Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

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!

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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.

african-american-athletes-at-news-conference-af400c2cb31b07a9

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 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.

red-stag-3-1024x683

 

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 Loses To Bishop Gorman In Las Vegas 35 – 23

August 26, 2017

DeMatha football suffered the first loss of the season at the hands of the defending national champion Bishop Gorman Gaels in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday.  DeMatha Catholic High School running back MarShawn Llloyd is out for the season after breaking his arm in two places in the first half of play.  The Stags were unable to rally around their injured star when he landed awkwardly after fighting to extend a busted play, and they would eventually fall 35 – 23.  The home team’s victory was in doubt for most of the game and DeMatha still managed to look good under the bright lights of a prime time ESPN broadcast.  MarShawn Lloyd notched the score up to 10 – 0 when he confounded Gorman’s defense for a 30 yard touchdown run in the first quarter of play.

Emblematic of DeMatha toughness, Lloyd not only gave an interview after the game, he didn’t even take an injury time out on the field after his gruesome tumble and instead hustled off the gridiron under his own power.  Inside DeMatha Football caught up with MarShawn and the entire DeMatha Family wishes him a successful surgery and rapid recovery.

cervus_elaphus_luc_viatour_6

The DeMatha Stags (0-1) head into the Fall after the loss to Bishop Gorman (1-0) in Las Vegas, Nevada in a nationally televised high school football opener.

The DeMatha Stags continued the fight until late in the fourth quarter but ultimately came up short in a rare match-up between two heavyweight programs.  As far as football games go, this one lived up to the hype and it was exciting from start to finish.  DeMatha never appeared to be completely over-matched in the contest and they played a very technically sound game.  Instead, it was big, timely plays that inflicted all of the damage on the Stags and penalties weren’t much of a factor.  UCLA recruit and emerging Gaels superstar quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson provided many of the highlights.  The Gaels’ quarterback accounted for all five Gorman touchdowns and threw for over 280 yards in his offensive onslaught.

If you are looking for my hot takes on the game  you can find them at the hashtag (#DMvsBG) that I created here on Twitter.  There will be more analysis in the forthcoming 2017 WCAC Football Preview, but the DeMatha Stags football team made their alumni and fans very proud in their nationally televised opener.  The overall competitiveness of the program is well beyond the comfort zone of most high schools and the elite experiences should pay off in the near future.  Certainly one loss against a top echelon foe can be put into proper perspective when there is a long season of football to be played?  You should expect DeMatha football to learn from this game and apply it towards the future because that is what faith-filled gentlemen and scholars do.

[Title photo Open Source/ Wikipedia Commons, Luc Viatour]

2017 DeMatha Football Preview

August 22, 2017

The Big Kickoff: Almost Underway

Varsity football team pic:

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

The four time, reigning Washington Catholic Athletic Conference football champions begin the “strive for five” in one of the hardest ways possible.  The DeMatha Stags will travel to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas and look to improve on a 2016 team that many consider to be the best in school history.  Most teams riding a 17 game win streak dating back to October 16, 2015 would ease in to season knowing that they already have to play in the toughest conference in the United States.  DeMatha football finished #4 in the USA after their undefeated season in 2016 and Head Coach Elijah Brooks is bringing the faith-filled gentlemen and scholars across the country to Sin City.  The Stags have a ton of varsity experience and are looking to continue their ascent in national prominence by toppling other leaders.

DeMatha Stags are currently ranked #6 in the USA Today 2017 national high school football preseason poll.  Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman is also coming off an undefeated season and they are ranked #4 in the same poll, after finishing #1 in the country last year and earning a National Championship.  This game is going to be deep.  The stage is set for an epic battle and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN this Friday, August 25.  This will be the first meeting between these two football teams but the schools have faced each other in basketball twice, splitting the series.  Neither school is a stranger to the spotlight and they have both had multiple sports from their programs featured on national cable networks.  Both programs are the embodiment of what it means to compete at the most elite level of high school sports in the United States.

The Varsity Experience

In order to consider opening the season on the road against a team that finished number one in the United States you would need the confidence that comes with experience.  Coach Brooks was recently tapped to be a coach on the 18U USA National Football team and he is going to be sure that his DeMatha Stags are up to the task.  Brooks deserves this high honor and recognition for righting the ship after WCAC foe Good Counsel dominated for a spell.  This year he is bringing back plenty of players on both sides of the ball that also know what it takes to win.

2017 Team Captains.jpg

 

#1 Judson Tallandier, #14 Tyler Lenhart, Coach Brooks, #10 Anthony Toro, and #79 Austin Fontaine.

