August Martin Falcons
Top Players: QB Mustafa Young, LB Philip Devore, WR/TE/LB/K Thomas Greyer, RB Murphy White
Key Losses: RB Roderick Reese, OL/DL Solomon Ritchburg
Coach: Nedvonne Young, 1st season
2005 Record: 1-8
Outlook: At 27 years of age, Nedvonne Young, the youngest coach in the PSAL, and perhaps the east coast, was a surprise choice to succeed Philip Gibson. But he's already made quite an impression on his young team, incorporating a heavy regimen of running during training camp. “Hard work, stay humble,” is what Young is preaching, junior linebacker Philip Devore said. “Just show him, that's the motto he always tell us.”
More wins could be on the way not only because of the Falcons' increased work load and intensity, but there are several juniors, namely Quarterback Mustafa Young, Devore and running back Murphy White, who took their lumps last season and are ready to improve.
Young also has an ace in the hole in freshman Thomas Greyer, a 6ft., 210-pound double threat from Far Rockaway who has impressed since day one.
Coach's Take: “We should do a lot better than last year.”
Top Players: QB Luis Toro, TE/DE Darryl Brown, RB/LB Jerry Saunders, RB Chris Jean, OL/DL Joshua Clay
Key Losses: WR/CB Jovan Leacock, RB John Morrison, FB/LB Richie Parker, WR/CB Keenan Brogdon, TE/DE Dorson Boyce
Coach: Joe Capuana, 8th season
2005 Record: 5-4, lost in PSAL Quarterfinals
Outlook: Despite the abundance of talented seniors on last year's team, quarterback Luis Toro was the reason Bayside shocked South Shore in the opening round of the PSAL Playoffs. Like that upset, the senior will be largely responsible for this season's fate. With so many leaders from last fall gone, Toro is now the guy. He won't be alone. Darryl Brown will get the chance to emerge on both sides of the ball, taking over for Dorson Boyce on the defensive line and at tight end. Senior Jerry Saunders (38 tackles, three sacks last season) is expected to develop even further as an impact player at his outside linebacker spot, and see a bulk of the carries in the backfield. Junior Louis Romero, who enjoyed a solid spring season, should fill another void, either at fullback and/or linebacker, where he played sparingly as a sophomore, making 15 stops.
Campus Magnet Bulldogs
Top Players: QB/FS Datalia Holness, WR/DB Stephan Benjamin, RB Anthony Roberts, FB/DL Ronald Merritt, DL Frank Cox, SS Gabriel Vargas
Key Losses: WR/DB Michael Roach, OL/DL Jeffrey Wills, OL/DL Dwight Lee
Coach: Eric Barnett, 2nd season
2005 Record: 2-7
Outlook: The Bulldogs' defensive backfield is one of their strengths once again, which is a good thing, considering they are smaller up front with the graduation of Dwight Lee and Wills. Offensively, despite the loss of Michael Roach, a dynamic playmaker, Campus Magnet could be better than expected. Datalia Holness is one of the top quarterbacks in the borough. How Anthony Roberts, a 5-foot-6 sophomore who ran for over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns on the jayvee, and Benjamin develop, should determine the Bulldogs' success.
Coach's Take: “I believe in the things we do, and it should show up in our play.”
Top Players: RB/SS Nyles Bynum, LB Marlon Tudor, RB/DB Adrian Berry, OL/DL Ashley Eugene, RB/LB James Simons, WR Elihu Barclay
Key Losses: RB/LB Nathaniel Ford, RB/CB Haris Jones, RB/CB Derrick Dunkley
Coach: Kenny Dyckman, 4th season
2005 Record: 3-6
Outlook: The team's strength is obviously defensively, behind James Simons, Adrian Berry and Nyles Bynum. But it will be on the other side of the ball where the questions lie. Can Elihu Barclay, a talented 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore receiver who led the jayvee with 575 yards receiving and six touchdowns, produce? Who will win the three-way quarterback battle, Mory Fadija, Kevin Rampat, who started the final four games last year, or Naeem Mijied? And can Bynum, with help from Berry, plug in the gaping hole left in the backfield by Nathaniel Ford, now at Pace?
