Posts Tagged ‘Championship’

Undefeated DeMatha Stags Football Champions 2016

November 20, 2016

Congratulations to the 2016 DeMatha Catholic High School football team on an undefeated 12 – 0 season and WCAC championship.  The Stags won their fourth Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title in football in as many years.

Check out the highlights (including select game video) that I compiled from Twitter here: .

This time it was against the Saint John’s College High School Cadets in extraordinary fashion and the win required a never-give-up attitude and late game heroics.  SJC quarterback Kasim Hill is headed to the University of Maryland next year and will undoubtedly start on their home field in the future but he was no match for this DeMatha team.  Hill hooked up with Ed Lee for three touchdowns in the first half and it looked as if he was going to will the Cadets to victory early on when they took a 19 – 14 lead into halftime.

The answer came late for the DeMatha Stags who are usually accustomed to dispatching opponents early by demoralizing them with a bruising running game.  Without the benefit of time on their side the DeMatha football team relied on gritty play to come from behind after the Cadets eventually amassed a fifteen-point lead.  Trailing 29 – 14 in the fourth quarter the team that never quit got a break when Kasim Hill was sidelined temporarily.  A botched pitch resulted in a DeMatha recovery and a quick score to make the tally 29 – 21 in favor of SJC.

The most ironic scene of the afternoon was a video of Saint John’s students chanting, “overrated!” to the DeMatha crowd during their eventual failure to win the contest.

On the ensuing play the Saint John’s head coach Joe Casamento, commanded the Cadets to defend against an onside kick but failed to plan for the deep kick.  The DeMatha special team unit recovered the ball at the SJC 1 yard line as it rolled untouched after a footrace between the aware and unawares.  DeMatha quarterback Beau English threw a short strike to honor man #10 Anthony Toro and suddenly the Stags were back in business.  DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks sensed the momentum shift and opted to go for two but the conversion failed.

With the score at 29 – 27 the vaunted DeMatha defense came up big and forced a punt.  The Stags offense matched the phenomenal efforts of their counterparts by marching down the field and scoring again on a fade route to the running back Myles Miree.  After kicking the extra point this time Coach Brooks must have thought that the DeMatha football team already had all the makings of a win.  With the score 34 – 29 with only 1:05 left to play he wouldn’t have very long to contemplate it.  Myles Canton intercepted Kasim Hill on what would be the last play of the game and returned it all the way back to the SJC 1 yard line.

Calvin Ashley, a highly recruited offensive lineman for Saint John’s went down with an injury that left him unresponsive for a short period.  There were 29 seconds remaining on the clock when the game was decidedly over and both teams retired in prayer for the Auburn commit.  34 – 29 would be the final score and DeMatha completed one of the most memorable comebacks in school history with the total effort of their football team.

There are just too many football Stags to name and not enough time to give them all justice, but it will suffice to say that this is one of the finest sports teams that DeMatha has ever had.  In addition to notching multiple historic superlatives the 2016 DeMatha football team should also garner consideration for a share of a mythical national title with their unblemished record.  Their magnificent performance is rare when you consider their strength of schedule and conference format.  DeMatha took everybody’s best shot this year and achieved greatness by consistently rising to the occasion as a team.

A collection of individuals, no matter how talented, couldn’t beat this team.  Even when the odds were the longest and football fans were headed towards the exits, the 2016 DeMatha team showed that they were prepared to overcome adversity.  Coach Brooks should be proud that his DeMatha football team could do it in a way that is both reflective of the school and aligned with the ideals that the prestigious conference is supposed to stand for.  The WCAC might be headed for restructuring in football with a more powerful commissioner about to take the reins for the first time but DeMatha is already in great hands.

In a world where even high school sports are experiencing the influences of big money and corporate donors, Coach Brooks still managed to do things the DeMatha way and win.  Chalk another one up for the DeMatha Stags that bought into the system and toughed it out to keep the WCAC football championship trophy in Hyattsville.  The 2016 DeMatha football team certainly lived up to all of the hype and a celebration is surely in order.

