Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

DeMatha Hall of Fame: 2017 Edition

November 2, 2017

“There are 38,000 high schools in America but only one DeMatha.”

DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys held the 16th annual induction ceremony for the DeMatha Hall of Fame on October 29.  It probably goes without saying but as far as high schools go, being recognized by your peers at DeMatha has to rank among the most difficult because of the deep tradition of excellence.  Although some DeMatha alumni have broken new ground and achieved unimaginable heights in their respective areas, it is not uncommon for them to hold their accolades from Hyattsville in the highest esteem.  The DeMatha Hall of Fame event is always a night that you don’t want to miss and it has become a source of inspiration for students, alumni, and friends over the years.  In order to get a feel for what it is all about, here are the video highlights as compiled by Andre Jones.

There was a lot buzz from social media surrounding the event and we have selected some fine examples for your review.  Basketball Coach Emeritus and DeMatha Hall of Fame and The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Morgan Wootten was on hand for the festivities with a few of his former students.  The LT Brendan Looney (SEAL) Convocation Center where the event was held houses the Kathy & Morgan Wooten Gymnasium and is already rich with DeMatha history in its own right.   It was the perfect setting to wax poetically and fondly recount the more lasting DeMatha memories with family.  Father Damian Anuszewski, O.SS.T., was the emcee and Principal Emeritus John Moylan was also in attendance, so we are certain that everyone was on their best behavior.

From Andre Jones Twitter.

Duane and Mike in 1991

In addition to the 1996 Hockey and the 2001 Lacrosse Teams, there were a number of individual honors: Garland Hawkins, Duane Simpkins, Kevin Davis, Paul Rabil, Mike Jones, Josh Wilson, and the first ever inductee from the Golf program Del Ponchock.  The highlighted and linked names appear as short articles in the DeMatha Stags community on Google+ so click away.

Former Assistant Principal William Clark was also inducted into the DeMatha Hall of Fame and Mike Johnson ’80 became the latest recipient of the Lou Amico Service Award.  Craig ’85 and Tim Gough ’78 were also named recipients of the St. Simon de Rojas Service Award at the ceremony.  Please check out the DeMatha website for an in-depth explanation of the awards and honorees.

Ben Spotts 59, Morgan Wootten, and Steve Greene 61 at the H of F Ceremony on Sunday.

A post shared by DeMatha High School (@demathacatholic) on

The Chronicles of Six would like to congratulate all of the honorees from the 2017 DeMatha Hall of Fame ceremony.  We are hoping that the current faith-filled gentlemen and scholars at DeMatha will be inspired to similar greatness.  Go Stags!

[ Featured Image of Duane and Mike in 2017 from the Twitter account of Andre Jones. ]

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More Winning For Howard Homecoming

October 28, 2017

 

DNPlyGoXUAALmhz Sierra Club Twitter

The Bison are still in the fog, but they are eerily emerging and showing definite form.

The Howard University Bison kept their homecoming party going at the expense of the South Carolina State Bulldogs, 28-20.  The Bison passed a huge road test today and proved that they have the mettle to be contenders in the MEAC.  It is hard to believe that just a year ago other teams were going out of their way to schedule the Howard Bison for their homecomings, and we almost feel bad for the Bulldogs.  In order to put this win into a historical perspective for you, Howard hasn’t beaten SCCU in fifteen years.  The Bison have come out of the shadows of the previous year and now find themselves at a defining moment of their season.

The Undefeated conspicuously attended the Bison festivities last week and published an awesome GIF set, and we’re sharing it again here because of reasons.  (Google+ link above, after the jump.)  Howard University football has the Bison hopping on the yard because their hopes are still alive to play in the 2017 Celebration Bowl.  This is a really big deal like when it isn’t Mr. Wiggles and Gangster Psi in the middle of the square of the Showtime Marching Band.  Who else is allowed to break the ranks of good college band?  Only old Drum Majors get to do that type of shit.  HBCU football isn’t for everybody so just move on if you didn’t get it.  It goes without saying now that we are obliged to cover the Bison as long as they have a chance.

We mentioned it before but with players like quarterback Caylin Newton, a Bison win is always a possibility.  The dynamic true freshman is racking up tons of yardage in head coach Mike London’s potent #GoGo offense.  Thanks to Howard Athletics, we were able to follow along on Twitter and Instagram as the Bison showed that the #MissionPossible campaign, might be aiming a low.  The special operation to #Protect Caylin has allowed him to find his targets and is causing our opponents to have nightmares.  In the midst of the weekend before Halloween, it is obvious to everybody, by now, that there is a very good reason to be scared of the Bison.

