Posts Tagged ‘DMStagsTV’

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 ]

 

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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 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!

 

 

Boycott: No Kaepernick No NFL

September 13, 2017

The Hail Mary

Colin Kaepernick Getty Images

#NoKaepernickNoNFL

The boycott of the National Football League over the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick is gaining traction despite the initial push back against the protests that started this whole thing in the first place.  Colin Kaepernick is the most recent brave individual in the NFL to lend his fame to the plights of humanity and justice which are the causes of consternation from those able to hire him.  Many writers have already exhausted the possibilities that could have prevented him from playing in the NFL, or the necessary mental gymnastics to arrive at the conclusion that Kaepernick detracted from the game.  (Quite eloquently and thoroughly we might add.)  Today we are going to take a hard look at why this is exactly the kind of silent protest that we need, and how it has been effective, so far.

 

Buttressed against the Black Lives Matter movement, Colin Kaepernick ushered in a social consciousness to a sport that rarely indulges in controversy.  The fact that Black Lives Matter is viewed as controversial is baffling to those that understand the simplicity of the message: that Black people’s lives matter.  However, there is no shortage of fools or pundits willing to twist the message for personal gain.  The worst of these lowlifes seek to perpetuate the systematic oppression of Black people through their willful ignorance or blatant racism.  The #NoKaepernickNoNFL hashtag has suffered the same disparagement as #BlackLivesMatter because they both strike the same nerve, but maybe Colin did it more acutely?  The genius of the defiant is that they are the persistent jab in the face a country that is currently denying that it has a black eye.

Cassius Clay The Houston Post

A young Mohammad Ali was a conscientious objector to participating in the Vietnam War.  Ali was particularly peeved when he was trolled by The Houston Post, who refused to use his chosen name.  [Photo via Broke-Ass Stuart via Imgur.com]

Follow the money.

Football is big business.  Nothing engages the short American attention span more than money, but football might be a close second.  Football is violent and dangerous.  Football players are among the last of the gladiators who are expected to sacrifice their bodies and long-term health willingly for the cause of sport as recently highlighted in a Freakonomics podcast.  The owners of NFL teams are all very white and enjoy a modicum of power that comes from the extreme wealth that it generates.  Football team owners expect obedience because the power that they wield is great in shaping the American institution that has become the embodiment of the country.  Colin kneeled in defiance of that collective thumbs down, which I am certain that he knew was coming, and the colosseum gasped at his insolence.

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Protesters stand behind the words of Muhammad Ali and against the War in Vietnam.  [Photo courtesy of Amistad Digital Resources, photographer Builder Levy.]

NFL owners must have noticed that his action ultimately detracted from their bottom line and branding because they collectively turned down his services but unwittingly elevated Kaepernick’s message in the process.  Racism devoid of power is just flimsy bigotry, but the overzealous defense against the questioning of the very foundations of America by the NFL shows that all of this is tragically deeper than football.  Kaepernick protesting was not just an act.  Others realizing what was at stake put their celebrity in the most lucrative sport on the line when they joined in, breaking the silence necessary to make America move on.  If there is one thing that history has shown us, it is that institutional racism and systematic oppression fear the Black Messiah and all iterations of such.  To sacrifice a multimillion dollar career and to use what he already earned to promote Black causes makes Colin Kaepernick nothing short of a hero.

The nature of the demonstration, itself a model on American civil disobedience, calls out dissenters as hypocrites and racists.

Take What The Defense Gives You

These ideas of silence, distraction, and moving on are also not new, and they deserve to be put into some sort of historical context to see exactly what we are moving on from.  (Candace Cui for Broke-ass Stuart)  The United States of America wants you to move on from the unarmed Black deaths at the hands of policemen even before the vacant convictions for those deaths makes the news.  The good old USA also wants Black people to move on from unequal incarceration rates, Jim Crow, and slavery.  Football is just the latest interruption designed to take Americans away from all that darned thinking that can lead to changing racist policies.  (Don’t even mention reparations.)  But Colin Kaepernick made it that much more difficult to turn the channel on the issues of policing, justice, and race that have always plagued America.