 

Team captains LB/TE Anthony Toro, DT Austin Fontaine, CB Judson Tallandier and QB Tyler Lenhart are seasoned veterans ready to embark on their senior campaigns.  Right up front we once again have a disruptive defensive lineman in Austin Fontaine who is committed to the University of Maryland and ranked #148 on the ESPN Top 300 football recruit rankings.  Not too far behind on the gridiron you will find Anthony Toro, who will wear the prestigious #10 in honor of SEAL LT Brendan Looney for the third year in a row.  Toro is known as a linebacker with a nose for the ball, his clutch hands as a tight end, and for being an outstanding student athlete with an 1140 on the SAT.

Corner back Judson Tallandier II is ready to climb the rigging in the secondary and undoubtedly make plays as his #1, and early commitment to the University of Pittsburgh suggests.  Judson was already a shutdown corner but with the addition of DeMatha and NFL alumnus Josh Wilson as a secondary coach expectations are higher than the tallest mast. Quarterback Tyler Lenhart will take over the helm and look to add to his DeMatha win total while racking up big yardage and scholarship offers.  Ty earned his stripes with only just one win as a starter playing behind the best quarterback DeMatha has ever seen, Beau “Mr. Perfect” English, who is now plying his trade at the Air Force Academy.  According to The Washington Post the quarterback recruit has a gun for an arm and is considering Harvard among the his top scholarship offers. Their crew will eagerly look to them as examples when charting such a difficult course, but they are all worth their salt.

Offensive Swagger

DeMarcco Hellams is the type of wide receiver/ corner back / athlete that has already made a big splash.  DeMarcco is also on the ESPN Top 300 football recruit ranking, in at #50 for the class of 2019.  Senior wide receiver Dominic Lyles made the WCAC All Conference Team last year and he will be a big target for Tyler Lenhart this season.  Dominic Lyles is also uncommitted but holds five scholarship offers, including Bucknell University.  Offensive guard Evan Gregory is likely to be a big part of the offensive line having any football success.  Evan is yet another University of Maryland commit that can pass protect and run block with the best of them and will anchor the entire unit.  And speaking of the run, DeMatha is going to feature talented running backs that have become representative of the brand.

Elk

Cervus elaphus ready to climb.

Myles Miree and MarShawn Lloyd are both returning for their junior and sophomore years, respectively.  These young men can tote the football and dazzle you with moves and/or pound you with toughness.  Myles and MarShawn have made names for themselves by making big plays as underclassmen  and together with senior Detrick Washington they comprise a formidable backfield.  (USA Today and Maryland Sports Access, respectively.)  Jermaine Johnson, Jr and Dominic Logan-Nealy are two class of 2019 wide receivers who are going to try to add to all that offensive swagger.

Senior tight end John Morgan is headed to the University of Pittsburgh along with co-captain Judson Tallandier II, and he also joins him on the defensive side of the ball at LB/DE.  Michael Holt, Jr. will also play both ways and hold the line in his senior season and he already has an offer from West Virginia Wesleyan.  Right now all of the other members of the new chain gang aren’t in focus, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t shine.

Not Top Secret: Defensive Intelligence

Year after year, the DeMatha football program has depended on Defensive Coordinator

Elk

Cervus elaphus on his way.

Deno Campbell to make other teams have nightmares.  The defensive genius is a yet another alumnus that keeps giving back by delivering effective schemes and developing monsters.  The Washington Post has named two DeMatha players as the Defensive Player of the Year in the last two years: Shane Simmons and Chase Young.  Success like this isn’t an accident and everybody knows that Deno’s boys are going to work hard.  There is no mystery in the madness but you can bet that teams will fear the fury of our storied defense and that they will weather the storms ahead.

Defensive tackle Jalen Brown and LB/DE Anthony Hill, Jr. are two seniors that are ready to rock and roll with their mates.  The DeMatha Stags have generated interest going into their senior year and would like to rack up scholarship offers along the way to a number one ranking.  Cameron Lomax will get to show off his radar at the free safety and strong safety positions.  Nick Cross, who holds offers from Syracuse University and Virginia Tech, is also going to be a solid rover between coverage and run support at safety.  Alec Solano will see a lot of snaps at the linebacker position in what will be his junior season.  Linebacker Kobi Thomas is another senior that is going to be an agent of success for the 2017 DeMatha Stags football team.  Like always, there is plenty of room for players to give us some pleasant surprises this season.

If these young men can play with the assured consistency of their predecessors then it is ‘steady as she goes!’

Special Operators

Naim Muhammad is a senior All-American track star and he is back on the football field this Fall.  In addition to filling in at defensive back, Naim is always a threat on the returns and he holds an offer from the University of New Hampshire.  There were some hiccups kicking the ball last season so let’s hope that DeMatha has it all figured out now.