Yards per Catch is a huge statistic in football, and Howard University is going to remain among the leaders in that category in NCAA FCS largely due to Caylin.  The Bison employed their favorite weapon against the Bulldogs early and often.  Already armed with a formidable running game, the Bison have been daring teams to stop them on the ground before unleashing receivers that have been playing like monsters this year.  It was the long scoring plays that ultimately created an insurmountable distance that South Carolina State couldn’t recover from today.  The Bison are probably going to need a similar performance next week when they travel to Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University on November 4.  The FAMU Rattlers are coming off a win versus Morgan State and are looking to poison the Bison optimism because everybody is hip to their game.

 

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Jay Walker of ESPN Gimme 5

If the Bison (5-3) can continue their winning ways against the remaining scheduled opponents they could be in contention for an unlikely feat and a nationally televised bowl game.  The MEAC is suddenly top-heavy this year with the Bison in the picture and they could complete a near reversal of the 2016 season when they went 2-9 on the season.  The Bison would also have to beat Norfolk State at Greene Stadium and finally Hampton University away, in Virginia, in order to remain in relative control of their own destiny in the conference.

 

Even ESPN commentator and Howard University alumnus Jay “Sky” Walker has the Bison in his Power Rankings this week, under the rightfully bestowed moniker “the only HU.”  (You go on ahead and run and tell Harvard University that we said it.)  The bad news in all of this is the fact that Hampton is in the top five also, and none of the remaining games are likely to go gently for the Bison.  If you want to read about the outside chance for Howard University to play in the premier HBCU Bowl game at the end of the season, I suggest you check out HBCU Gameday right now.  We say again, the Celebration Bowl and a MEAC title are still within the grasp of the Bison.  We’re going to keep you posted.

[ Featured Image Sierra Club Twitter account. ]

Howard Bison Homecoming Win

October 25, 2017
Wayne Frederick Twitter 2017 Homecoming

An aerial shot of the tailgating crowd from the Twitter account of Howard University President Wayne Frederick proves that homecoming is a premier event in Washington D.C.

On October 21 the Howard University Bison had their annual homecoming extravaganza but for the first time in four years, they managed to also celebrate on the football field.  The Morgan State University Bears fell to the Bison 39-14, in front of a sellout star-studded crowd, and the thrilling game was never really in doubt.

 

The unheralded heroes of the contest were the seniors that had to read articles on shade tree, janky websites like this one for not winning every homecoming game, every single time.  This is Black college (HBCU) football, after all.  Everybody loves it because Black College football is just down like that.  The brand of MEAC football is on the rise though, and lately, the Bison have been playing like it.  Howard leads the FCS Division 1 in several key categories in offense but it was the defense that eventually lived up to their potential by stopping the Morgan Bears.

Senior linebacker Devin Rollins was the leading tackler and he recapped his game experience with HBCU Gameday but the entire defense for the Bison was motivated.  Nobody wants to lose on homecoming, and certainly not for four years in a row.  The Howard Bison red zone defense came up with big turnovers time and again, making it look like it was routine.  #6 Bryan Cook, a freshman cornerback, had two interceptions by himself.  The Bears have had their own share of problems on offense, so the Bison are still going to be answering questions about if they can stop teams with more potency, but homecoming wins are more than just wins.

Caylin Newton 2000yds total 21OCT twitter Coach Marion BrennanMarion4

A coach congratulates Howard quarterback Caylin Newton for going over 2000 yards for the season. [ Photo from the Twitter account of Coach Marion Brennan. ]

Caylin Newton is a standout true freshman quarterback.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame already has their eye on the Howard quarterback that stands out from the crowd. [ Photo from the Black College Football Hall of Fame Twitter account. ]

The added value comes from more than just beating your Baltimore neighbors in Greene Stadium, wedged in between the shadows of the famed and revered Cook and Drew HallsThe real prestige comes from the gratitude and adoration of the shining Black masses.  Indeed the entire city of Washington D.C. was at capacity for what has been a national event -no matter how the football team plays.  But this is one of those years when Howard University is actually holding the goods on the football field.  Caylin Newton broke a  20-yard rushing score with under two minutes to go in the first quarter to let all of the Bison sympathizers in the throngs know in short order.

The stalwart running back Anthony Philyaw (#7) went down with a shoulder injury in the course of play and didn’t have his best game.  Morgan State managed to tie the game in the second quarter, briefly, but the Bison never really looked back.   Caylin Newton would account for all four of the Bison offensive touchdowns on the afternoon and he just straight up confused the Bears.  (Freshman strong safety Aaron Walker had a scoop and score late in the fourth quarter.)  When Newton wasn’t juking his way on the ground he was throwing deep.  The phenomenal freshman quarterback had two scores on the ground and an equal amount through the air.