Coach's Take: “We just have to work hard and eliminate mistakes.”
John Adams Spartans
Top Players: QB Louis Cerna, RB/DB Keith Patterson, FB/LB Darren Baker, WR/DB Anthony Bascoum, WR Carl Gilkes.
Key Losses: RB/DL Samuel Hill, RB/LB Nick Valentin
Coach: Jerry Weitzen, 11th season
2005 Record: 1-8
Outlook: Louis Cerna, a former tight end and the Spartans new quarterback, won't have to do too much to top last year's air attack. Signal-caller Quincy Chaihong managed just 172 yards passing and zero touchdowns. And in Bascoum and Gilkes, he will have weapons. Although they graduated Hill, now running track at Penn State, and Valentin, Patterson and Baker should provide a solid 1-2 punch.
Coach's Take: “[Cerna] has good control of the offense and can throw the ball. I'm hoping he can generate some offense.”
Long Island City Bulldogs
Top Players: RB/LB Omar Mohran, WR Troy Walker, QB/SS Haris Lekaj, FB/LB Levi Oakley, LB Nick Torres, RB/LB Farouk Housein, WR Travis Howell.
Key Losses: QB Jerome Scott, RB Xavier Saez, RB/LB Stanley Washington.
Coach: Stephen Agresti, 4th season
2005 Record: 1-8
Outlook: The additions of skill players like Troy Walker, a 6-foot-2 wide receiver who transferred in from Long Island, and Omar Mohran, a hard-nosed tailbac, will infinitely help LIC, who've won just three of their last 18 games. So should a pared-down schedule; they are now in the lower Cup division, a 12-team league with their own playoff system. But the key will be Haris Lekaj, the new quarterback and hard-hitting free safety who will determine how successful the new talent surrounding him can be.
Coach's Take: “It's looking a lot better than last year. Our quality of players looks good.”
Springfield Gardens Golden Eagles
Top Players: OL/DL Robert Fabien, QB/DB Raymond Potter, RB/LB Ndubisi Charles, OL/DL Derwin English
Key Losses: OL/DL Jabari Buckner, C/DE Steven Garcia
Coach: Charles Yarborough, 5th season
2005 Record: 3-6, Cup Division
Outlook: Behind Fabien and English, the Golden Eagles have a few of the top linemen in the Cup Division. Raymond Potter, a fullback a season ago and in his fourth year on the varsity, won the quarterback job outright because there was nobody else and he has an impressively strong arm. The baseball star has impressed Coach Charles Yarborough thus far with his accuracy.
Coach's Take: [Our offensive and defensive] lines are our strongest points. They are so important, because if you don't have a line, it doesn't matter how many skill players
William Bryant Owls
Top Players: WR/RB/LB Edgar Santos, QB Vinny Donato, WR/DB Joseph Mercado
Key Losses: WR Johnny Barnes, RB/LB Raul Heugas
Coach: Carl Brosnan, 20th season
2005 Record: 4-5, Cup Division
Outlook: Never known as a physical team, Bryant, after losing four-fifths of their offensive line to graduation, will need to rely on speed. Lots of speed. Leading the attack will be Edgar Santos, a star catcher on the baseball team who will play all over the field on both sides of the ball, along with Joseph Mercado, an established wrestler, and Daro Clarke.
Coach's Take: “I think overall team speed is going to decide whether or not we do well.”
