By NY Post High School Staff
It was a banner year for Queens football across the board.
Both Campus Magnet and Flushing had a ton of success in the PSAL. Campus Magnet won its first playoff game under Coach Eric Barnett and came close to upsetting Tottenville in the quarterfinals. Flushing, in its first season at the highest level, finished with a winning record and earned a playoff berth. August Martin even made the Bowl division final and John Adams reached the semis.
Holy Cross was among the top teams in the CHSFL this season, with playmakers on both sides of the ball and a dominant, physical line. The Knights advanced to the Class AAA semifinals, but were eliminated by eventual champion St. Anthony’s in part because of injuries to Devon Cajuste and Chris Brathwaite. St. Francis Prep took time to get going, but made a run to the Class AA semifinals, while Christ the King lost in the Class A semifinals.
All-Queens Football Player of the Year
Dean Marlowe, Holy Cross
Marlowe’s plate was full at the beginning of the year. Already a standout defensive back, the James Madison-bound senior was being asked to play quarterback for the first time since his days of Pee Wee ball. Marlowe not only faced the challenge head on, but he became one of the best QBs in the city.
Don’t just take our word for it, here’s some stats to back that up: He threw for 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns, completing 62 percent of his passes. Marlowe had a CHSFL-best QB rating of 111.23 and he also rushed for 797 yards and 12 scores. And then in his spare time, Marlowe was tied for the league lead with five interceptions, including one he returned for a 102-yard touchdown.
All-Queens Football Coach of the Year
Eric Barnett, Campus Magnet
Barnett has done wonders at the Cambria Heights school, developing it into one of the top programs in the city and the best PSAL team in Queens, hands down. He has led the Bulldogs to the playoffs the last two years and won his first playoff game this fall, a 26-14 victory over New Utrecht. Campus Magnet nearly shocked Staten Island dynamo Tottenville in the quarterfinals, but six fumbles proved to be its undoing.
The loss, however disappointing, was a sign of what Barnett has accomplished in only five years at Campus Magnet. The Bulldogs were among the final eight in the city, on the road in Huguenot, one of the toughest places in the city to play, and outgained the Pirates 420-248 despite falling 24-20.
With quarterback Scott Gadsden, running back Wavell Wint and linebackers Jhaleel Oswald and Kareem Turnage all back, the future is extremely bright. A final four berth isn’t out of the question.
All-Queens First Team
WR Bryan Caffrey, St. Francis Prep
Caffrey was one of most unheralded players in the CHSFL this season. The 6-foot-3 senior was the Terriers’ big-play threat catching 39 balls for 842 yards and 10 touchdowns. The All-League selection has exceptional athleticism and body control that allowed him to make catches you had to see to believe. Caffrey was also SFP’s best player and tackler on defense.
WR Devon Cajuste, Holy Cross
A star is born in Flushing. We introduce to you arguably the best returning receiver in the city next year. The 6-foot-4, 211-pound junior with feathery hands and the leaping ability of a mongoose had 40 receptions for a league-best 921 yards. He’s already received a call from Rutgers and has an offer from Syracuse, but that is likely just the tip of the interest Cajuste will receive.
WR Akeeme Chavis, John Adams
The Spartans’ explosive wide receiver/kick returner was arguably the most explosive weapon in the Bowl division. He ignited Adams’ offensive attack by breaking short passes into big gains or running by opposing defensive backs. He caught seven touchdown passes, returned three kicks to the house and also had a pair of interceptions as a defensive back. Chavis could clearly not only play in the City Championship division, but excel there.
QB Scott Gadsden, Campus Magnet
The junior signal-caller improved as the year progressed. It was no coincidence, too, that as Coach Eric Barnett opened up the offense, Gadsden improved. Blessed with a strong right arm, he led the Bulldogs to a come-from-behind victory over rival Flushing Oct. 24, and had his best performance in the season-ending quarterfinal loss to Tottenville, completing 10-of-15 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Overall, he threw for 906 yards and nine touchdowns, numbers that are bound to dramatically increase next year.
QB Terrel Hunt, Christ the King
Hunt was a touchdown waiting to happen. The junior signal caller could make big plays with his arm and his legs and began to find his comfort zone as the season went and the Royals began playing better football. The All-League selection completed 86 of 148 passes for 1,187 yards and 12 touchdowns in the air and carried the ball 105 times for 533 yards and three scores.
RB William Hunter, Christ the King
Christ the King Coach Chris Higgins always said Hunter was uncatchable when he got into the secondary, a feat he accomplished often. The senior All-League selection was a combination of speed and shiftiness — a tough one to take down. As the Royals offensive line improved, so did the consistency of Hunter’s plays. Runs of 70 and 80 yards were not uncommon.
OL Michael Katz, Holy Cross
A two-time All-CHSFL selection, the 6-foot, 238-pound senior was also a co-captain and the long snapper. As a junior, Katz mostly just played defense, but he excelled on both sides of the ball this year as the Knights starting right tackle and defensive lineman.
