Tag Archives: high school football

Flushing looks forward after loss of playoff, seniors

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Larry Fleisher


A day after Flushing High School’s season ended with a blowout playoff loss against Lincoln for the second straight season, coach Jim DeSantis lamented some of the things that went wrong.

The Nov. 22 31-6 quarterfinal loss to Lincoln included three first half fumbles, including two where running backs were stripped from behind, giving Lincoln short fields. It also included a defense that gave up four touchdowns to star running back Luis Rodriguez.

And while it was a disappointing ending for Flushing, it was another opportunity for DeSantis to show how the program has grown recently.

In the last four years, the Red Devils have compiled a 28-15 record. In the last two seasons, Flushing has gone 17-7 with three of those losses coming against Lincoln and another coming against Erasmus.

So while the fumbles were regrettable, DeSantis is optimistic about the state of the program. He maintains that view even if Flushing has not quite become the destination for elite players.

“It’s good,” DeSantis said. “We’re not at the point where kids are coming to us because we’re Flushing. At Lincoln that happens and Erasmus Hall that happens and we’re also not going out to get kids. That’s the bottom line. We get what we get and we try to coach them.

“It’s just different. I’m not mad. We know that we’re more of a middle-of-the-road team than an elite team, and they’re an elite team. There are three or maybe four elite teams that are going

to reload every year because they get numbers and they get a lot of kids in the school.”
Most of the players who come to Flushing are from the Jamaica Bulldogs Youth Program, which began in 2004 with two teams and now competes in the Big Apple Youth Football League. DeSantis said that he is not going to seek the other programs out and that he can sell potential players on the success that the program has had.

“Coaching-wise, we think we’re there,” DeSantis said. “Obviously you can’t win without players. We only have one youth program sending us kids in Queens and that’s the Jamaica Bulldogs. So with that being said, all the better kids are leaving the borough or going elsewhere, and I know I can’t compete with the Catholic schools, but what I do know is I graduate all my kids and we coach them just as well as anybody if not better than most.”

Recently Flushing has been in the news for the wrong reasons when the city decided to close the school in April 2012 before reversing the decision two months later. Last year the school’s graduation rate in four years was 57 percent, according to the Department of Education’s High School quality snapshot that was made available to the public online.

For the football program, DeSantis estimates that the graduation rate is about 95 percent and tries to use that as a selling point while competing for players with the likes of Lincoln and Erasmus.

“I think these coaches from the youth programs need to get a clue to realize that we’re a viable option,” DeSantis said. “The knock on the school is bad and parents see that the school graduation rate is 50 percent, but they need to know that the football team graduation rate is about 95 percent. If you come with me and stay with me for four years, you’re going to graduate on time and go to college. That’s it in a nutshell, but I think it starts with the coaches in the youth program.

Among those players going to college is quarterback Terrence Chavis, who is one of 17 seniors that DeSantis will be replacing next fall. Chavis was a three-year starter that came to Flushing from the Bulldogs and threw 49 touchdown passes and for over 4,000 yards.
Chavis has drawn some interest from Davidson, which competes in the FCS Pioneer League. Other schools have expressed interest, but part of the offseason will be spent seeing if there are other schools beyond.

In the meantime, DeSantis will keep working to keep players in Queens while hoping he can find the next versions of Chavis and wide receiver and defensive back Keron Hermitt and continue building up the program that he began in 2005 on a developmental level.

In less than a decade, Flushing has ascended from only junior varsity to the highest level of competition in the PSAL. The school has also produced a pro in Jay Bromley, who went from being only recruited by Stony Brook to starring at Syracuse and getting drafted by the New York Giants.


Flushing Red Devils face tough opponent on road to championship

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

red devils


Flushing High School sophomore cornerback Kameron Walker walked off the football field toward the sideline Saturday, and said, to no one in particular, “One step closer to Yankee Stadium.”

Walker had just made a game-ending tackle and the Flushing Red Devils had advanced to the quarterfinals of the PSAL Championship conference playoffs with a 34-14 victory over South Shore.

“That’s good, because that’s got to be their goal,” coach Jim DeSantis said of Walker’s comment. “If it’s not their goal, then we’re just going through the motions. I really think that this year it’s wide open, and if we get a little bit lucky, we can be right there.”