A special shout out goes to DeMatha football kicking coach, Principal Emeritus John Moylan who is celebrating his 85th birthday today.  Anyway, check out what  Ty Lenhart and Austin Fontaine had to say about the season on CSN Mid-Atlantic yesterday.  The link is in the tweet.

The Schedule Notes

The link to the official schedule can be found right here at the DeMatha website but there are some other notable games after the blockbuster opener.  DeMatha will play Gonzaga in the middle of six game home stand, and after a week off on October 6.  Saint Johns College High School was the runner up in the WCAC and they will be hungry for revenge on Military Road on October 21.  Both conference teams have played DeMatha as tough as anybody in recent years and they have also committed and contributed to the current WCAC football arms race.

The league has been restructured to include a stronger Commissioner and the result is a two-tier system that will be discussed at a later date.  Be sure to follow the action on DM Stags TV, especially during weeks 2 – 9, to check out the games being shown there!

[Featured Image open source from University of California Berkeley, UniProt BLAST]

 

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]

National Focus on WCAC Football in Final Weeks of 2016 Season

October 30, 2016

We are coming up on the football regular season finale in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) but before can we just acknowledge that the DeMatha kids from years’ past are doing alright?  DeMatha football had a bye-week in the last weekend of October but the Stags that won championships over the previous three years were hard at work this Saturday.  Lorenzo Harrison is up to his old tricks now with the University of Maryland and he has played his way into All-Freshman team talk.  Lorenzo has been nothing short of sensational and professional scouts have already taken notice. Fellow Stag turned Terrapin teammate Tino Ellis just started his third game and is impressing in college, as well.  John Lovett is busy setting records at Princeton for scoring touchdowns.  Ju’Whuan Bentley and Mark Allen took a photograph at the Purdue versus Penn State game and contemplated the bond of excellence that ties all of these gentlemen and scholars together.

We could easily go on.  All those guys were extremely good, but none of them were playing for a national title this late in the football season.  As much success as the recent key performers had in DeMatha uniforms and beyond, there is even more excitement surrounding the 2016 squad.   There are new players ready to make a name for themselves and they could do it in rare style.  (There will be more on those athletes in The Chronicles of Six very soon.)  DeMatha football players today have the chance to go undefeated and subsequently launch head coach Elijah Brooks into the pantheon of legendary Stags. Of course, they would also do the same for themselves because the 2016 team is also in the hunt to be the best high school football team in the United States.  Coach Brooks was an outstanding DeMatha football player and he understands the high stakes that his kids are playing for.  The team is sitting at a perfect 9-0 and they are ranked #6 in the USA Today expert poll and #9 according to USA Today computers.

If DeMatha football remains undefeated in 2016 they will go down as one of the best sports teams that the school has ever had.

The groundwork for this kind of campaign is grueling and has taken decades of trying to finally materialize.  DeMatha has been on the cusp of greatness for a while and the evidence has always been on the field.  With a multitude of suddenly famous players as precursors and WCAC football championships from 2013, 2014, and 2015 this year could be considered a continuation of sorts.  The pressure has been slowly mounting for years and thoughts are now drifting towards capping the season in a way that has seldom been done in school history.  An unblemished record could also mean a measure of vindication for the national aspirations of the football program at DeMatha but first they are going to have beat two of the top four teams in the league, twice.

For the first time since coach Brooks took over the program this DeMatha football team is in control of their own national destiny heading into November. First, the 2016 football Stags need to take care of business in the conference to close the regular season and then again in two playoff games.  Good Counsel is a familiar WCAC foe standing in their way and the presumed fourth playoff seed is likely to face the Stags two weeks in a row.  The first meeting this season between the two will be broadcast on ESPN in their finale of the annual high school football showcase of the top teams in the country on November 4.

The Falcons haven’t enjoyed much success against DeMatha in recent years and are playing to retain respect in a league that has seen some changes in the top echelon of competition that they once dominated.  Gonzaga and Saint John’s College have both beaten Good Counsel already and will play their own storied rivalry between themselves on the same weekend to determine the second and third playoff seeds.  Some of the best and most-watched high school football is going to be in the WCAC and eyes have finally shifted from powerhouse states like Texas and Florida to the DC Metropolitan area.

Such a change has been a very long time coming.  None of the WCAC superlatives would have been possible in a league that simply settled for just being mediocre, and the top four teams have all played a significant part.  DeMatha football is poised to stand out from even this elite few but it will take a complete group effort to get the job done.  (The Stags have previously won national titles is wrestling, soccer and basketball.)  DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys is no stranger to the added attention but the 2016 football players could really capitalize on it in a very political sport.  Football rankings that are produced over multiple seasons are almost impossible to climb but we might all be witnessing something special.

Stay tuned because whatever happens next is guaranteed to be newsworthy.

2016-dematha-football

The 2016 DeMatha Football team is attempting to make history in November.