Howard University is officially in the Caylin Newtown era, now, and he has proved to be able to confound opposing teams.  The Bison faithful all love it because records are made to be broken -and Caylin already has one under his belt.  To say that he is a special player is already an understatement and we aren’t factoring in any of his family members into that announcement.  With the right protection and a good defensive effort, the Howard football team will always have better than a fighting chance with Caylin Newton under center.

Howard University Homecoming: Migration Edition

The Bison are adding to the herd.

 

Caylin Newton shredded the Morgan Bears defense in big chunks through the air by connecting on strikes of 58 yards and 75 yards for his passing touchdowns.  The Morgan Bears shouldn’t feel bad because Newton has done it to everybody this season, as he has already surpassed 2,000 Total Yards in his inaugural season.  The true freshman is also among the NCAA FCS leaders (#13 through October 21) in total offense, and he is the only one of that rookie classification within the top 30.  Howard University Football now leads the FCS in Passing Yards per Completion a feat that would have seemed impossible at this same date last year.

If you are late to this party, you need to stop hating and recognize that Caylin Newton has been more than a boon for the Bison and peep our proclamation.  We have purposefully overstated it in the past but we need to #ProtectCaylin at all costs because he is the future of Black College football.  The ESPN announcers broadcasting the play-by-play of the game only lamented the disappearance of the simmering crowd in the middle of the fourth quarter  (when Caylin Newton sat down) but we don’t always expect all them to really get it.  A win like this is a luxury the current students aren’t used to and they undoubtedly went to better position themselves for the festivities bubbling a block down Georgia Avenue.  Caylin Newton has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving by inspiring the recruiting efforts of Howard University and through his leadership on the field.

Head coach Mike London, and his son Michael W. London Jr., are rightfully optimistic.  The Bison (4-3) have bought into their #MissionPossible mantra and they’re heading down to South Carolina State on October 27 with a winning record.  The future is bright and that is worthy of some serious dap.  The Chronicles of Six hopes that everyone had a Happy Howard Homecoming and that you will continue to check our CP-time, bootleggin’ asses for updates and coverage.  Go Bison!

[Featured Image from the Twitter account of President Wayne Frederick, linked above.]

 

Saint Johns Beat DeMatha In Football

October 21, 2017

2017 will certainly be a year that goes down in Saint Johns College history if only for ending a very long streak of losing in football to DeMatha.  The Cadets finally managed to have a good day and bested the Stags on the gridiron 38-22 in front of their homecoming crowd on Military Road.

It isn’t hard to put this win into perspective for Saint Johns because no one on their current football roster was born the last time that they beat the Stags in 1994.  We announced some time ago that Cadets changed the football landscape and that the rivalry with the Stags was back.   With this win, Saint Johns will undoubtedly justify the drastic changes that they have undertaken but it probably still rings a little hallow.

DeMatha falls to 4-4 on the year, and 0-3 in the WCAC.  For the first time in a while, DeMatha is fighting to be the fourth-best team in a very competitive league.  Looking at the strength of schedules, DeMatha doesn’t have any significant wins at this point in the season and Saint Johns merely joined the ranks of Good Counsel and Gonzaga who also beat the Stags this year.  The loss to Saint Johns College was their third in a row in a season in which DeMatha has struggled against upper echelon football teams.

The defending WCAC champions are now fighting just to make the playoffs.  DeMatha needs two straight wins at Bishop McNamara (October 28) and Archbishop Carroll (November 4) in order to control their own destiny.  Nothing will come easy for the Stag squad this season because, by now, everybody smells blood.

There have been some bright spots for the DeMatha Stags football team.  Senior Judson Tallandier was named to the American Under-19 football squad.  Senior Kicker Jake Dolinger is showing why four-year Stags are still the most sought after student-athletes in NCAA recruiting after recording a notable score on the SAT.

Yet DeMatha finds themselves in an unfamiliar position because they are unable to dominate key aspects of football games against teams -like they have in years past.  Sacks and rushing touchdowns are both down in 2017.

Cervus elaphus in the city

Stags are in unfamiliar territory.

The Big Four all have offensive and defensive lines that hover around the average weight of 300 lbs per player -and that makes for very tough sledding.

 

Once more the Stags are still trying to find their footing in a sport that isn’t very forgiving.  DeMatha has even tried changing quarterbacks to no avail: both Tyler Lenhart and Eric Najarian have notched two losses as the starter.  The ability to overcome injuries and distractions is also a huge part of football and the DeMatha Stags still aren’t totally out of contention yet.