The Red Devils are two steps away from reaching Yankee Stadium to play for their first PSAL championship. Their next step will be a week of practice and studying film in preparation for what could be their greatest obstacle − a visit to the formidable Lincoln High School in Coney Island.

Last year’s visit came a round later in the semifinals. Flushing had knocked off New Dorp and Curtis in the first two rounds when the Red Devils made the trip to Lincoln, where they lost in a 55-7 rout that saw them trail 41-0 at halftime.

That ended the deepest run of any team in the history of the program, which began in 2005 as a freshman-only team and four years later, moved from the developmental level to the Championship Division, which is the most competitive of the PSAL’s three-tiered alignment.

“That Lincoln team last year was a monster,” DeSantis said. “It was an elite team like I’ve probably never seen in the City of New York before and I’ve been doing this 20-something years. Now, I think there’s no real elite teams. I think there’s more parity.”

The skeptic would argue what else would you expect a coach to say? He’s not going to give his team no chance. But DeSantis certainly has conviction in his voice.

“I think this might be one of the better teams we’ve had,” DeSantis said.  “We were pretty good last year, but we were kind of one-dimensional in that we had just a running back. Now we can kind of spread it around. I feel good about it.”

DeSantis would have every reason to feel good if some of the things that happened Saturday were to repeat themselves next week. Among them were three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Terrence Chavis, four different players scoring touchdowns and a steady stream of receptions from Keron Hermitt, including a 77-yard TD late in the second quarter.

If the Red Devils are going to Yankee Stadium, they will have to win on the road. Based on what DeSantis witnessed with his senior-laden team, the belief is that it can happen starting next week against an opponent that has won two of the last three city championships.

“Lincoln’s a good team,” Chavis said. “We’ve got to be able to play defense well and our O-line has got to play strong to get our running game running and our passing game going. That’s basically it.”

Sports Star: Justin Guerre, running back, St. Francis Prep, football and track team

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata



Name: Justin Guerre

School: St. Francis Prep

Grade: Senior

Sport: Football and track

Position: Running back

Justin Guerre is a star athlete at St. Francis Prep, where he continues to break records on the field. As a football captain this year, Guerre, a running back, ran for over 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns in just 9 games.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, he excels even further as a track star. Guerre’s 6.46 second time in the 55 meter dash placed first overall in the state and 14th overall in the nation for boys’ indoor track in 2013. “It [setting the record] was the most memorable moment of my sports career,” Guerre said.

While sports do play a major role in Guerre’s life, he makes sure his school work never takes the back burner. With an 85 average, he works just as hard off the field as he does on it. As a junior at St. Francis, Guerre received a full scholarship for his senior year because of his multi- sport talent and success in the classroom.

“I want to be known for more than just sports,” Guerre said. “Juggling sports and school is a lot of work. Practice doesn’t end early, so there is no time to fool around when I get home.”

Guerre is looking at both the University of Pittsburgh and La Salle University for the fall.

What life lessons have you learned from both football and track?

“The most important one for me was hard work. I learned that the effort I put in was the result that I was going to get not only on the field, but in life.”

What is your method of success both on and off the field?

“While you’re doing something, you might as well give it your all. You got to do what you got to do, nothing comes easy, so when the opportunity comes, go grab it.”

Who were the biggest role models for you growing up?

“My parents for sure. I see them struggling putting me and my family through school and it makes me want to do the best I can to be able to help them out.”

What did being a captain help teach you?

“It taught me responsibility. I let my actions speak for me, so I have to set the bar high and show others how hard we have to work to be successful.”



Queens PSAL high school football roundup – playoffs round 1

| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com



The fourth seeded Flushing Red Devils (7-2 regular season) routed the Curtis Warriors (4-5) by a score of 44-6. The Red Devils had a total of 352 offensive yards. Junior Terrence Chavis completed 12 of 20 passes for 159 yards, and three touchdowns. Senior Deandre Ross Lomax had a great game as well, rushing for 106 yards on 11 attempts and two touchdowns. Senior Kevaun Dunn added a field goal and five extra points.

Round 2: On Saturday, November 16, the Red Devils will face the New Dorp Cougars (7-2).