OL Michael Lana, Holy Cross
At 5-foot-10, 218 pounds, Lana is your typical meat and potatoes offensive lineman, a big reason why the Holy Cross line was considered the best in the CHSFL. What separates the junior from others, though, is his speed. An excellent all-around athlete, Lana also plays on the Holy Cross baseball team.
OL Mike Leckie, Campus Magnet
The Bulldogs had one of the best lines in the city, and Leckie, a center, was in the middle of it all. Against Tottenville, which had one of the better defenses in the city, Campus Magnet ran for 271 yards, a nod to the blocking up front. If not for six fumbles, Eric Barnett’s club may have advanced.
OL Aslam Sterling, Bayside
Bayside didn’t have the wins to show for his dominance, but there were few in the borough better than this 6-foot-5, 320-pound behemoth. Sterling, a guard, could run block and pass block equally well. He’s being recruited by a bevy of Division I-AA teams, including Stony Brook, James Madison and Albany.
RB Wavell Wint, Campus Magnet
Gadsden isn’t the only reason for optimism in Cambria Heights next fall. Wint, a speedy scat back, returns, too. He led the city in rushing much of the year and finished with 974 yards and seven touchdowns altogether. He will be one of a handful of backs to keep an eye on next year.
DB Kevin Antoine, Bayside
Antoine had to do a little bit of everything for Bayside this season. He was the Commodores’ quarterback and rushed for seven touchdowns, but his true spot was in the secondary. The senior safety had four interceptions, a fumble recovery and 29 tackles as perhaps the team’s best all-around player.
DL Chris Brathwaite, Holy Cross
The 6-foot-2, 268-pound Virginia-bound Brathwaite was a beast on both sides of the ball, laying out crunching blocks on the offensive end and pummeling the opposition’s offensive players the rest of the time. The senior was named the 2009 recipient of the CHSFL’s Vincent O’Connor Award as the top defensive player in the Class AAA league.
DE Jason Bromley, Flushing
The finest player Flushing has produced since the varsity program was restarted by Coach Jim DeSantis four years ago, Bromley led Flushing with 12 sacks. He was the Red Devils’ MVP, an immovable force on both lines. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior has received a scholarship offer from Stony Brook and interest from Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn.
DL Dale Codrington, Holy Cross
Often overshadowed by Brathwaite’s imposing figure, Codrington was the quiet assassin, forming the best 1-2 punch in the CHSFL. The 6-foot, 205-pound two-way standout won the CHSFL’s Joe Thomas Award, annually given to the top lineman in the Class AAA league. The Knights’ leading tackler had nine sacks and is receiving interest from several Patriot League schools.
LB Anthony Cracchiolo, St. Francis Prep
When the Terriers were struggling to find offense early in the season it was Cracchiolo, an All-League selection and the team’s defensive leader, and kept them in games against top opponents. The 6-foot, 208-pound linebacker was a sure and tough tackler, always using he speed to get in the middle of the fray.
LB Nate Elder-Salomon, Flushing
While he graduates this spring, Elder-Salomon leaves with the knowledge he helped Flushing get to this point: a playoff team in the City Championship division. He was an impact player on both sides of the ball, as a playmaking linebacker and offensive lineman.
LB Shaquille Frederick, Holy Cross
He more than adequately filled the void left by Reggie Francklin. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound physical and fast middle linebacker finished second on Holy Cross in tackles and had a huge game-changing interception in a 50-38 come-from-behind win at St. Joseph by the Sea. Frederick will be the leader of the Knights’ defense next year.
DE Salvatore Licata, St. Francis Prep
The St. Francis Prep defense was a stout unit and Licata was a big reason why. The 5-foot-7, 225-pound end was one of the group’s most consistent contributors. The All-League selection was tough to block coming off the end, a quality run stopper and a steadying force.
DE Nmesoma Okafor, Campus Magnet
The hulking 6-foot-6 defensive end was a significant factor off the edge, with his speed and strength. He had 12 sacks, plus three in the playoffs, and also came on as a pass-catching tight end late in the year with eight receptions. Okafor emerged late at Campus Magnet, but emerged as a leader this year, helping the Bulldogs to their first playoff win in several years.
DB Justin Ore, Holy Cross
A three-year starter at left corner, the 5-foot-11 senior was a two-time All-CHSFL selection. Related to David and Jeffrey Legree, Ore had just three interceptions this year, but that was only because opposing quarterbacks rarely threw in his direction.
LB Jahleel Oswald, Campus Magnet
The PSAL’s leading tackler, he was the linchpin to one of the best defenses in the city. The sideline-to-sideline linebacker had 131 tackles in all and six sacks. And he’s a junior. No wonder Coach Eric Barnett can’t help but smile.
All-Queens Honorable Mention
LB Benj Ali, Bayside
OL Vincent Antonucci, Bayside
QB/RB Jordan Beranger, Flushing
RB Chris Brudie, St. Francis Prep
RB Devante Bryant, Holy Cross
SS/RB Tykeith Fantroy, Campus Magnet
CB Deon Frazier, Flushing
FB Andrew King, Flushing
QB Brendan Stackpole, St. Francis Prep
WR Ollie Robinson, Christ the King
RB Barrington Wallace, Holy Cross