Posts Tagged ‘Good Counsel’

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.

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.

The Attitude Adjustment: DeMatha 87 Good Counsel 51

January 7, 2012

Do you need an attitude adjustment?” –my momma, usually before slapping someone, usually 6-8 year-old me, in the face

Listen if you need a real, in depth, account of what happened when Good Counsel played DeMatha in basketball at Kathy & Morgan Wootten Gymnasium then I suggest that you check out the Prince George’s County Gazette because I’m fit’na ride out.

The contest portion of the game ended with the conclusion of the first quarter. The Falcons basketball team was playing with a whole lot of attitude and swagger and managed to stay with the Stags step for step for the first 7 minutes and thirty-six seconds into the game. Good Counsel used outside shots to claim a 15-14 point lead and Head Coach Mike Jones called a time out.

During the very next BeeJay Anya Creates Problemspossession the Stags held the ball for the final shot and swung the ball to a  perimeter player for a three-pointer with little time left. Good Counsel was not able to get a shot off before the clock ran out of the allotted 8 minutes ending the quarter along with any hopes that they were going to win this contest. Down 17-15 to start the second quarter, the Falcons wouldn’t score again until DeMatha had 31.

DeMatha needed a game in which they could empty the bench and so they got their opportunity on Thursday night by outscoring Good Counsel roughly 2:1.  It is easy to say that it was the press that did Good Counsel in, but I don’t think that it addresses the real situation in this case. DeMatha’s basketball team is really good this year even without a press. BeeJay Draws CrowdIt remains to be seen whether or not they will go down as one of the best teams of all time, but they haven’t shown the same signs of vulnerability that they displayed last year.

One difference is in the change of attitude from slightly timid to contained aggression. The starting center for the majority of last year, Mikael Hopkins, had a preference for shooting outside and using his 6’ 8” height in that regard. BeeJay Anya chooses to employ that same strategy only as a last resort and the result is that we’ve seen more two-handed dunks and less feathery touches. Jerami Grant also gets much more consideration in the offense now, and that makes opponents pick their poison.

Today Mikael Hopkins is playing in a nearby program that suits his game, and Georgetown University is a better team as a result of him being on it. One would think that DeMatha would be worse off with him gone, but I am happy to report that so far it has been mutually beneficial for everyone. Mikael Hopkins at Georgetown (Mikael, ever the proud DeMatha graduate, even stopped by the Good Counsel game to see his old teammates play.)  I might have to change my tune if DeMatha basketball can’t improve on their triple crown performance last year –but I think I’ll take my chances.

I know that it is tough to balance the WCAC regular season and a national schedule, but that is the only area in which DeMatha basketball can demonstrate progress from last year. Later on, in a few hours the Stags will play one of the best teams from Philadelphia in the Cancer Research Classic that is sure to be a great test of their development.

DeMatha is currently ranked #5 in the country.  Go Stags!