The fourth ranked Bayside Commodores (7-2 regular season) beat the Petrides Panthers (7-2) by a score of 52-20. Senior Trevon Moe had a monster day, leading the Commodores’ offense. He rushed for a whopping 251 yards on 14 attempts and four touchdowns. Junior Tyrell Plaza had a good game as well, rushing for 156 yards on 19 attempts, while scoring one touchdown. Senior Kevin Mombelly completed five of eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Round 2: Next up for the Commodores will be second ranked McKee/Staten Island Tech Seagulls (8-1).


The eight ranked Springfield Gardens Golden Eagles (5-4 regular season) were eliminated by the top seeded South Shore Vikings (9-0), losing by a score of 46-14. The Golden Eagles’ defense struggled allowing 501 offensive yards. Junior Timothy Bowers led the Vikings with 130 yards on the ground on ten attempts and two touchdowns. Senior Dupreme Robinson added 111 rushing yards on seven attempts and a touchdown. Senior Darrius Nichols completed seven of nine passes for 142 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.




The sixth ranked Long Island City Bulldogs (5-4) were eliminated by the George Washington Trojans (6-3) in a score 26-6 loss. The Bulldogs had trouble stopping the running game of the Trojans, allowing 331 yards on the ground. Senior Khary Baker had 134 rushing yards on six attempts and two touchdowns and Sophomore Gino Mota and junior Ramon Reyes added one touchdown each for the Trojans.



Holy Cross High School sophomore moves closer to NFL dream

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

One Holy Cross High School football player is one step closer to playing in the National Football League (NFL).

Sophomore Jason Vargas was selected to participate in the high school showcase game of the Offense-Defense Bowl in Orlando, Florida on January 4.

Vargas, 15, was one of 200 players selected from approximately 6,000 participants in Offense-Defense Sports’ nation-wide camps. Active NFL players Dez Bryant, Cam Newton and more than 185 others once played there as well.

“It’s a great honor to play,” Vargas said. “To be able to play in that kind of game, it’s amazing.”

Vargas started playing football with his older brothers and family members and fell in love with the game at an early age.

Now the high schooler, who is 6’1”, is playing on Holy Cross’s junior varsity team and expects to make the varsity squad next year. While Vargas aims to be a professional wide receiver in the NFL, he also enjoys playing the kicker position.

“Kicker is very important, because it comes down to you sometimes,” Vargas said.

While playing at Offense-Defense’s camp during the summer, he performed so well that he received an MVP medal for wide receiver and the All-Star game invitation.

“Every year his game has elevated that tells me he is listening to what the coaches have been telling him,” said Milow Weems, youth brand director and coach of Offense-Defense, who trained Vargas during summer camp. “I see him playing Division 1 [college football], if he keeps up the hard work.”

Vargas’ final goal of course is to be a professional player, but first he has his eyes set on playing football in college.

He is interested in playing for the University of Oregon, West Virginia University, Florida State University or Boise State University.

“From what I’ve been told he has the ability to take it all the way, but we’re focused on scholarships. We have to focus on the short term,” said Laurie Morris, Vargas’ mother. “I’m proud of Jason because no matter what he always tries his hardest, even when he’s hurt or injured.”



Queens PSAL high school football roundup

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Roundup as of October 31, 2013





The Campus Magnet Bull-dogs (4-5) dominated the Thomas Jefferson Orange Wave (0-8) to a tune of 33-0. The Bull-dogs had a total of 345 yards with 277 yards on the ground. The Orange Wave amassed just 127 offensive yards. Bull-dogs senior Blessuan Austin rushed for 141 yards on seven attempts and two touchdowns. Austin added two touchdowns through the air, completing four of 12 passes for 68 yards. Sophomore Antawan Lewis added a touchdown on the ground. Campus Magnet were to play the Beach Channel Dolphins (0-9) in the last game of the season, but the Bull-dogs have already the game via a forfeit.


The John Adams Spartans (1-7) were unable to put a winning streak together, losing by a score of 34-6 at the hands of the Grand Street Campus Wolves (5-3), after winning their first game of the year last week. The Spartans, who had a total of 300 yards, could not hold the Wolves’ offense allowing 421 offensive yards. Spartans senior Danny Messina rushed for 70 yards on five attempts. Through the air Messina amassed 80 yards, completing five of 12 passing attempts and throwing an interception. Next up for the Spartans will be the Flushing Red Devils (6-2).


