Posts Tagged ‘WCAC’

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.

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

DeMatha Versus St. John’s College Is Back On In High School Football

October 4, 2016

DeMatha bested St. John’s College 14 – 13 on Friday, September 30 and one thing quickly became clear: The rivalry between DeMatha and St John’s College High School (SJC) is back in full effect on the gridiron.  The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) has several high profile events in football despite imbalances.

(Full Game Highlights from utrhighlightvideos / YouTube)

DeMatha has not lost to SJC in football in almost a quarter of a century and the Cadets haven´t notched a championship in football since 1989.  While the recent football record has been lopsided in the favor of the DeMatha Stags it is now obvious that the Cadets are once again serious about challenging their supremacy.  Their last appearance in the WCAC football championship game in 2013 resulted in a 31 – 10 drubbing at the hands of DeMatha.  The Cadets haven’t been back to the WCAC final game since, but they have recently lured a myriad of skilled athletes with undeniably augmented facilities.

A recent influx of cold hard cash from Under Armour CEO and SJC alumnus, Kevin Plank, has propelled the Cadets into not just WCAC relevance but also national rankings.  The Cadets (4 – 2) came into the DeMatha game ranked in the top 25 in the USA and had previously been ranked as high as number 10 prior to their loss to IMG Academy in Florida.  As sports fans have witnessed at the university level there are often higher expectations and thus more pressure with such generous financial support.  SJC forced an alumnus out as head coach of the football program last year to make room for a renowned outsider in Joe Casamento.  A bevy of top prospect transfers bolstered the Cadets that have continued to make gains but the narrow loss on September 30 against the 3-time defending WCAC champions has created more questions than answers.

The talk around the WCAC is that SJC can’t be satisfied with anything less than total victory but it remains to be seen if all of the changes are going to be enough.  DeMatha is currently ranked number 4 in the USA and the Stags have their eyes set on a national title.  In order to complete that mission the Stags are going to need a little luck with absolutely no losses for the remainder of the year.  DeMatha has been fortunate with a 6 – 0 record but as they might recall from the previous year, a national title in high school football is no easy task.  Surprises can come from unexpected sources however the Cadets are all but assured a second chance at beating DeMatha in WCAC playoffs in a shrinking football league.

There aren’t too many WCAC schools that have had the stomach for this kind of high school football arms race.  Bishop Ireton and Paul VI have long since departed from playing the football schedule but still opted to stay in the WCAC for other sports.  When Bishop O’Connell of Virginia also dropped the sport there were only Maryland and DC schools left to play each other.  Three of the remaining six schools filled the holes in their schedules with national prominence in mind and that suddenly made wins against them hard to come by.  Gonzaga managed the feat last year in league play against the DeMatha Stags in 2015 and effectively ended the strongest national championship bid in recent years by a Washington DC metropolitan area school.

In order to even be considered for a national title the focus has to be maintained because every single game essentially becomes a national title game.  Contests against traditional rivals within the league are often the biggest pitfalls.  Even teams like Bishop McNamara and Archbishop Carroll have their hearts set on upsetting their more famous neighbors to make a name for themselves. There is a lot of good football to look forward to in 2016. SJC versus Gonzaga is one of the oldest rivalries in the history of the sport and DeMatha must play at Good Counsel to finish the WCAC regular season.  Both games will be played during the first weekend in November.

The grueling season will only get harder from there.  The WCAC playoffs and the pollsters are unforgiving in football and we all can’t wait to see how 2016 factors into ending these debates.

(Featured Photo A Stag In The Woods)

Beau English is Mr. Perfect

September 19, 2016
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#17 Beau English was a perfect 15/15 passing and leads the #4 team in the USA.

Beau English is no stranger to the winner’s circle and he has already led DeMatha to the WCAC championship in 2014 and 2015 after taking over as the quarterback for the Stags as a sophomore.  The United States Air Force Academy commit has dazzled fans early in the 2016 season by turning in not just one but two perfect passing performances en route to an unblemished 4-0 start.  This young man has measured up to the highest standards off of the field and on it.