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Old School Metro Hoops Rematch at Alhambra: DeMatha vs Saint Johns College

March 14, 2015

The DeMatha Stags didn’t win the WCAC Tournament in 2015 but they were able to win their first ever Maryland Private School Basketball Championship.

The team is currently in Cumberland, Maryland participating in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament (#ACIT) that featured three other WCAC schools.  However it is DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys vs Saint Johns College High School of Washington DC in the finals that will be played at approximately 8:30 PM, tonight -on Pi (π) day.

The two teams have met three times earlier this season with the Stags besting the Cadets every time.  SJC won the DC City Title Game over Gonzaga recently, and the Cadets did it again yesterday afternoon when they eliminated the Purple Eagles in the semi-finals of the ACIT.  Mentioning the way that these three teams have all gone after each other in basketball is reminiscent of the old Metro conference and how each school has built upon their historic heyday roots.

We’re talking old school here.  Saint Johns College was once an all boys, military school with a penchant for racking up titles and producing dual-sport All Americans before DeMatha even existed.  While the history of the little gray line may only be pictured in the hallways the future still looks bright for the Cadets junior point guard sensation Anthony Cowan, Jr. as the University of Maryland’s latest recruit.  Saint Johns College has completely reinvented itself with the help of generous alumni and the Cadets are desperate to reclaim their former fame back from DeMatha.

Gonzaga Upsets DeMatha to Win the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championships in 2 Overtimes

February 27, 2015

“He dared the lightning in the lightning’s track,
And answered thunder with his thunder back.”

–  Paul Laurence Dunbar

DeMatha against Gonzaga would never be the rivalry that it is today unless Gonzaga won some games, and last night added another victory for the Purple Eagles.  Gonzaga earned their twentieth win of the season in the most important game, the 2015 WCAC Title,  and in storied fashion required two overtimes to dismantle DeMatha.

The drama could have played out differently for the Stags. DeMatha certainly had their chances to win as they entered the fourth quarter with a ten point lead.  Gonzaga would fight back like they always do and erase the deficit to put the Stags in a pressure situation at the line to win it in the final seconds of regulation.  DeMatha was unable to put the Purple Eagles away and it eventually came back to haunt them when Gonzaga eventually opened up a nine point lead of their own.

Sam Miller destroyed any hopes of a comeback with a tremendous effort hitting three-pointers and getting buckets in the paint late in the game.  Chris Lykes shone brightly for Gonzaga to that point, along with a host of guys that can only be filed under “never-heard-of” until this signature season win.  Gonzaga Head Coach Steve Turner must certainly be proud of his guys for fighting this epic game out until the end.  As a basketball fan, it was something to see.

As a DeMatha alumnus it hurt to watch but honestly the Stags have been sticking it to Gonzaga in the sports that draw a crowd as of late and the Purple Eagles sparked at just the right time.  DeMatha Head Coach Mike Jones is probably scratching his head on this one, and the Stags are going to have to find another way to punctuate this season.  I’m not exactly sure what the post-season plans are other than the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament but the Stags should have revenge on their minds for all of the schools that stole the thunder from their otherwise outstanding season.

DeMatha VS Gonzaga for 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship, Again

February 24, 2015

There are a lot of great sports rivalries that get written about but DeMatha versus Gonzaga, in just about every sport, stands up to the test as one of the most exciting in high school sports.  Add basketball to the mix, a sport in which both schools take a tremendous amount of pride in, and you have a recipe for the greatest high school rivalry ever.  The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference is the toughest in America and the last two all-boys high schools in it have desperately clung to superiority complexes that often play-out on the national stage.