If DeMatha can claim the fourth seed outright, there is still a chance to defend their title and win a fifth straight WCAC championship.  Can they come back unscathed from the verge of annihilation in 2017?  Stranger things have happened to the Stags so we will have to keep you posted.

[Featured Image: City of Ashton website]

 

DeMatha Loses To Good Counsel In OT

October 14, 2017

The DeMatha Stags football team couldn’t send off the seniors in style, losing in overtime against a tough Good Counsel squad for their last home game of 2017.  In a low scoring game that primarily featured run defenses, both teams stayed knotted at the conclusions of half and full times.  The relatively equally matched teams have become familiar with each other’s strategies over the years and they each only managed a touchdown in the first half.  DeMatha took a 14-7 lead until 2:02 left in the fourth quarter when Good Counsel tied the game on a spectacular passing play that left the Stags stunned.  The Falcons would then stop DeMatha in overtime and score a winning touchdown with a final score of 20-14.

DeMatha dropped their second game in a row and falls to 0-2 in the WCAC football standings.  Eric Najarian made his second start at quarterback of the season and Tyler Lenhart didn’t take any snaps.  The Stags are left to search for a way to restore the high expectations that they had for themselves at the start of the season with a 4-3 overall record.  While a WCAC football title is still in reach, DeMatha has to understand now that they are merely fighting for survival at this point.  The Stags aren’t used to this position.

Still the current crisis isn’t nearly as bad as it could be due to league restructuring.  There are six teams competing for the title and DeMatha is still all but assured of beating two of them to secure a playoff spot.  However nothing in the WCAC comes easy.  The Stags need to embrace what has quickly manifested into a rebuilding year and take a longer view for the season.  Head coach Elijah Brooks appears to have already done so with his decision to bench a former starting quarterback on his senior night in favor of a junior.

The quarterback controversy is sure to be revisited because the Stags seemed anemic on offense in their latest losing effort.  Senior running back Detrick Washington scored on the ground in the first half, and DeMarcco Hellams broke a crossing pattern loose after gaining fifty yards for a score in the second half.  DeMatha wouldn’t sustain a drive until late in the fourth quarter, but they failed to score and didn’t chew up enough clock to prevent Good Counsel from scoring.  A personal foul put the Falcons in DeMatha territory with time winding down.  The momentum shifted and the Stags never recovered.

Good Counsel used a strong running game to keep the DeMatha defense from pinning their ears back and rushing the passer.  The Falcons running back Latrele Palmer demanded a lot of attention at the line of scrimmage, and it was eventually the big bruising back that scored in overtime.  DeMatha did manage some bright spots on defense, but Falcons head coach Andy Stephanelli mixed in a good array of plays.  Both teams had crucial turnovers in the game but the outcome was decided when Good Counsel maximized their opportunities when DeMatha couldn’t.

DeMatha looks ahead to one of their biggest challenges of the season when they have to go to Military Road and take on the Saint Johns Cadets.  SJC beat Good Counsel last week and they have been itching for some kind of revenge for over a quarter century of losses to the Stags.  The October 21 game will be a difficult test but DeMatha can’t afford to take any of the games lightly now.  With no home games left to hide behind, the remaining WCAC teams are going to look to cow the Stags into submission.  Suddenly now the last two games of the season against Bishop McNamara and finally Archbishop Carroll are important.

We are all anxious to see how DeMatha football will respond in the future but feel free to check the tale of the Good Counsel tape on Twitter at #GCvsDM.  The DeMatha Football website is back up and running, so you will have to follow there from here on out.  We will do our best to keep you posted but there are no more DM Stags TV football broadcasts scheduled in 2017.

Red Deer from Rough Guides

The DeMatha Stags have had a rough start to the WCAC season so far, and they are looking for a bright spot.

[Featured Photo, RoughGuides.Com ]

 

The Ole Kick In The Nuts 2017

October 7, 2017

As soon as DeMatha finished lacing up their shoes they got a healthy dose of what they would be getting served for most of the rest of the night.  Gonzaga looked upon the famed DeMatha Stags under the harvest moon and kicked them right in the nuts.  The Purple Eagles elected to receive the opening kickoff and made an energetic return in exchange for prime field position.  It only took them a few minutes to score from there.  DeMatha didn’t take very much time off the clock after a three-and-out, and then Gonzaga scored again on an even longer drive the next time.

The Stags tried to regain their composure on their next drive but then quarterback Tyler Lenhart threw a pick-six.  Suddenly, DeMatha was down 19-0 at the end of the first quarter at the PG Sports & Learning Complex.  DeMatha would eventually threaten the red zone with 7:00 to go in the first half, but their hopes were dashed on a dropped pass for a crucial fourth down conversion.  Gonzaga freshman quarterback Caleb Williams played well enough to leave the Stags wondering what was going on and the score would hold up until halftime.