CHSFL Team Previews
Christ the King Royals
Top Players: RB Dave Lopez, QB Joe Nuss, CB Nick Corcino, LB Stephen Leclerc
Key Losses: TE/DL Maurice Evans, QB/CB Jaron McNeil, WR/DB Rob Hampton
Coach: Kevin Kelly, 4th season
2005 Record: 4-7, lost in CHSFL AA Conference II championship game
Outlook: There is no way for Christ the King to replace their three most productive players from a year ago. With Maurice Evans, now seeing playing time with Penn State, Jaron McNeil at Hofstra, and Rob Hampton at Drexel, the Royals had a lot of holes to fill. They are a young team, extremely young in fact, but fourth-year coach Kevin Kelly likes what he sees in his new running back-quarterback tandem of Dave Lopez and Joe Nuss. Lopez, a junior who led the jayvee in rushing last fall, will run behind an offensive line spearheaded by returning starters Martin Alvarez and Fred Burke.
Nuss was solid this summer, earning the starting nod. Opposed to McNeil, a scrambler by nature, Nuss, a letterman in baseball and basketball, keeps to the pocket.
Coach's Take: “We got a lot of juniors that we are expecting to play this year, and it will come down to how well they adjust to the varsity level.”
Holy Cross Knights
Top Players: RB Kevin Williams, RB Tonev Abraham, OL Michael Hay, LB Spiro Cominos, FS Marcus Ellis
Key Losses: QB Erik Anderwkavich, RB Tyrell Coon, WR Nick Reynolds, LB Matt Viviano
Coach: Tom Pugh, 35th season
2005 Record: 8-2, lost in CHSFL AAA semifinals
Outlook: In past seasons, Holy Cross has been led by an integral senior or two. In 2005, it was Brendan Daly and Kevin Ogletree. Last year, quarterback Erik Anderwkavich was the team's backbone. This fall will be no different.
The number of stalwarts, however, has increased to four in running backs Kevin Williams and Tonev Abraham, middle linebacker Spiro Cominos and offensive tackle Michael Hay. The quarterback spot is still open, with returning senior Joe Reilly figuring to split time under center with transfer Danny Hussey. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Cominos may be the best linebacker at the Flushing school since Dale Robinson, the former Arizona State linebacker who made it to final cuts with the Indianapolis Colts this summer. Hay, at 6-foot-6, 185 who has caught Maryland's eye, is a dynamic and speedy offensive lineman. And in Williams, Pugh has an athletically gifted reliable back that fits his west coast offense like a glove.
But it's Abraham who may hold the key to turning this into another memorable season. He impressed college scouts last fall with his blazing speed, rushing for six touchdowns while averaging 9.3 yards per carry. “He's got that second gear,” Pugh said.
Coach's Take: Finishing atop the standings once again in the CHSFL AAA this fall will be tougher, now that the schedules have been changed to feature just one non-league game, and that's against local rival St. Francis Prep. “Now, you don't get a break,” Pugh said.
St. Francis Prep Terriers
Top Players: LB/FB Shane O'Connor, C Nick Seara, S Keith Ferrara, QB Ray Sheehan
Key Losses: RB Jeffrey Aime, QB Justin Garaufis, RB/LB Anthony Taylor
Coach: Vincent O'Connor, 54th Season
2005 Record: 10-1, won CHSFL AA championship
Outlook: St. Francis Prep Coach Vincent O'Connor knew there was no way to replace Jeff Aime's 2,278 all-purpose yards and 28 touchdowns. He isn't asking sophomores Tristan Akong and Bobby Dougherty, who played freshmen ball together, to mimic the star running back, now at Hofstra. Just for them to be productive. The two are stellar athletes. Akong is a sprinter, while Dougherty, as a three letterman, plays baseball and basketball in addition to football. The two will greatly benefit from an experienced offensive line, led by center Nick Seara and offensive tackles Carl Constant and Lucas Lay. Returning senior quarterback Roy Sheehan will aim to replace the clutch Mike Garaufis. With so many new skill position players, the Terriers, picked to finish third in the CHSFL AA, will rely on a stout defense. Linebacker Shane O'Connor, free safety Keith Ferrara and defensive end Chris Fenelon lead the formidable unit.
Coach's Take:“With the quality of character we have, I think this is going to develop into a very good football team. We are very excited about this year.
High School Football Preview
August Martin Falcons