Hot right out of the gate, Beau English has scorched opponents with a variety of passing options that DeMatha isn’t typically known for.  Gun slinging isn’t how most DeMatha football fans identify the program that has relied heavily on the run in the past.  (Even the former DeMatha quaterback with the nickname “gun” was primarily a threat on the ground, see below.)  The idea of running between the tackles isn’t news to any successful program however DeMatha has made it a calling card of sorts even before the days of former head coach Bill McGregor.

 

 

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DeMatha senior Beau English

The current DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks was a student of McGregor and one of his best running backs, but it is apparent that passing talent is in fashion as long as Beau English is on the field.  Beau has the ability to tally up yards even though DeMatha is still stacked at their most dependable position.  The featured running back this year, Anthony McFarland, was lost to a pre-season broken leg but the Stags have hardly missed a beat.  The offense has opened up under the steady stewardship of Beau English and it has resulted in a national championship buzz for DeMatha football.

After toppling Oscar Smith (VA), Avalon (MD), Bishop McDevitt (PA), and now McDonogh (MD), DeMatha football is ranked number 4 in the USA according to most polls.  Once again the eyes in Hyattsville shift to complete a perfect season and stay in the hunt for a national title.  While the entire cast of players and coaches deserves the credit for the success of the DeMatha football team there is no denying that Beau English has done his part so far.  The added dimension of the passing game has done wonders for running backs Khory Spruill and Myles Mireeand the DeMatha defense has been solid as well.

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Beau English is now known as Mr. Perfect and he is headed to the Air Force Academy after 2016.

 

But it is worth mentioning that Beau English is the first to be absolutely perfect in the modern quarterback rating system at DeMatha.  That is really something in my estimation.  This kid deserves this nickname regardless of the outcome of the rest of the season but I hope that you know by now that I’m rooting for him to take it to the fullest extent.  I have been writing about the DeMatha Stags for a very long time and there aren’t that many players that have achieved the level of nickname status from me.  If anyone could stand up to the mounting pressure it would be this guy.

If Beau English can keep the party going with his third consecutive WCAC title in football he will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the best quarterbacks in school history.  A name like “Mr. Perfect” will only draw too much attention to him where he is going and I wouldn’t wish any correlations to any other demerit dodgers on him.  I think of previous nicknames like the one I bestowed on Tommy “gun” Chroniger and I always knew that I could do better.  (Tom Chroniger won three WCAC titles for DeMatha football, but his passing completion percentage left room for improvement.)  Whether or not Beau English is able to accomplish the extraordinary feat of winning DeMatha’s first ever national title in football, he will always be Mr. Perfect to me.

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 25 in 25: DeMatha Catholic (Md.) at No. 6 in preseason football

August 11, 2015

There is a lot of hype in Hyattsville this year and DeMatha is in the hunt for a national title in football. USA Today breaks it down and favors the Stags with a #6 ranking. Peep the schedule and television coverage and you will understand that DeMatha has high expectations for years to come.  Thanks to USA Today it is hard to keep these kinds of secrets.

USA Today High School Sports

USA TODAY High School Sports will reveal the preseason Super 25 football rankings as part of “Super 25 in 25,” with one team revealed each hour beginning Monday at 8 a.m. ET and continuing through Tuesday.

Check out the 25 teams as they are revealed or teams that have already been revealed here.

No. 6: DeMATHA CATHOLIC

Elijah Brooks has led the Stags to back-to-back WCAC titles. (Photo: DeMatha Football) Elijah Brooks has led the Stags to back-to-back WCAC titles. (Photo: DeMatha Football)

Location: Hyattsville, Md.