DeMatha was really lucky that the 19 point lead they gave up wasn’t worse.  Gonzaga set the tone for what the 2017 WCAC football season has in store.  The Stags looked the part of a prime candidate for upset: uncomfortable and timid.  Gonzaga was the conference foe that came to Prince George’s County in 2015 and bullied the nationally ranked Stags in a similar fashion on ESPN.  It always seems like Gonzaga and DeMatha are taking turns kicking each other in the gonads, destroying each other with shock and awe, in full public view.  Penalties and miscues on both sides ultimately tamped down the score total, but anyone could see that this was painful.

Gonzaga came out for the second half with even more Whipass.  It was like those old cans of Whupass, but they were quicker.  The Purple Eagles generated another stop on defense and walloped the Stags with another quick score to go up 26-0.  DeMatha just couldn’t move in this contest and they were completely frozen on offense until a change at quarterback and a fourth-quarter bomb.  Eric Najarian finally hooked up with Jermaine Johnson to put the Stags on the board and he started an ultimately hopeless, but what was then still just an improbable rally of sorts.  Anthony Toro caught another deep strike, and Myles Miree found paydirt soon after but the damage was done.

Nothing is going to come easily in WCAC, and the Stags have demonstrated that they have already learned the hard lesson from this contest.  DeMatha showed a lot of heart for staying in the fight and for never quitting, but they couldn’t make the impossible recovery.  It all ended on a sack before Najarian could even send a prayer to Our Lady of Victory.  Tonight the DeMatha Stags got kicked in the nuts, in the old #TheOleKickInTheNutsGame with Gonzaga, and they deserve all the credit.  Caleb Williams managed the game wonderfully and the Purple Eagle’s defense held their own.

Trap game after homecoming or not, DeMatha should remember that’s how it goes sometimes in The Ole Kick In The Nuts Game.  The last two all-male schools from the old Metro Conference just don’t like each other.  They take turns kicking each other in the nuts but nobody ever quits or calls it just a silly game.  Yep, this time its football but they’ll be at it soon enough again.  We’d prefer to believe that Gonzaga didn’t even get the cakewalk they deserved in the end,  barely hanging on for the 26 – 20 final score.  It hurts just the same though, but you probably surmised that.

2017 WCAC Football Preview: SNAFU

October 5, 2017

The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference is arguably the toughest high school sports association in the United States of America.

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The toughest conference in America.

The WCAC has been at the forefront of ushering in a new era of recruiting that has shifted the landscape of secondary education, and football is no exception.

 

The tale of the WCAC in football, and really all the sports played is a story of the best of teams and the worst of teams.  The conference known for producing nationally ranked basketball teams in the same season is unique in that all programs at least enjoy the privilege of greatness by association.  Unlike basketball, which has exhibited relative parity over the years, WCAC football programs are worlds apart.  The schism between schools that made the unwavering commitment to compete on a national level in football and those that didn’t clearly strained the organization more than the other sports.  The result was a lopsided mess military guys call a SNAFU: systems normal all fouled up.

DeMatha, Good Counsel, Saint John’s College, and Gonzaga would all make headlines with their football programs by notching clutch wins in national upsets.  The four schools with the biggest football traditions in the WCAC continued to prosper, and all of them could be seen on national broadcasts via ESPN over the last five years.  The WCAC schools in Virginia were the first to secede and they ultimately identified football as the cause.  Bishop Ireton, Paul VI, and then Bishop O’Connell decided that they couldn’t compete with the rising talent level that all of the exposure generated for the Big Four.  Archbishop Carroll, Bishop McNamara, and Saint Mary’s Ryken were equally unnerved by the massive arms race occurring in football but hung on despite taking a lot of lumps.

The WCAC was forced to reorganize and update the rules to accommodate a stronger commissioner.  Next year they will unveil a two-tiered football schedule and they have expanded to include The Heights School, which is already competing in soccer this year.  The conference will be unified in the sport of football again, but in this interim year get ready to see more of just how we got this way in the first place.  The Big Four will continue to dominate, sometimes shuffling win and losses between each other but with seldom a loss to the other WCAC members.  The 2017 WCAC football season has already begun with Gonzaga pummeling Bishop McNamara 38-0 on Eye Street with a freshman starting at quarterback.

There just aren’t too many schools that want to face that kind of ability to reload on a yearly basis and the Mustangs (0-5) deserve some sort of award for courage.  Deeper programs like Gonzaga keep attracting Division 1 caliber players because of examples set by alumni like Kevin Hogan in the NFL.  This is just one example but the Gonzaga Purple Eagles (5-1) are still fighting to break into their first WCAC championship game since 2011.  Gonzaga is clearly a playoff team.  The Eagles were even cut off from competing for the tiny DC “state title,” but they haven’t won a WCAC football championship since 2002.  Gonzaga is our pick to finish fourth this year but if they stay healthy they can give anyone problems, for a spell.

