Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

Undefeated DeMatha Stags Football Champions 2016

November 20, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

Pi Day Family Photo in Paris

March 14, 2015

Where do I begin with this lazy Saturday filled with basketball?  I know that the high school kids out there took the SAT this morning but I didn’t think that the brain drain would extend itself to someone so far removed from such mental gymnastics.  Everything is going in circles during this floor routine.  Maryland lost to Michigan in the Big 10 basketball tournament semifinals today.  Nobody can find Vladimir Putin all of a sudden.  Then my ray of hope.  (No, I am not one of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prospective students waiting to hear from their admission committee via the special blast they planned for today.)  I am referring to the picture of my wife and son in front of the Eiffel Tower on a cold and gray afternoon.

Margarita y Samuel

My wife and son hold down the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Pi Day, 2015.

My day was made, and I am truly thankful.  There really isn’t a whole lot to say here other than I hope that all of you out there have the opportunity to travel the world with your family or the people that you love.  I am one of those people that believes that the world is getting smaller.  People are a blessing and a curse when it comes to travel.  As fast as we discover the wonders of this world, people end up destroying or ruining other parts that might be equally wondrous.  Be a good steward in the world, people.  Take care and enjoy your Pi Day.

DeMatha at I-95 Kickoff Classic: Claimbombing Edition

September 4, 2013

“There is no rest for the weary” – Common Idiom

“Claimbombing is when you just keep dropping names in conversations for no reason because you can.” – Maya Brown

If the DeMatha Stags (2-0) want to win a National Championship in High School Football then they can’t be worried about the mental lapses that fell under the scrutiny of a national ESPN audience last Monday.  DeMatha is travelling to New Jersey to take on the Green Knights of Saint Joseph Regional in Montvale (0-0).  The Green Knights opted to make the Stags their first opponents of the season in the high profile, annual Interstate 95 Kickoff Classic which matches teams from New Jersey against those from the DC metropolitan area.

I know Maya Brown, personally.

Claimbombing nomenclature proponent, model, and personal friend, Maya Brown.

This important speculative high school football showcase was conceivably fabricated in order to consolidate the rankings between the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.  (So far it hasn’t worked and DeMatha doesn’t even to benefit from “comparative losses” given their strength of schedule.)  Still only wins matter and none of the teams participating can afford to take games lightly as the outcome of each game will be a deciding factor in the rankings the following year.  In short, if any team from Maryland is going to have a chance at a national title then the easiest route is for all the Maryland teams to win their games against New Jersey competition -or at least most of the games played.  The same is true, vice versa, for the New Jersey schools but DeMatha has clearly benefited from Maryland’s showing last year.

The jury is still out on what, exactly, the Green Knights are holding over there but DeMatha should maintain the focus on building a championship team.  These antlers can’t possibly stay fuzzy for too much longer: the regular season starts in a fortnight.  Classes have only been in session for a full week and I know that there is plenty to distract them from the task at hand right now.  The key to a DeMatha victory is to improve upon overall team performance from prior weeks and to capitalize on real game experience.  There are going to have to be a lot less turnovers and much better play execution in order for the Stags to accomplish that.

The main rub on the Green Knights is that they aren’t going to have any points of comparison to build on from 2013.

On to more claimbombing.

I would love to see that redheaded kid from Long Island throw for three hundred yards in a semi-homecoming but there is an easier victory to be had if DeMatha sticks with the run.   The Stags’ offense is in the hands of QB #16 John Lovett and his ability to deliver the ball to playmakers like WR #5 Cameron Phillips and RB #28 Taiwon Deal.  (I also love the check down plays to FB #32 Jaire George.)  DeMatha has an outstanding defensive unit and I’m guessing that this is a game in which CB #3 Jamal Robinson, DE #9 Deonte Holden, and super sophomore DE #34 Shane Simmons will all truly emerge as outstanding talents.

The entire team seemed to breathe a sigh a relief when RB #1 Mark Allen was able to run for his first carry since tearing his ACL last year because he is just one more play maker with something to prove in 2013.  I’m also expecting LB #33 Ju’Whuan Bentley to pick up where he left off by instilling fear in opposing teams.   The entire DeMatha Stag Offensive Line needs to continue to do what they do (which is mainly block and weigh 300 lbs eat pancakes), as well.

So far, I don’t think that we have seen the true identity of this 2013 DeMatha Stag Football Team.   Strength, speed, power, size, and finesse are all words that can be used to describe the team right now but will they also be great?  DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys has certainly had great teams and each of them had a signature.  Make sure you pay attention to all the signs.

I believe the game is being broadcast on the internet somewhere, so you will have to check Twitter for coverage…