Posts Tagged ‘Football’

DeMatha Hall of Fame: 2017 Edition

November 2, 2017

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

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

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

From Andre Jones Twitter.

Duane and Mike in 1991

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saint Johns Beat DeMatha In Football

October 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cervus elaphus in the city

Stags are in unfamiliar territory.

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

 

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

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

[Featured Image: City of Ashton website]

 

Alexis Savage: Special Ginger Edition

October 12, 2017

There is something about this day that makes it deserving of special editions, and Alexis Savage is certainly exemplary of superlatives. We really just couldn’t help ourselves and we had to post a few photos of this beautiful, redhead, ginger lady because it is Friday the 13th.  We aren’t ashamed to say that we are completely infatuated with this Irish model, Alexis Savage. Gosh, she’s perfection. She is also from Dublin, Ireland which isn’t far from St. James Gate.

The American framer Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that beer is proof that God love’s us but his direct quote was really about wine.  Anyway, Guinness has been around since 1759 so there is a good chance that Franklin (1706-1790) had direct knowledge of such things.  Non sequitur or not, we love Alexis Savage.  Teen Vogue knew what was up when they included her in their gallery for curly hair.  Take some time to appreciate the best.

Alexis Savage is the best model.

Did you know that the Guinness Storehouse is only a fifteen minute drive from the agency that Alexis Savage belongs to?  We hope our use of Google Maps isn’t creepy here.

Alexis Savage can put you in a happy place, and we could really use that right now.  The United States of America seems to be running a little short of fantastic statesmen, and half the world is on the brink of nuclear destruction.  Seriously, we refuse to even link to that bullshit now because we don’t want the devil to steal our joy.  When we discovered that Alexis Savage existed we knew that we had to return to our roots to spread the love.

We are doing everything that we can here to promote the media that the world needs to see.  Sure we are all over the place, but consider us a showcase of digital media that gets off the beaten path. Today is a very auspicious occasion at The Chronicles of Six.  Heightening our expectations for the day the greatest rap group of all time, the Wu Tang Clan, collectively launched studio release number 45.  The 9 member super group are the first of their kind but we will get back to the mathematics in a few.

While the Wu Tang Clan album The Saga Continues plays in the background we are reminded that our job is also to inspire you to look forward.  Even when there is no cause for optimism, we push the reset button for as long as it takes.  However we aren’t going to erase anything in our archives because how else could you gauge our progress?  We are committed bloggers here even if that means descending into debauchery and exposing our shortcomings. Seriously, check our disclaimer because nothing under our domain can be taken seriously.

Alexis Savage can do modeling in her sleep.

Alexis Savage can be found on the Fraser Models & Actors webpage and you should hire her.

Sure you might glean a few facts here and there, but the first chance that we get we are posting pictures of beautiful women.  The first obvious fact in this piece that you should already understand is that everybody needs to hire Alexis Savage.  You should put Alexis Savage in your advertising campaigns, on the cover of your magazine, and in your movie casts.  Put Alexis Savage on television.  Fuck it, give her a special or something.

Why must it be a secret?  We might not be safe for work because we are Alexis Savage and Wu Tang Clan fans.  We are still going to keep it fresh, nerdy, and digital.  We are right back where we started from, as far as the blog is concerned and we appreciate the folks that have pledged allegiance to this growing community.  It is astonishing to think that people come in so many different shapes and sizes and we are all still 99.9% alike. Genetically, the difference between any two people on the planet is miniscule compared to other species.

Alexis Savage is sitting on steps by Nicole Pagan.

“Don’t worry little brother, there are more.”  Alexis Savage by Nicole Pagan on Behance should get you through the Fall.

God is good.  Nature is awesome, right? The Wu Tang album is tight.  Also the DeMatha Stags play football tonight at the PG Sports & Learning Complex, so you know that I’ll be posting on that.  Things are coming together thanks to The Football Guys shedding light on the ennead and bringing it all the way back into our Wheelhouse.

Try not to overthink all of this.  You don’t have to be genius at math to know why it was important for us to keep rambling on and on to justify using all of these photos of Alexis Savage.  The math on the number nine has brought us the understanding that we can move forward through our digital roots.  Or to be precise, any natural number is multiplied by 9, and the digits of the answer are repeatedly added until it is just one digit, the sum will also be nine.  Peep how nine-lettered Alex Razor must be a model genius because he had an amazing video of Alexis Savage on his YouTube channel.

We are sitting pretty at 44,444 unique viewers here on The Chronicles of Six.  In our numerology, five-fours has an added significance to us and this is all cause to celebrate.  5/4 is also a fun time signature to play in music, but in this instance we believe it means a continuation.  Nines are upside down sixes.

[Featured Photo: Instagram/@lovecloudalexis]

The Ole Kick In The Nuts 2017

October 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 WCAC Football Preview: SNAFU

October 5, 2017

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

wcac_logo_600_res_

The toughest conference in America.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protect Caylin Newton At All Costs

September 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Caylin Newton Twitter

Caylin has joy for the game.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DeMatha vs McDonogh: Maryland Sports Access Edition

September 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Maryland State Flag

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

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

 

 

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.