasmus


By Jerry Del Priore

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Canarsie receiver lines up on line of scrimmage, waiting for snap to start play.

The Canarsie Chiefs football squad knew they would be in an uphill battle against perennial championship contender Erasmus Hall on Saturday.

Unfortunately for Canarsie, it’s prediction came true as the Dutchmen scored quickly in the first quarter, and never let up, blowing past the Chiefs, 32-0, in a PSAL City Division game on a chilly, rainy afternoon at Sid Luckman Field.

Head coach Kyle Allen put the tilt in perspective, calling the competition arguably the top squad in the PSAL—a team in which Canarsie isn’t ready for now.

“This was the type of game, that going in, we expected it to be pretty hard on us,” Allen said. “They’re may be the best team in the city; maybe one or two (ranked), and we’re still real young. We’re unpolished, and not ready for that level of competition.”

Erasmus (7-0) widen its lead on an 11-yard touchdown run, making it 14-0, followed by the successful two-point conversion, which gave it a 16-0 advantage midway through the second period.

Down by 16 points at the half, things didn’t begin well for the Chiefs (1-6) as junior running back Johnny Watson was tackled in the end zone for a safety on the first play of the third quarter to make it an 18-0 game.

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The Canarsie Chiefs line up, waiting for kickoff versus Erasmus Hall, which beat them, 32-0, Saturday at Sid Luckman Field.

The Dutchmen extended its advantage to 26-0 on a seven-yard TD run and a two-point conversion rush with a few minutes remaining in the third quarter. 

Erasmus, with its second and third stringers inserted into the tilt, showed little mercy on Canarsie, closing out the scoring on a 30-yard touchdown rumble into the end zone midway through the fourth period.

Watson paced the Chiefs’ running game with 83 yards on 20 touches. Junior Romone Brown and sophomore Adisa Isaac made seven and six tackles, respectively. Isaac added an interception while senior Ronald Bynoe, and juniors Bencarthur Noel and Jamal Cayard all had five stops each. Noel and Bynoe recorded a sack apiece.

Canarsie hosts Brooklyn Tech Saturday at noon.

 

Canarsie Chief Defense Falters In 44-27 Loss To Wagner


By Jerry Del Priore

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Junior wide receiver Calvin Hutchinson bolts out for play in  44-27 loss to Flushing Saturday at home.

The Canarsie Chiefs’ football game against Wagner began well with the team scoring first on a Johnny Watson rushing touchdown after stopping Wagner on its first possession.

But the Falcons ran a kickoff back on the ensuing drive, and things spiraled down from there as the defense surrendered 331 yards and six touchdowns in Canarsie’s 44-27 PSAL City Conference defeat Saturday at home.

Head coach Kyle Allen attributed the loss, in part, to the team’s inability to handle adversity and concentration when the going got tough.

“We scored first, and then kicked the ball off and they ran it back and got the conversion, and it’s 8-7,” Allen said. “And everybody starts panicking. It’s not only the adversity – it’s staying focused and making plays when we need to.”

Moreover, Allen said one thing he needs more of is a better performance from the defensive line, which was victimized all day, and didn’t display the same type of effective play in past tilts this season.

“Up front our D-line got pushed around today,” he said. “There was no presence, no pressure. What we saw in the last few weeks – they were in the backfield, disrupting plays, had sacks, forced fumbles – none of that happened today.

“We scored 27 points against a good team, but we gave up 44,” the fifth-year coach added. “When you score 27 points, you’re supposed to win.”

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Canarsie wideout waits for snap.

On the bright side, however, the Chiefs proved they could run the ball effectively, as they amassed a total of 287 yards with four touchdowns.

Junior running back Watson rumbled for his second straight 200-yard contest with a game-high 205 yards with three scores. Tymel Mabry, another junior, hit pay dirt on a fumble recovery in the backfield, which he picked up and proceeded to bolt for a touchdown to end the game.

Junior Jamel Cayard led Canarsie’s defense with 11 tackles while sophomore Adisa Isaac and junior Bencarthur Noel had seven stops each.

Canarsie travels to Sid Luckman Field Saturday at noon to face Erasmus Hall Campus.

