Posts Tagged ‘Bishop McNamara’

2017 Homer Football Wrap-Up

November 28, 2017

Sometimes promising seasons are cut down.  DeMatha football started out hot, but then suffered consecutive losses to league foes Gonzaga, Good Counsel, and Saint Johns College.  The Stags managed to beat Bishop McNamara and Archbishop Carroll to finish as the fourth playoff seed in the WCAC but they lost 14-17 to Saint John’s College in the first round.  We must admit that we were a little sad about the 6-5 overall record and a fourth place finish in the WCAC – until we remembered that we had another picture of Alexis Savage to post.

AlexisSavage1 from frasermodelsandactors

Alexis Savage knows that hoops are on the horizon.

The Howard Bison football team also started hot when they registered a win at a UNLV and a close loss to Kent State, two FCS schools.  The University of Richmond put a chill on when they destroyed the Bison 68-21 in September.  Then North Carolina Central University left the normally potent offense frozen when they orchestrated a 13-7 victory in DC.  Howard (7-4) eventually finished second in the MEAC despite losing to Hampton University in what we like to call the Bourgeoisie Bowl and missed their sliver of an opportunity to play in the Celebration Bowl, instead.

All of that losing makes us sad.  Look people, studies have shown that the majority of teenage boys like modest pictures of extremely hot women so we’re really just providing a serviceable means of introduction here.  Let the Ooh La La’s of the Howard University Showtime Marching Band take you away from all of this.

We are better now.  Don’t give up on us!  We’re not going to let some silly football games get in the way of making some real progress on this blog.  We’re total homers for DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys and Howard University, here.   We’re never going to pretend to be anything else even if the analytics say that we should diversify for greater SEO appeal.  We aren’t in it for the short term game, are we?  We’re in this thing for the long haul.

For instance, don’t talk to us about how well your child reads at three-years-old.  Talk to us about how well your child reads at thirty.  That seems to be a better measurement of a job done well.  We are all about progress here on The Chronicles Of Six and both football teams are up to challenges ahead.  To lay some more smooth Black vernacular on you, DeMatha is certainly going to DeMatha.  Caylin Newton has three more years of eligibility at Howard University but he was already named the MEAC Rookie of the Year.

You know How It Goes Down…  We’re going to continue to keep you posted.

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 ]

 

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.

wcac_logo_600_res_

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.

Plodding to a WCAC Tournament Preview

February 17, 2015

By now you have already heard the news that DeMatha lost the last two of their final three regular season WCAC basketball games against Bishop McNamara and Paul VI.  The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference is the toughest in a America and DeMatha contended with emotional team performances and opposing crowd enthusiasm on what was “senior night” for both schools.  The Stags were not able to withstand late game blitzes in both cases and fell in the waning minutes of the 4th quarter to teams that desperately needed to win.

DeMatha is still a young team and they are in the process of learning what it means to be champions and how to survive in frigid gyms for that matter.  Nobody on the current roster was around for the Stags’ most recent WCAC title in 2011, and the state of Virginia has dominated the previous three years.  There is plenty of emerging talent in the conference with the confidence to challenge the #1 seeded DeMatha Stags in the tournament.  In addition to the two schools that already proved it, I would add Saint John’s College and Gonzaga to the list of basketball teams to watch for upsets.

Bishop O’Connell won the conference title in 2013 but it was disputed due to the Junior Etou age scandal so their games still have to be watched with scrutiny for unscrupulousness as long their head coach and athletic director remains at the helm.  Things are always interesting at this time of year and the Stags may have learned to trod more carefully when seeking their goals because other teams are always hunting after notoriety.  The 2015 WCAC Basketball Tournament title is the primary objective and the Paul VI Panthers are the defending champions, winning the title in 2014 and in 2012.