Our Lady of Good Counsel will also be challenged to sustain their glory on the gridiron in 2017.  The WCAC’s winningest football coach Bob Milloy retired in 2016, after only the second season since 2004 in which they didn’t appear in the championship game.  Replacing legends is never easy but the Falcons (4-1), again, looked within their program and picked a gamer in head coach Andy Stephanelli.  Good Counsel is still solid and they have shocked teams in the area that might have forgotten that the Falcons were league champions in football from 2009-2012.  Still, after facing what should be the top two teams in the WCAC in the ensuing fortnight we believe that home field advantage should be enough to rattle Gonzaga on October 27.

The Saint John’s College Cadets are proof that the transition to elite status in football can come at a steep price.  SJC suffers from an identity crisis and every season that goes by seems to make it worse because they certainly sacrificed the most and have the least to show for it.  The Cadets opted to go the full-on Moneyball route, but cash hasn’t proven to be a panacea so far.  Program alumnus and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank financed a complete overhaul that included an injection of transfers and two head coaches at one point.  The Cadets have been knocking on the door in recent years with a lot of notable wins, but none against the defending WCAC champions in the last quarter century.

SJC was supposed to be overwhelming the league with their unlimited resources, but they have underachieved in WCAC football and they have to look back to the old Metro conference for their last title in 1989.  Head coach Joe Casamento is trying to change all of that by unleashing the new and improved program on the top teams in the nation but the cracks in the plan have been obvious.  The Christian Brothers are probably wondering if a 2-2 record was worth these changes but they haven’t given up the lofty expectations that they have for their football program.  School missions aside, whether or not superstar transfers can manufacture enough team chemistry for a title is the question that has relegated the Cadets to second place of late, despite attaining a national ranking in USA Today earlier this season.

The four-time defending WCAC football champion DeMatha Stags have also had a lot to do with that.  Head coach Elijah Brooks is now unquestionably the best in the league and his players desperately want to add to this budding dynasty.  The Stags lost their opening game of the season but have reeled off four straight wins since then, two of them shutouts.  The DeMatha defense hasn’t given up a score in the second half of a football game since Bishop Gorman got the better of them in August.  DeMatha (4-1) will open WCAC play against a Gonzaga team that already has three shutouts under their belt on October 6.  It is safe to say that everyone is coming for the kings of the WCAC and SJC and Good Counsel are good tests for the Stags to improve their national ranking in USA Today.

It is a long way down from the top and the rest of the WCAC will just be searching for ways to get by in football in 2017.   The faces and names might be old news but the essence of the conference is probably going to remain the same for a little while.

With a league that routinely produces heavyweights, the WCAC will realize that they were wise to err on the side of caution and let some teams sit the football slugfest out.  What we have this year are six teams competing for the WCAC trophy in football and the rest will rejoin the league next year when the new rules take effect.  DeMatha, SJC, Good Counsel, Gonzaga, McNamara, and Carroll could finish in that order during this abbreviated 2017 football season. 

It is worth writing that basketball seems to be the honey that kept Bishop Ireton, Ryken, O’Connell, and Paul VI in the WCAC hive.  (Those teams will all play independent schedules in 2017, and they won’t be in contention for a title in football this year.)  The overall risk-reward for student-athletes is better in basketball and the notoriety of the league has made it a pipeline to Division 1 schools, and beyond.  Football is still trying to find a balance in the WCAC, but the shadow of a more formidable conference is still going to bash each other with everything they have in the meanwhile.  The only thing that could stop this show is if the culture changes and WCAC football is on the rise.

As per usual, the traditional rivalry games are worth experiencing live.  The oldest, continuous football game in the country between Gonzaga and Saint John’s is on November 4.  Bishop McNamara is hosted by Archbishop Carroll on October 7.  Good Counsel will try to pull off an upset against DeMatha on Friday, October 13 at the PG Sports & Learning Complex.  Then DeMatha will travel to Saint John’s on Military Road on October 21.

Did we forget to mention that DeMatha vs Gonzaga is October 6?  We hope that you tune into DM Stags TV to check this one out free of charge on the NFHS NetworkThe Big Four are all ranked in the top ten in The Washington Post, so everyone should remember.  Follow the #WCAC hashtag on Twitter if the #DeMatha (live) hashtag is too lit.  We have you covered here at The Chronicles of Six, so always check for updates in our Sports category!  Let us keep connecting you to the reputable sources.