Cui bono is a Latin phrase that is translated “for whose benefit?”  What should be obvious to everyone right now is that refusing to even acknowledge the value of Black life can only serve the oppressor.  The oppressor’s narrative dismisses the struggles of the oppressed.  America was singularly enriched through the infliction of suffering on others so it comes as no surprise that her sporting spectacles often reflect the ills racism.  The National Football League, as an organization, has been a direct beneficiary of an alliance with the United States Department of Defense after it was reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that sporting teams were paid to put on patriotic displays in a $53 million-dollar advertising campaign from 2012-2015.

The NFL is silently complicit, at best, in the proverbial fuck game to take as much as you can for as long as you can.  Each individual NFL team owner weighed in on the decision by not offering Colin Kaepernick a chance to prove himself worthy in a training camp this past summer.  Blackballing specific participants has happened before in other sports too, but few have the atrocious record of the National Football League.  The New York Times even pointed out that the Washington Redskins –the very name of the team is a racial slur, was the last NFL team to integrate Black players on September 30, 1962.  The NFL had difficulty with modern ideas like Blacks playing the central position of quarterback, or Blacks leading teams as the head coach, also.

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The greatest athletes of their time rallied support around Muhammad Ali at a special conference in Cleveland, Ohio in June of 1967. [Photo courtesy of Cleveland.com]

Baseball might be America’s favorite pastime but Cuba and Jason Turner have shown us that Baseball diplomacy is an untimed exercise.  Football is the most popular sport in America today and generates more money per game at very predictable intervals.  Modern professional football culminates in the Super Bowl: the greatest solitary sports media event that the world has ever seen.  Football is really good at capitalism.  The nature of the game lends itself towards consumption with high ticket prices and expensive tailgating rituals.  Furthermore, football does more to explain the type of diplomatic measures that the United States is willing to export today because the violence of the sport needs to achieve the desired effect within a specific allotment of time.

The concentrated emotion of football serves the reticent patriarchy along with those few great white fathers that gave us this grand game to enjoy.  Drinking and fighting are direct appeals to the modern-day Minute Men that make up the male dominated warrior class in the United States.  Just as pub jingles and songs made up the bulk of the call to arms for the revolution in 1776, football is an effective tool for making sure revolution doesn’t happen again.  Propaganda can work in more than one direction and it is hard to imagine that the systematic oppression that employs football to serve a racist agenda didn’t take a direct hit with Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner before games.

They Can’t Stop The Run

#NoKaepernickNoNFL diverts viewers from the diversion.  This shifting of the attention eats into the space of the unique partnership that the NFL has exploited by maintaining the status quo.  With week one of the NFL season in the books, it is apparent that ratings are down and ticket sales have suffered even if you don’t believe BET or Sports Illustrated, respectively.  (See below, at the bottom of the article, via Twitter.)  Colin Kaepernick jerseys are highly sought-after memorabilia and the world has taken notice even though American football hasn’t spread around the globe with the tenacity of baseball or made the popularity gains of basketball.  The silent, national anthem protest occupies the moral high ground now, and the NFL appears visibly shook along with the heart and soul of the United States.

Either you believe that having the right to protest something is what it means to be an American in the first place or you are inviting an alternative.  The dissonance over the Francis Scott Key’s refrains doesn’t last long.  Kneeling during the national anthem has even trickled down to high school football in some instances, but the focus of the gripe should remain squarely in the National Football League where it rightfully belongs.  America will produce more conscientious Patriots and college football players are still proud of their schools.  But now more Americans are experiencing the frustration of the dysfunction than ever before -and the surfacing of football radicals says that the feeling will continue to permeate our popular entertainment and leisure.