2014 record: 9-3

Final 2014 Super 25: Unranked

The two-time defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champions have a roster loaded with Division I talent: OL Terrence Davis, an ALL-WCAC player who is 6-5 and 307 and being pursued by half of the ACC and SEC; DE Shane Simmons (68 tackles, 14 sacks), who has committed to Penn State; two four-star Maryland commits in WR Tino Ellis and DB-WR Darryl Turner; and junior RB Anthony McFarland (1,124 yards…

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Ryan’s Top Five Basketball Players in the WCAC going into the 2015-16 season

July 30, 2015

Keep current with the best basketball players in the WCAC heading into next year with exciting video thanks to Ryan McFadden and Inside The Locker Room.

Inside The Locker Room

Even though 2015- 2016 WCAC basketball season is a few months away, it’s never too early to break down my top five players in the conference. The WCAC is filled with talented and Division I caliber players so,  it took me a lot of thinking to decide who made the cut and where should they be placed.  The players on this list is a group of some of the best players in the country. Two players already committed, and the other three are undecided. Schools that are looking at these players are Kentucky, Duke, Maryland, NC State, Arizona, and etc. So without further ado, here is my list of the top five players in the WCAC.

Kelle Photo Courtesy: http://www.scout.com

1. Markelle Fultz, DeMatha

Markelle is continuing to take the nation by storm. He is rank number 21 in the ESPN Top-100.  Fultz is the number one shooting guard in the state…

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Old School Metro Hoops Rematch at Alhambra: DeMatha vs Saint Johns College

March 14, 2015

The DeMatha Stags didn’t win the WCAC Tournament in 2015 but they were able to win their first ever Maryland Private School Basketball Championship.

The team is currently in Cumberland, Maryland participating in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament (#ACIT) that featured three other WCAC schools.  However it is DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys vs Saint Johns College High School of Washington DC in the finals that will be played at approximately 8:30 PM, tonight -on Pi (π) day.

The two teams have met three times earlier this season with the Stags besting the Cadets every time.  SJC won the DC City Title Game over Gonzaga recently, and the Cadets did it again yesterday afternoon when they eliminated the Purple Eagles in the semi-finals of the ACIT.  Mentioning the way that these three teams have all gone after each other in basketball is reminiscent of the old Metro conference and how each school has built upon their historic heyday roots.

We’re talking old school here.  Saint Johns College was once an all boys, military school with a penchant for racking up titles and producing dual-sport All Americans before DeMatha even existed.  While the history of the little gray line may only be pictured in the hallways the future still looks bright for the Cadets junior point guard sensation Anthony Cowan, Jr. as the University of Maryland’s latest recruit.  Saint Johns College has completely reinvented itself with the help of generous alumni and the Cadets are desperate to reclaim their former fame back from DeMatha.

Gonzaga Upsets DeMatha to Win the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championships in 2 Overtimes

February 27, 2015

“He dared the lightning in the lightning’s track,
And answered thunder with his thunder back.”

–  Paul Laurence Dunbar

DeMatha against Gonzaga would never be the rivalry that it is today unless Gonzaga won some games, and last night added another victory for the Purple Eagles.  Gonzaga earned their twentieth win of the season in the most important game, the 2015 WCAC Title,  and in storied fashion required two overtimes to dismantle DeMatha.

The drama could have played out differently for the Stags. DeMatha certainly had their chances to win as they entered the fourth quarter with a ten point lead.  Gonzaga would fight back like they always do and erase the deficit to put the Stags in a pressure situation at the line to win it in the final seconds of regulation.  DeMatha was unable to put the Purple Eagles away and it eventually came back to haunt them when Gonzaga eventually opened up a nine point lead of their own.

Sam Miller destroyed any hopes of a comeback with a tremendous effort hitting three-pointers and getting buckets in the paint late in the game.  Chris Lykes shone brightly for Gonzaga to that point, along with a host of guys that can only be filed under “never-heard-of” until this signature season win.  Gonzaga Head Coach Steve Turner must certainly be proud of his guys for fighting this epic game out until the end.  As a basketball fan, it was something to see.

