By Zach Braziller, Marc Raimondi and Joseph Staszewski
For the first time in a long time, three Queens teams made the PSAL City Championship division playoffs.
Campus Magnet advanced to the quarterfinals and both Flushing and John Adams fell in the first round. But it was a good showing for the borough. August Martin made the Bowl division finals, Bayside also reached the Bowl playoffs and Cardozo debuted as a varsity program in the Cup.
In the CHSFL, Holy Cross started out as a chic pick to make a deep run in the playoffs, but ended up struggling down the stretch as injuries mounted. St. Francis Prep fell in the ‘A’ final.
All-Queens football Player of the Year: Andrew King, Flushing
One of the best players in the city college coaches are not aware of, King did it all this fall for Flushing. He ran for 963 yards and 10 touchdowns and was arguably the team’s top defensive player at outside linebacker.
Yet still the 6-foot, 215-pound senior has no Division I scholarship offers of any kind, though there are College Football Sudvision programs sniffing around.
A humble, hard worker, King was as responsible as anyone for Flushing getting back to the PSAL City Championship division playoffs. The best example was a 29-16 victory over Canarsie when he ran for 113 yards and scored a pair of defensive touchdowns.
All-Queens football Coach of the Year: Gerry Weitzen, John Adams
The coach was criticized when he said before Week 3 that his team would lose to Tottenville 50-7 — but he was almost right. Adams actually lost 49-6.
That wasn’t all the longtime coach did correctly this year. He guided the Spartans to the playoffs in their first year up at the PSAL City Championship division and mentored electric wide receiver Shane Hubbard. If starting running backs Devven Baker and Antoine Arnold were not ineligible late in the year, maybe Adams even wins a game in the postseason — at least it would have gotten a better seed.
WR Antoine Allen, Campus Magnet
When the ball was in his hands, Campus Magnet was in scoring position. Speedy and strong, Allen made 24 catches for 408 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Bulldogs back to the PSAL City Championship division quarterfinals.
QB/RB James Coleman, Christ the King
The talented and hard-to-tackle junior took over at quarterback a few games into the year and the Royals played their best football of the season. He was third in the CHSFL in total offense with 2,108 yards to go along with 20 total touchdowns, helping to make the players around him better.
OL James Driver, Campus Magnet
One of the city’s top left tackles, Campus Magnet made a habit out of running behind the 6-foot-7, 270-pound mountain of a man. Replacing skill-position standouts, while difficult, is doable; finding guys like Driver is near-impossible.
QB Yianni Gavalas, Holy Cross
The accurate, left-handed senior was second in the CHSFL in yardage (1,702) and tied for sixth in touchdown passes (11). One of the top pocket passers in the league, Gavalas was a big reason for Holy Cross’ early success.
QB Jason Gonzalez, Flushing
The senior transformed himself into a dual threat over the summer and saw the results this fall. Not just a runner anymore, though he did account for 363 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, the tougher-than-nails quarterback threw for 648 yards and eight touchdowns. His progression made it tougher for defenses to key on Flushing’s punishing ground game and helped the Queens school get back to the City Championship division playoffs.
QB Khalik Greenwood, Campus Magnet
He quickly made everyone forget about Scott Gadsden, last year’s starter, with his pinpoint accuracy, deceptive fakes and advanced football IQ. The junior signal-caller threw 15 touchdown passes, completed over 50 percent of his passes and racked up 1,163 yards in leading Campus Magnet to its sixth straight winning season.
WR Shane Hubbard, John Adams
The highly recruited senior was a threat to score every time he touched the ball. Hubbard had 571 yards and three touchdowns receiving, 366 yards and four touchdowns rushing and four interceptions, including one he returned to pay dirt.
TE Kalief Joyner, Christ the King
The highly recruited Joyner was effective when used. He caught three touchdowns, averaged more than 10 yards per reception and was one of CK’s top targets on two-point conversions. His speed and strength made him a key contributor on defense and is why several Division I programs have targeted him.