DeMatha Spirit & Cameron Phillips

September 20, 2017

This is DeMatha spirit week in preparation for the homecoming game this Friday versus Friendship Collegiate.  Watch this video as many times as possible for zero house points.  There are a lot of recruiting success stories in this video, and it also goes a long way to show that DeMatha has a deep roster of stud football players.  Return to Glory tells the story of how the latest championship run unfolded and is a great example of the DeMatha Family.  I hope we can keep the party going.

Watch it again, for six Soul Credits.  There were some serious ballers in that video, too.  There are guys getting it done in college in that video.  Cameron Phillips is just one of the many but it is worth mentioning that he is closing in on the receiving records over there at Virginia Tech.  Ju’Whaun Bentley, Taiwan Deal, John Lovett, are all in there with Principal Emeritus John Moylan.  Father Damian and Ed King are in there too.  Seriously watch it again.  Alright now watch Cam for a minute because he clearly has the spirit.

Anyway, we hope that you are hanging in the #NoKaepernickNoNFL boycott.  Remember that you can always watch college football and high school football repeats.  Don’t tweet any NFL highlights or participate in any fantasy leagues.  We think it is pretty safe to say that some of these guys are going to the league and that we hope it is a better one when they get there.  We are going to keep it digi.  Go Stags!

Protect Caylin Newton At All Costs

September 19, 2017

Howard University has a superstar in true freshman quarterback Caylin Newton.  Nobody knows how that just happened, but now the next smart thing to do is to protect him at all costs.  Hashtag: #ProtectCaylin.  Caylin Newton has a chance to take Howard University to the big time in football.  The Buffalo Soldiers have given way to a slick new Bison logo provided on Under Armour uniforms and the reboot is the perfect time make gains in athletics.  The offensive and defensive lines are the areas that need improving the most, and by the looks of things, the Bison have their work cut out for them.  Recruiting at the linemen positions will have the greatest impact in the immediate future and it is a crucial stepping stone to make the most of Caylin’s time.

Caylin Newton already proved that he has big game potential when he shocked the world by leading Howard football over UNLV, on the road, to upset the biggest point spread in history.  Howard football is currently sporting a record of 1-2 but considering that they changed the record books in week one, the next two losses were progressively worse.  Caylin Newton has certainly inspired the Bison to punch above their weight, but when they faced the University of Richmond they fell 68-21.  Meeting the fellow FCS school, Richmond Spiders, was a humbling experience that exposed the need to augment the talent up front.

Football starts when they snap the ball and Howard University is going to have to get better at dominating the line of scrimmage.  Pass protection is going to continue to be an issue for the Bison because Caylin Newton lacks the size of his older brother.  Caylin has matched Cam Newton’s indomitable will to win so far, and that can lead to dangerous situations.  Caylin Newton plays with a chip on his shoulder, stalling for time, dipping and dodging, and slanging on the run.  Shifty moves have kept defenders at bay for the moment, but the Bison can’t afford to continue to let Caylin take these risks.

While most of the competition that the Bison will face is nothing like their first three opponents, Howard football should also take the hint that as game tape makes the rounds good teams may start to figure things out.  Caylin Newton’s statistics against Richmond last week are a sign of weaknesses that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

PASSING CP-TO-INT YDS TD LONG
Caylin Newton 5-17-2 183 1 43
RUSHING TO YDS TD LONG
Caylin Newton 10 24 1 17

 

 

The Howard University defense didn’t fare much better against the Spiders.  The Bison gave up 333 yards on the ground to go along with the massive 68 point total.  It would be difficult to muster a win against fellow HBCU or MEAC opponents with those kinds of numbers.  A strong pass rush and an ability to stop the run are essential components necessary to compete for a championship in football.

Whether looking for talent or for inspiration on the gridiron, new head football coach Mike London doesn’t have to go far.  After suffering the walloping defeat against a team London led to an FCS national title in 2008, it should be easy for him to take a page out of their book.  Mike London needs to scope out and scoop up local talent because the Washington DC metropolitan area is producing NCAA Division 1 athletes at an unbelievable clip.  DMV schools like the University of Richmond and the University of Maryland have made it point to focus on a few elite high schools in the area, in particular, and Howard needs to do the same.

Caylin Newton Twitter

Caylin has joy for the game.

Perhaps the last time that Howard University was in this position Jay “Sky” Walker was the quarterback for the Bison.  The team was a perfect 11-0 in Walker’s senior year and they were crowned the National Champions of Black College Football in 1993.  It is certain that the 1993 team will be inducted into the Howard University Athletics Hall of Fame soon, and Jay Walker can be seen on ESPN broadcasts and in the Maryland House of Delegates.  Howard University is the institution for Black learning and it sports monikers such as The Capstone and The Mecca.  The school sells itself long before the conversation turns to mundane activities such as football -and Howard definitely wants to keep it that way.