The National Football League is the classic case of the squeaky wheel needing oil if the predominantly Black players ever saw one, but now Black celebrity fans are chiming in.

Silence on the matter indicates a tacit agreement with white supremacy and Manhood has moved from physical tests to cerebral pursuits, self-control, and determination.  If American football is described in the terms of a triumph of wills then nothing embodies that more than steady and methodical plodding of a good running game.  While the pace of viral murder videos of unarmed Black civilians in the streets has seemed to slow*, the Black Lives Matter movement got new legs when a qualified NFL starter was kept from plying his trade in the 2017 season.  Excluded in the very prime of his career, Colin Kaepernick showed what could happen to you if you dare to fight against racist institutions.

There are a lot of ways to take a life.  Kaepernick relinquished much of what he dedicated his life to when his NFL dreams were dashed.  An untold amount of work goes into crafting an NFL career as bright as his was, and yet it would all be taken away in the hopes that folks would just move on.  We, the people who are not afraid to bend our knees with Colin Kaepernick, cannot just simply move on.  We are all affected by it and to just shut the fuck up and take it is not really an option that we are willing to explore when it comes to racial injustice, anymore.  Colin Kaepernick deserves our solidarity for finally creating new, positive, and inspiring imagery that captures the spirit worthy of Black lives.

As long as NFL owners want to collectively pretend that Colin Kaepernick’s services could not be utilized, we should also pretend that the NFL is representing one rotten root in America’s racist foundation and boycott.  The message that would be sent is also simple: There is no escaping this growing problem, but we can all face it.  Joining the strike against the National Football League ensures immortality on the right side of history and The Chronicles of Six won’t cover professional football in 2017, anyway.  So let’s see if we can’t get Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling statue enshrined in Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The Iron Curtain

The question was posed, what is the manly football man to do in the face of deprivation for the sport that he has been conditioned to love?  The answer for The Chronicles of Six has been the ESPN Player and to watch all of the NCAA games, as well as a subscription to DeMatha Stags Television on the NFHS Network.  Everybody is different.  Don’t be ashamed if you lack the discipline to glance over the game as you flip past channels but try not to tweet scores or promote a racist product.  Grown folks are putting in work.  We are Giants of men, and we can learn to subdue our passions and improve our lots in life.

You just need to develop a steely resolve for these issues.  If that doesn’t work, try putting more spices on your food and reading all of the articles about Colin Kaepernick from The Undefeated that are in the first link.

*It would be very interesting to look at the numbers of unarmed Black people killed by police before and after Colin Kaepernick began his not-so-subtle dissent in our next piece. 

[Featured image from Getty Images via The New York Post, Navy admiral’s Pearl Harbor speech trolls Colin Kaepernick]

DeMatha Orders Donuts Again

September 9, 2017

 

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Donuts, DeMatha style.

 

DeMatha football logged their second victory of the season in shutout fashion against Franklin on September 8, 2017.  We are getting closer to the start of the WCAC season but the DeMatha defense is showing that their sights are set on the playoffs.  There is no doubt that DeMatha would love to win a fifth WCAC championship in a row in 2017.  Everybody also knows the tried and true sports maxim, defense wins championships.  What you might not know is that big wins used to be celebrated on this blog with serious eye candy, but then one of the writers got married.  Ahem.  Everything changes but isn’t it nice to return to a good tradition every once in a while?  If you close your eyes -or look in the archives, you can almost picture it.

The sunsets in September at DM home games are awesome.

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

Thanks to Chris McManes and the Hyattsville Life & Times we get to visualize the tradition of DeMatha football celebrating victories in which the other team doesn’t score with sugary breakfast treats, instead.  (Yeah, we know that it might not be as good, but it is the best that we can do for right now.)  And from the recent, slightly more svelt, looks of the football coaches from Elijah Brooks to Deno Campbell you would imagine that only the Stags players feast on donuts.  (Just run with it.)  In any case, they all deserve another round after the performance against Franklin.   DeMatha amassed 36 points and gave up absolutely nothing.  If the Stags continue to play like this they are impossible to beat, no matter what you believe.