WR/RB Diequan Underwood, Beach Channel
One of the city’s best sophomores, Underwood was banged up late in the year and played just six games. The Division I prospect still had 843 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing with four interceptions and a punt return for a score.
TE Jared Ward, Campus Magnet
The city wasn’t known for dynamic pass-catching tight ends, but maybe that’s because not enough attention was paid to Ward. A big target, he was Campus Magnet quarterback Kahlik Greenwood’s safety valve, catching 21 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns during the regular season.
RB Shyheim Wingate, Holy Cross
The senior leader was a dual threat rushing and receiving. He had 13 total touchdowns and 903 all-purpose yards as well one of the best scoring days in Holy Cross history with five touchdowns against Holy Trinity.
DL Asaikie Blake, Campus Magnet
A freak athlete at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Blake came out of nowhere to lead Campus Magnet with eight sacks and added 67 tackles. Look for even more from this speed rusher next fall.
DB Lekeith Celestain, Holy Cross
The junior transfer from Murrow in Brooklyn was Cross’ top receiving threat with 528 yards on the year. But he was even better on defense, a ballhawk with four interceptions and one fumble recovery.
DL Tylique Darnley, August Martin
Martin got to the PSAL Bowl division title game based almost entirely on its superior line play on both sides and Darnley was the anchor. He stuffed the run constantly and finished with 53 tackles and a sack.
DL Danville Harry, John Adams
Underrated because he was on a team more known for its offense, Harry finished third in the PSAL City Championship division sacks (nine) and fifth in tackles (75) for a team that made the playoffs in its first year up from the Bowl.
DB Bromley Fairclough, Flushing
Wherever Flushing needed him, Fairclough went and he produced. He was a standout defensive back and playmaking wide receiver for the Red Devils, who reached the City Championship division playoffs for the fourth straight season.
DB Richard Guinyard, Campus Magnet
The ball-hawking safety had a league-high seven interceptions and was just as effective laying out receivers over the middle with 45 tackles. Guinyard was also the Bulldogs’ top returner, taking back a kickoff and a punt to the house.
DB Rob Myers, St. Francis Prep
The Terriers were a much different team with Myers, who missed time with a broken collarbone, in the lineup on both sides of the ball. Also a superb wide receiver, he was SFP’s leader on defense at safety. Myers was a ballhawk with seven interceptions and his sure tackling limited big plays for the opposition.
DL Maurice Parker, St. Francis Prep
The senior defensive end was unblockable at times. Parker collected eight sacks to go along with 58 tackles. He was a big reason behind the Terriers’ strong play late and their trip to the CHSFL Class A title game.
LB Calvin Stanley, Beach Channel
Excellent in the middle of the field, the senior was always around the ball for talented Beach Channel. Stanley finished the year fifth in the PSAL Bowl division with 63 tackles and added a sack and a fumble recovery.
LB Kareem Turnage, Campus Magnet
One of the city’s top middle linebackers each of the last three years, Turnage finished off his memorable career in style, with 104 tackles, three sacks, four fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns. Because of injuries, he also became the Bulldogs’ lead back and excelled, running for five touchdowns and 385 yards. The program’s heart and soul, he will be irreplaceable.
LB Juwan Wilson, Holy Cross
The unit’s undisputed leader and a team co-captain, Wilson’s contributions to the team extended well beyond the field. But on the gridiron, the senior was tough and athletic, finishing with a team-high 70 tackles and three sacks.
WR Henry Adegunle, Beach Channel
RB Antoine Arnold, John Adams
RB Devven Baker, John Adams
RB Casey Beaudoin, St. Francis Prep
QB Tom Cani, St. Francis Prep
RB Tim Capers, Bayside
QB Ricky Dunbar, August Martin
OL/DL Layquane Ezeigwe, August Martin
WR Jordan Fuchs, Christ the King
RB Brandon Pelzer, Holy Cross
RB Richard Vaughan, Bayside