The Jay “Sky” Walker or Antoine Bethea type of player can remain among the Bison elite and bring more recognition for The Hilltop to chronicle.  The Yard has seen the most famous of our people and nothing happening on a football field is going to change that.  With that already stated, Howard University athletics needs to make a recruiting push to protect assets that they have already acquired on the field.  Howard University has a good reputation in everything and Caylin Newton is only going to add to that.  The Bison need to thicken the herd and we should all prepare for the coming stampede.  Players of his caliber don’t come along very often, but when they do there will be others looking benefit from all of that added attention.

For full disclosure, we need to also state that Caylin Newton is not completely alone right now and that there are others doing their parts.  Senior running back Anthony Philyaw was honored as a preseason national watchlist candidate and was named the Preseason MEAC Player of the Year according to the Howard University Athletics website.  Sophomore wide receiver Kyle Anthony was placed on the Preseason All-MEAC second team and shows promise.  From Miami, Florida the Bison have senior linebacker Devin Rollins who is probably their best defensive player on their best defensive unit.  These few players illustrated the problem in a close loss to Kent State two weeks ago.  There just aren’t enough of the guys doing the dirty work to make sure Caylin Newton can shine at this moment.

The skill positions will be okay but Howard football needs to bulk up and show that they know how to play football again by controlling the trenches.  The offensive line is set to graduate forty percent of their ten roster spots next year and will be looking for stability.  While they are much younger on the defensive side of the ball, the Bison should probably consider sacrificing one of those roster spots to add a defensive end.  Howard doesn’t want to get caught with their pants down around their ankles when teams inevitably try to shut down Caylin Newton with hard-to-read blitz packages and by hogging the time of possession.

Howard University is on the verge of breakthrough if they can address these issues.  (Watch the Twitter hashtags if you want to see a grown man troll them to death, if they don’t: #PullYoPantsUp and #CombYoHair.)  We hope that they don’t drop the ball by leaving Caylin Newton overexposed.  Black college football needs this, also.  Caylin Newton’s choice to attend to Howard and start on the field right away bodes well for a unique and important subculture of the game.  The recent changes in the Howard University Athletic program demonstrated that it feels good when the Bison are leading in every aspect.  Building around Caylin Newton sends the right message to other athletes with high skill sets that are considering an education at Howard University or other HBCU’s.

Caylin Newton is a quarterback that is going to make the news.  All Howard University football needs to do is to keep him safe in order to make sure that there will always be good news to report.   All of that begins with the right recruiting approach.  That is the real football mission that is very possible.

We are going to keep it digital here and keep you posted.  Go Bison!

DeMatha vs McDonogh: Maryland Sports Access Edition

September 16, 2017

DeMatha Crushes Gonzaga and Looks Ahead To Championship, National TitleKyle McFadden and Maryland Sports Access have some pretty good coverage of the DeMatha vs McDonogh football game.  DeMatha won the contest 17-14 and kept McDonogh out of the end zone in the second half, in an otherwise lackluster game for the Stags.  DeMatha improved to a record of 3-1 on the season but they are still in the processes of learning and fine-tuning.

The Maryland Terrapins were in attendance, and there may have been performance anxiety issues.  DeMatha football has emerged as an unofficial pipeline to the University of Maryland, and the Stag alumni helped coin the popular recruiting wave moniker, “The Movement.”  The Old Line State has made significant gains in the sport of football at the high school and college levels and recognition is still on the rise.

Stag football alums, now at MD, with Wendy at last night's game.

A post shared by DeMatha High School (@demathacatholic) on

The Free State, used to be called The Old Line State.

Maryland State Flag

As you can see I am not the only person that can cover the Stags.  In recent years DeMatha vs McDonogh has been one of those games that can determine who will be top dog in the state of Maryland, and it draws plenty of attention.  The University of Maryland definitely took notice when these two heavyweights from The Free State played each other because both teams produce top, Division 1 talent.  Anyway, click the link in the first paragraph to read Kyle McFadden’s article with better embedded Tweets.  As always, DMStagsTV provided a replayable broadcast for your enjoyment and you can follow all of the Stags home games there.  (Alumni teachers Sean O’Connor & Cory Puffett provided the play-by-play this week.)  Crabcakes and football!  This is what we do.

Friendship Collegiate Academy will travel to the DeMatha home field at the PG Sports and Learning Complex next week, September 22.   As usual, we are going to keep it digital and keep you posted here on The Chronicles of Six.  Go Stags!