You see in football, you have to score in order to win.

Check out the game recap from Twitter below.

DeMatha moves to 2-1 on the season and will take on McDonogh at home on Friday, September 15 to continue their home stretch.  On deck, we will also have the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference 2017 Football Preview.  As always on The Chronicles of Six, we are going to keep it digital for you.  Some traditions never die.

We’re going to keep you posted.

DeMatha Bounces Back Against Avalon

September 2, 2017

DeMatha football returned to their winning ways against the Avalon Black Knights on Friday, September 1.  The Stags managed 28 points in the first half and coasted to a shutout victory after suffering a defeat in their opening game.

The new streak had to be started by junior, backup quarterback Eric Najarian because Tyler Lenhart was sick all week.  DeMatha flexed their depth and dominance in the state of Maryland by managing the football game against a solid Avalon team who was befuddled from the start.  Najarian mixed in quick slashing routes and running back Myles Miree darted for a first quarter score that kept the DeMatha Stags ahead of the Black Knights.

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The DeMatha defense took care of everything else.  Despite several penalties, the Stags never lost their composure and held on to preserve their first scoreless game since October 21, 2016.  Avalon struggled to move the ball mainly because they lost the battle up front, and the DeMatha defensive line bullied the Black Knights into multiple third-and-impossibly-long situations.  It isn’t that much of the stretch to believe that the entire defensive unit had something to prove after relinquishing 35 points on ESPN last week, but they bounced back nonetheless and proved their point.

Defensive ends Austin Fontaine and John Morgan were the usual culprits in a hard pursuit of the Avalon quarterback that prevented rhythmic drop-back passing needed to connect the deep ball.  The Avalon running game didn’t fare much better opting to move away from the strength of the DeMatha defensive line with sweeps to the outside.  Neither strategy worked for Avalon and the DeMatha linebackers and secondary were also creating problems of their own.  DeMarcco Hellams came up with huge tackles chasing down running backs from the weak side safety position.  Dominic Logan-Nealy took advantage of Avalon special teams woes and nabbed an interception.

The Avalon punter wasn’t able to recover much field position and the Black Knights often went for it on fourth down no matter the distance.  This, more than any other aspect of the game, spelled the end for a team that was already facing the tall order of beating the Stags after a rare defeat.  A productive running game behind a powerful offensive line is the reason why DeMatha football head coach Elijah Brooks was 58-12 before last night’s contest.  DeMatha was able to integrate the reserve units after Najarian threw for a score to tight end Anthony Toro to make the score 21-0 with under three minutes to go in the first half.  DeMatha added another score on the ground just before the break and would then grind Avalon down through the sheer time of possession.

New running backs were able to get some work done for the Stags and eventually DeMatha would put freshman quarterback Trace Campbell under center.  Safety Nick Cross and linebacker Alec Solano put the finishing touches on the game in the second half and seemed to be everywhere.  Avalon threatened to score twice in the fourth quarter with separate trips to the red zone but the DeMatha team defense was having none of it.  Nick Cross broke up a good share of long passing plays and Alec Solano had a forced fumble and recovery to end a Black Knight drive.

The Stags will continue their six game home stand against Franklin High School of Reirstertown, Maryland next week.   You can check out the next five home games on the DMStagsTV network and watch DeMatha football live streams and replays there.

DeMatha Stags Basketball 2016-2017 Team Preview

December 10, 2016

The DeMatha Stags are looking like they are in fine shape for the 2016-2017 basketball season.  They were ranked #12 in the USA Today expert poll before they even played their first game on December 6 against Cardozo.  The win against the Clerks was a home opener blowout that showed the new talent that is on the horizon for the all-boys Catholic school in Maryland.