Gonzaga versus DeMatha is gigantic already, but the legend is still growing.  Soon they will meet for the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship, again -and everybody that follows high school basketball knows the implications.  Gonzaga versus DeMatha is Washington D.C. against Maryland, “God is purple” disagreeing with “I believe”, Purple Eagles opposing Stags and so much more.  There may have been a different mindset that has shaped the destiny of each school, but they are seldom far apart.  DeMatha has been the high school basketball trendsetter ever since the Power Memorial game fifty years ago and the Stags also have six national titles to back that up.  Gonzaga has always been an excellent foil, at their worst, and occasionally plays the spoiler to DeMatha when their basketball team is at their best.

Today DeMatha is (27-3) and trying to end the longest championship drought they have ever had in the WCAC: three years.  Gonzaga (19-10) basketball has been on the precipice of being nationally formidable all year and they can finally do that if they can find a way to beat the most well-known team in the league for the championship and salvage another lackluster season.  Individually there is no shortage of star power on either squad, today or historically.  DeMatha junior Markelle Fultz is the 2015 WCAC Player of the Year, and sophomore Darren Harvey garnered First Team All WCAC honors.  Gonzaga has two players deserving of First Team All WCAC honors as well: sophomore Chris Lykes and senior Sam Miller.

The DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys is in search of their fortieth (40) league championship after their win over Saint John’s College in the WCAC semifinals.  This one is especially poignant for the Stags as they look to officially punctuate another incredible season and send the seniors out on a high note.  Seniors Thomas Bruce, Terrell Allen, Ahmad Clark would all love nothing more but I am equally certain that if Jaelin Grant wants any bragging rights in his family whatsoever -he needs a DeMatha win more than anyone.  Each of Jaelin’s three older brothers managed to bring home a conference title for the Stags, and this is his last year to add to the already spectacular legacy.  On a personal level, I want to see Jaelin holding up the hardware.  I am hoping that this isn’t one of those years where Gonzaga can pull off the ultimate upset after losing two games to DeMatha during the regular season.  So now you know the deal…

Go Stags!  Get 40!

Super Sophomore Championship Goodness

November 23, 2014

What year would be complete without a recap of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship? DeMatha was able to overcome a 14-0 first quarter deficit and eventually defeat Good Counsel, 24-20 for their 22nd league title. By all accounts, it was a great contest and the Falcons fought to the end but were unable to prevail. The defending champions of the WCAC were underdogs mainly because they were considered to be too young to compete for the title in 2014 but a class of super sophomores had something to say about all of that.

The class of 2017 is loaded. Quarterback Beau English won the starting job earlier this year and matured markedly during a WCAC regular season campaign that only included one loss to Good Counsel. Beau English scored on a third quarter quarterback sneak and managed the game superbly for the Stags. Sophomore running back Anthony McFarland caught one touchdown pass from English and sophomore Khory Spruill completed the class of 2017 trifecta by rushing for a score.  Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy was named the 2014 Coach of the Year for his undefeated regular season campaign, but DeMatha Coach Elijah Brooks might have done a better job in the end.

It is worth mentioning that Good Counsel was also counted out at the beginning of this season and they definitely didn’t get the respect that they have earned at the beginning of the year in almost everybody’s poll. (It probably isn’t worth mentioning that one of the reasons why Gonzaga sucks is that they hijacked the polls in 2014 and barely made the WCAC playoffs –despite possibly being the best football team within the confines of Washington D.C.) The Falcons will likely find themselves near the top of the WCAC field of football competitors next year, but they will have to contend with a lot of the same names from DeMatha that are only sure to get better in Coach Brooks’ system. DeMatha will return 15 bona fide starters according to sources.

DeMatha also has four juniors on the ESPN 300 list and will likely get a fifth when cornerback Brenton Nelson transfers from his school in Florida. The catalyst for the game happened to be one of the very talented juniors that was snubbed.  Darryl Turner, Jr. wears #1 at DeMatha and he caused the fumble that robbed Good Counsel of a critical possession late in the game which helped the Stags seal the victory.  The cupboard is just about full of Division 1 student-athlete prospects, again.  This is largely why hardcore Stags who are in-the-know believe that DeMatha is preparing for an epic run at a national championship very soon.