DeMatha Football Dedicated in 2015

September 20, 2015

DeMatha Football is already off to their best start ever in 2015 and we are only four weeks into the season.  The Stags beat two nationally ranked opponents from Florida and a tough LaSalle team from Philadelphia after a bye-week to hang on to their own coveted #4 national ranking.

I’m going to let that sink in.

The DeMatha Stags need a clean sheet in the upcoming WCAC schedule and they are automatically in the national championship discussion but with a little luck they could theoretically be a clear choice, too.  And why not?  I have had the pleasure of seeing all three games because the DeMatha Stags football team hasn’t exactly been shy about their chances. The Stags opened the season on ESPN against power house Miami Central in a dominating performance.  This team has a lot of ability –even by DeMatha standards, and good enough to overcome the long odds for a high school in Hyattsville, Maryland.

#1 Darryl Turner, Jr. DeMatha Catholic HS Class of 2016

DeMatha football players are dedicating the 2015 season to Darryl Turner, Jr. after a season-ending injury.

DeMatha Football Head Coach Elijah Brooks has been building up to this for a while.  There are three All American selections on this year’s team to add to a wealth of experience.  Despite losing #1 Darryl Turner Jr. to a fractured ankle in the opener against Miami Central the Stags are still laden with senior leadership.  Those guys went to the University of Maryland commit’s home after the season-ending injury and have dedicated the season to the student-athlete described as the heart and soul of the 2015 DeMatha football team.

DeMatha has one more guaranteed game on ESPN against Gonzaga but local television might want to pick up the rest of their season if they manage to go undefeated.  I can’t think of another Washington DC area metropolitan school that has ever been in the hunt for a national title in football.  This is history in the making and uncharted territory for the Stags.  I hope that they can pull this off because wouldn’t that be something?

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.

DeMatha Stags Tople Florida Power Godby Cougars 26-9 On ESPN

September 2, 2013
Links to Prince George's Gazette article on the game.

Senior Defensive End #9 Deonte Holden comes up big with a sack.

DeMatha took care of business in the Under Armour Fallen Heroes Classic at College Park, Maryland -effectively holding down home turf against a defending Florida state (5A) championship team.  The Godby Cougars found it extremely difficult to move the ball against a stout DeMatha team defense.  The famous speed of Florida high school football only seemed to burn DeMatha once on a 89 yard kick-off return for a score, but the game was already out of reach.

DeMatha was able to run the football between the tackles on a consistent basis.  Given the Stags’ history they have a 95% chance of winning games in which that scenario plays out.  In the case of the ESPN match up honoring recent alumni killed in action, it was done strictly by committee.  Of course a whole lot of credit has to go to the offensive line, being the collective heavyweight chairmen of the running committee.

DeMatha used size and strength to over power and straight up bully in the trenches and at least three different running backs for DeMatha were able to capitalize with big runs over the course of the shortened game.  DeMatha dominated in time of possession despite turning the ball over multiple times and giving the momentum back to the Godby Cougars at crucial times.  Click the picture above and get more in-depth game coverage from the Prince George’s Gazette.

Brendan Looney DM '00

LT Brendan Looney USN SEAL wore #10 at DeMatha

This DeMatha team is obviously young and inexperienced, but they are also obviously talented at all of the impact positions in football.  There are simply too many Stags to name here in this missive so I won’t single any of them out.  Today’s showing on ESPN was very much a team effort, anyway.  The mistakes that were made revealed that the DeMatha Stags have a lot to work on.

Fumbles and goal line interceptions cost the Stags more than points but luckily the game was never in doubt.   After giving up a field goal early in the first quarter the Stags reeled off twenty points to go into halftime with the lead.  When the DeMatha football team played well, which was most of the time, the Godby Cougars looked over matched.  However when DeMatha didn’t play well the entire team suffered enough to offer glimmers of hope to the weary visiting Florida team.

For DeMatha this game is an important win on the road to perhaps what could be a High School National Championship in Football.  A win over a Florida team by Maryland creates a pairing point in national rankings.  DeMatha travels to NJ next in a bid to consolidate the East Coast football landscape and focus it in on Maryland for the first time in a decade.

All of this is happening before the grueling WCAC season even begins for the Stags.  They haven’t won the title in four years and yet this summer DeMatha had the highest ranked football team in the Washington DC metropolitan area.  The Stags will have to make good on all of this early season promise in order to best the competition in the finest conference in America regardless of what happens in New Jersey.

Stags are getting fat right now on that good summer grass that sweeps over begging to be devoured.  Pretty soon the Stags are going to stop feeding their faces long enough to rub the itching velvet off of their racks.  And I think you know what happens after that…

Bedlam in Hyattsville.

GO Stags!