Darren Harvey is unquestionably the leader of this team.  Affectionately known as DJ, Harvey is headed to Notre Dame next year which has drawn comparisons to DeMatha great Adrian Dantley.  The two have similar styles, although Dantley put up more impressive numbers during his four years as a starter on the varsity.  If DJ Harvey can hover around 20 points per game this DeMatha team will find it easier to navigate a challenging schedule.  Seniors Josh Carlton and Ryan Allen are poised to provide stability at the center and point guard positions, respectively, and the emphasis on team basketball is obvious in their chemistry.

The trio must share the responsibility for putting up the points in order to remain competitive.  A stingy defense that relies on production from everybody is the foundation that DeMatha basketball has built upon successfully in the past.  You can follow most of the home games for the Stags on DMStagsTV (sign-up required) but also look for them on regular television.

 

Cardozo was the first to find out that DeMatha is a squad oriented for play inside the paint that is also long and deep in the front court.  Josh Carlton is going to have help at the center position during his first year as a starter because the Stags added Freshman Hunter Dickinson and Sophomore Jordan Wilmore.  The Cardozo Clerks found it difficult to score around the rim and only managed a measly six points in the second and third quarters on their way to 95 – 29 loss.  (Watch the full game in the DMStagsTV link above.) The stifling defense paved the way for other underclassmen like Sophomore Justin Moore to shine and the entire healthy roster got playing time in the game.

Head Coach Mike Jones is still on his quest to bring DeMatha their fortieth league title but he still recognizes that he has the balance to compete with anyone in the country.  With scheduled games against Joseph Wheeler (GA), Roselle Catholic (NJ), Bishop Gorman (NV), Greenforest (GA), and The Patrick School (NJ) the Stags’ ambitions are also focused on national achievement.  Alumni and fans would probably expect nothing less but there is something more to this team than meets the eye.  There is a tremendous upside to this basketball team because youth will inevitably be served with a 16-man roster almost evenly split between upperclassmen and underclassmen.

For the first time, in what seems like a long time, DeMatha basketball opponents aren’t focused on the current projected number one draft pick Markelle Fultz.  This team has a tremendous potential to grow together and the reshuffling of roles has created new opportunities for lesser known players.  Senior John McRae and Junior Devin Richmond are two such players that show some of the depth that DeMatha has amassed by maintaining a successful program at every level.  While the supernatural scoring ability of a star player will certainly be missed, there are others that are prepared to contribute.

DeMatha still has players on the junior varsity that would start on varsity at schools with less talent.  Eleanor Roosevelt high school fell to the Stags on December 8 to give DeMatha (2-0) their second win of the basketball season.  (Highlights from that win are from Capitol Hoops below.)  Even in a more evenly matched game DeMatha players that are invested in heeding the genius of Coach Jones just seem to fare better. [Bonus: watch Victor Oladipo double-pump smash on Dwight Howard courtesy of my new friend, Ximo Pierto.]  The best coach in the league country is known for getting the best out of his players as well as helping them reach their full potential.

Student-athletes that paid their dues will have the chance to earn their rewards with the Stags this year.  Senior guard Jhabari Humbert is looking for chance to end his DeMatha career on a high note and he may just get his wish.  The USA Today computer rankings have the Stags at #9 in the country and a national title isn’t unreasonable if the team goals that were set at the start of the season are met.  Juniors Justin Gielen and Xavier Mabry are both juniors fighting for respect by winning their first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title.

DeMatha hasn’t won the championship in six years but the future looks bright for the Stags.  Sophomores Jamel Melvin, Bobby Carson and Carsten Kolgenik are expected to develop well this season.  Mark Fidelis and Paul Smith will also see time over the next few months of what is sure to be a season packed with action.  Coach Jones might have taken a cue from the nationally ranked football team this year and built a formidable team.  The DeMatha Stags basketball team will be tested early in the National Hoops Festival later today (December 10) as they open their national schedule at home with other elite Nike teams.

[Featured image from Associated Press / Gregory Payan]