Canarsie Football Teams Enjoy Big Weekend Over FDR


By Jerry Del Priore

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Canarsie Chiefs JV receiver gets ready for play against FDR Cougars Sunday at New Utrecht HS field, a 34-0 win.

It was an outstanding weekend for the Canarsie Chiefs football program as both varsity and junior varsity squads crushed Franklin D. Roosevelt over the weekend in their respective games at New Utrecht High School.

The varsity Chiefs (1-4) began the weekend by annihilating the Cougars, 41-26, Saturday in City Conference tilt while the JV team followed suit by routing FDR, 34-0, Sunday on the road.
Head coach Kyle Allen was pleased his squads’ performance, especially its running game. The triumph has Allen feeling hopeful again.
“Our offense finally came to life, put up 41 points, and ran the ball really well,” Allen said Sunday after JV’s win. “Hopefully, we can take that momentum into next week. We got a big one with Wagner. If we can upset Wagner, that gives us power points, where we’re back into the playoff hunt. We’ll see what happens the rest of the season.”
Canarsie amassed 493 yards of offense, with 444 coming via the ground attack. Junior running back Johnny Watson led the charge with a breakout game, rumbling for 280 yards on 20 carries with three touchdowns. 

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Canarsie Chiefs JV receiver gets ready for play against FDR Cougars Sunday at New Utrecht HS field, a 34-0 win.

Additionally, junior quarterback Eric Anderson threw for a TD and added two rushing scores while senior receiver Akeem King reeled in a 49-yard touchdown reception against the Cougars (0-5).
Not to be outdone by the higher level, the JV Chiefs (2-2) jumped out to a commanding 26-0 halftime lead. For good measure, Canarsie tacked on another eight points to distance themselves from FDR (1-2) in the second half for the easy victory.
JV head coach Robert Palmer believes that his football newbies got a big morale lift from the lopsided win over FDR, and it’s something that can inspire the squad going forward.
“I think this was a good confidence booster for all the new kids. For half my O (offensive) line, this is like their second week of ever playing organized football,” Palmer explained. “But we have a lot of potential here. Hopefully we can grow from it.”
The varsity Chiefs host Wagner Saturday at noon while Canarsie JV takes on Wagner’s younger squad Sunday at home at 11:00 a.m.

Canarsie Football Drops Fourth Straight in Tough Fashion to Grand Street


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Head Coach Kyle Allen shots instructions from sidelines in 21-0 shutout defeat Sunday at Canarsie High School field.

The Canarsie Chiefs varsity football team was in their game against Grand Street Campus, going toe to toe with the opposition for two and half quarters.

But then came the pivotal play, with the tilt tied, in which junior Calvin Hutchinson failed to scoop up a Wolves’ fumbled screen pass and run it in for a score early in the third quarter. Much to Canarsie’s dismay, Grand Street recovered the ball at its own 43. The Wolves proceeded to score on that drive, on their way to a 21-0 shutout of the Chiefs (0-4) Sunday at home in a City Conference game.

“The score did not indicate how close that game was,” head coach Kyle Allen said in all earnest. “But that third quarter scoop and score that we missed, that was our opportunity right there, because we had them on the ropes. Then we had to deviate from our game plan, and play from behind, which we’re really not good at.”

Though Allen said surrendering the first TD to Grand Street (3-1) changed the course of the game, he was nonetheless proud of his troops, who, he said, played extremely hard against last season’s PSAL Champions.

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Head Coach Kyle Allen shots instructions from sidelines in 21-0 shutout defeat Sunday at Canarsie High School field.

“We played two and half quarters of excellent football, and a quarter and half of just depleted football,” the fifth-year coach said. “That’s the best way to put it. But the kids played their hearts out. I’m proud of them. This was a lose that didn’t feel so bad.”

Grand Street scored its second touchdown of the day, this time on a 13-yard touchdown rush to increase its lead to 14-0 midway through the third period.

The Wolves closed out the scoring when senior quarterback Christophe Mattocks completed an eight-yard touchdown pass for a 21-0 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

Canarsie faces Franklin D. Roosevelt Saturday at noon at New Utrecht High School.