Welcome to a routine year in the WCAC where we have six teams gunning for the basketball title in 2015 so we can’t worry about cannibalizing collective chances at National Title runs with home-away splits!  DeMatha has their work cut out for them right now especially since national and local rankings will surely account for back-to-back loses.  However it appears that several of the WCAC teams are evenly matched, and the DeMatha basketball team should be eager for rematches on a neutral floor with the top position in the single-elimination tournament.

Go Stags!

DeMatha Rolls To School Record Win Over McNamara 70-32

October 21, 2014

The 2014 DeMatha Stags football team is rearranging the record book, and looking forward to a match-up against Gonzaga.

Inside DeMatha Football

What a win! When the Stags fully click, the rest of the WCAC needs to look out. As evidenced by Friday night’s 70-32 win over McNamara, DeMatha put together an explosive offense and tough, playmaking defense and elite speed.

 Expect much more this week from head coach Elijah Brooks, and it will be tough for the coach to pick his Players of the Week after such a big win!

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Drunk off the Stags

January 18, 2012

Jagermeister BottleThe DeMatha Stags basketball took their undefeated record and #3 national ranking into the Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts this past weekend but they came up a little short.

The Stags won the first game against one of the best schools in Connecticut that was previously undefeated on Saturday. The weekend didn’t go sour until Monday when the Stags faced #23 Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, Nevada –a team that they beat last year in the final of the Les Schwab Invitational in Portland, Oregon.

The bitterness that the consensus number one player in the country, Bishop Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad, must have felt after the loss last year only contributed to his stellar rematch performance against the Stags on Monday. Shabazz Muhammad was all over the court and had the most points against a DeMatha basketball team since Corless Williamson in 1990, with 37 points. (Corliss Williamson scored 43 of his team’s 56 points in a loss to DeMatha and then the Stags went on to an undefeated season in 1990- 1991.)* The differences between the two DeMatha teams from different eras still remain subtle in my estimation.

In the 73-65 loss to Bishop Gorman at the Hoop Hall Classic it appeared as though foul shooting and individual defense are two areas in which they will have to improve on in order to be compared with the likes of the last undefeated team at DeMatha. The zone defense that DeMatha started out in proved to be too slow during the rotations to Shabazz Muhammad, and he had 19 points in the first half of play alone. By the time DeMatha switched to man-to-man midway through the second quarter the damage was done, and Bishop Gorman took an eight point lead into the locker room.

Shabazz Muhammad began to tire when the Stags went to a four guard set on offense and tried to deny him the ball by filling in the passing lanes on defense, but the high school All American still came up with big plays in the second half. Marcellous Bell and Jairus Lyles helped DeMatha trim a 13 point lead down to 2, but that would be the closest that they would ever get. The Cookie Monster and Jerami Grant were both in foul trouble, and neither was particularly effective on the offensive end. Kelvin Howard also got a start for the Stags but he didn’t wind up producing any points.

DeMatha didn’t appear to have the right personnel on the floor in order to win the game and the Stags held the ball deep into their possessions and tried to force the issue down low. Bishop Gorman used a platoon of players to frustrate the Stags with a stifling defense, and their speed translated well with a lot of fast break points on the offensive end. The combination of strategies and executions proved that Bishop Gorman was the better team and they handed DeMatha their first loss of the season.

The brightest spots of the game for the Stags came when there were four shooters on the floor capable of dribble-driving to the basket. Instead of exploiting DeMatha’s deep guard play the game plan predictably focused on a methodical inside game that ultimately slowed down the works on both ends. Mike Jones is a great coach, but I’m wondering out loud here if he had to do it all over again would he stick with the zone defense against Shabazz Muhammad for so long? Mike is a friend of mine and I know that he can take the criticism, besides who hasn’t gotten drunk off the Stags?

Anybody that thinks that Shabazz Muhammad is getting stopped with a zone defense on ESPNU is clearly inebriated and using questionable judgment. DeMatha can hardly afford a hangover tonight at home against Bishop McNamara or Saturday on the road against Gonzaga –two league games that will show if the Stags have any resiliency.

More on that later, though. For now, Go Stags

 

*Statistics may be erroneous, false, or completely fabricated.