As a DeMatha alumnus it hurt to watch but honestly the Stags have been sticking it to Gonzaga in the sports that draw a crowd as of late and the Purple Eagles sparked at just the right time.  DeMatha Head Coach Mike Jones is probably scratching his head on this one, and the Stags are going to have to find another way to punctuate this season.  I’m not exactly sure what the post-season plans are other than the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament but the Stags should have revenge on their minds for all of the schools that stole the thunder from their otherwise outstanding season.

Watch the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship Live for Free on the Internet Tonight!

February 26, 2015
Markelle Fultz at the line in the Hoop Hall Classic.

Regardless of the POY award he already received Markelle Fultz knows that the most important shots are ahead of him.

Unless you have been living under a rock, or in Andalusia, you probably already knew that DeMatha will take on Gonzaga this evening (2/26) in the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship.  Coverage begins streaming live with the girls game at 6PM eastern standard time (EST) with the boys to follow at 8PM, courtesy of DMVSTREAM.  (See below.)  Here is exactly what you need to know in a speedy bullet format:

  • Don’t be late because the live stream is free, but downloads and videos after-the-fact will cost you.
  • This is the third match-up of DeMatha versus Gonzaga this year with DeMatha winning the first two contests during the regular season.
  • DeMatha and Gonzaga also played twice last year with the Stags winning both of those contests as well.
  • Gonzaga has three First Team All WCAC selections: Bryant Crawford, Chris Lykes, and Sam Miller.
  • DeMatha has two players named to the First Team All WCAC with Darren Harvey and the 2015 Player of the Year, Markelle Fultz.
  • Throw the records out of the window because this game is guaranteed to be a dogfight with players from both squads doing their all to win a championship.

DeMatha Junior Markelle Fultz is the 2015 WCAC Player of the Year

February 25, 2015
Photo care of Hoops Hall

Markelle Fultz is the 2015 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Throw all the stats out of the window.  Points per game don’t really mean that much at DeMatha to begin with but Markelle Fultz has already chipped in with all of the intangibles to take his game to the next level.  Whether it is making the extra pass, hitting the clutch free-throws, or getting the timely steal the junior guard with only thirty games under his belt has served notice that he has all of the tools necessary to compete in college.

This kid works extremely hard as evidenced by the fact that around this time last year he was ending his sophomore season on the junior varsity and today he holds the prestigious WCAC‘s highest individual basketball accolade.  After posterizing an Eleanor Roosevelt player in what has been the best highlight of the season, so far, he suddenly leaped up every college scout’s recruiting board.  Markelle Fultz received multiple notable Division 1 offers after playing well enough on national television twice this year to add to his reel.

Do you still need recent or relevant redeeming qualities for Derrick Rose Markelle Fultz after watching that video from Finest Magazine?  I don’t get into the whole JV records thing, but he hasn’t lost to Gonzaga on the Varsity level in his high school career.  Neither has Darren Harvey, for that matter: Gonzaga went 0-2 against DeMatha when DJ made the varsity squad as a Freshman.  DeMatha Stags notice when you build your reputation by punishing the Purple Eagles.  Clearly Markelle Fultz plays well with others because sharing the ball with Darren Harvey -another 2015 All WCAC First Team selection, has transformed the pair into a dynamic duo.

If DeMatha can keep the winning streak going this Thursday in the 2015 WCAC Basketball Championship there will be even more talk about the tradition of producing outstanding student-athletes.  Congratulations to all of the DeMatha Basketball WCAC honorees this year.  In addition to the two first-team players mentioned junior guard Nate Darling and senior Terrell Allen were named to the 2015 All WCAC Second Team.  Senior Thomas Bruce was named to the Third Team and senior Jaelin Grant and junior Kellon Taylor received honorable mentions.