The Flushing Red Devils (6-2) destroyed the Susan Wagner Falcons’ defense for 478 offensive yards. Junior Terrence Chavis threw for 196 yards with two touchdowns completing nine of 13 passes. Senior Deandre Ross Lomax led the Red Devils on the ground with 103 yards on 12 attempts and two touchdowns.





The Bayside Commodores (6-2) soundly defeated the Springfield Gardens Golden Eagles (5-3) by a score of 34-0. The Commodores compiled 415 total yards. Senior Kevin Mombelly threw for 225 yards with nine completions and two touchdowns. Mombelly added a rushing touchdown as well. Senior Jeremiah Harris rushed for 63 yards on two attempts and scored a touchdown. Junior Tyrell Plaza also had a touchdown on four attempts and rushed for 55 yards. Next up for the Commodores will be the August Martin Falcons (1-7).



St. Francis Prep football team dominates in return to Queens

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

The St. Francis Preparatory High School football team has not hosted a game in Queens since 2006.

The Terriers usually plays home games at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Nassau County, adjacent to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. But this year the school was able to get permission to share the Martin Van Buren High School field in Queens Village for its homecoming game on Sunday, October 6.

So in their return to Queens a win was essential, and Prep did just that, routing the Nazareth Kingsmen, 49-20, led by three first quarter touchdowns by senior Justin Guerre.

“It was something completely new for us,” assistant head coach Rich Carroll said. “We haven’t had that in seven years. It was a good experience for our kids to actually play a game in front of their hometown crowd.”

The Terriers (4-0 in conference) were dominating the Kingsmen (2-3) from the start of the game. Guerre had four carries for 96 yards in the first quarter alone to help Prep to a 35-0 lead by the end of the first half. On one run he zipped passed defenders for a 69-yard run touchdown.

“I don’t really think that much when I’m running,” Guerre, a captain, said. “I’m just moving trying to put that ball in the end zone.”

The beating was so bad that by the second half Prep replaced most of its starters on offense and defense with second stringers.

Nazareth’s offense only came to life in the second half against Prep’s backup defense.

Kingsmen running back Tarif Keenan completed a 17-yard drive for a touchdown with about eight minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Kingsmen completed a two-point conversion to make the score 35-8.

But even Prep’s backups continued to inflate the score.

With just under six minutes left in the third quarter, Terriers quarterback Robert Einersen faked a pass and ran 41 yards up the sidelines with some help from blockers before he was knocked out at the one yard line. On the ensuing play junior Marquis Gordon ran in a one-yard touchdown and following the extra kick, the score was 42-8.

Five minutes later, after the Terriers allowed another Nazareth touchdown, Gordon completed a 38-yard run straight through the middle, breaking tackles and dodging defenders, to score his second touchdown. A successful extra point play made the score 49-14.

“It was a great experience, because usually I’m on punt returns, but I got a chance to get in today,”

Gordon said. “It was my time to shine.”

Despite the Kingsmen’s efforts, which yielded one more touchdown in the fourth quarter, Nazareth just couldn’t catch up to St. Francis’ looming lead.

With the win the Terriers are now tied for the top of the league, a cause for celebration, but also a reason to be cautious.

“We need you guys to stay focused,” Carroll told the players in the locker room after the game. “We have to work harder because teams know they will have to play harder when they play St. Francis.”
The next game for the Terriers will be against Xavier on October 12.



PSAL Queens high school football roundup

| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

The Campus Magnet Bull-Dogs lost their second game of the season to the Port Richmond Red Raiders (4-1) by a score of 24-14, dropping to 3-2 on the season. While the Bull-Dogs were outscored by the Red Raiders they did compile more offensive yards. The Bull-Dogs totaled 327 yards while the Red Raiders managed only 186. For the Bull-Dogs, senior Asaikie Blake led the team with 124 rushing yards in 17 attempts and scored a touchdown. Senior Aaron Welch added 55 yards of his own on eight attempts while also scoring a touchdown. For the Red Raiders, senior quarterback Michael Goffredo completed four out eight passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. Goffredo also added a touchdown on the ground, rushing for 36 yards on 10 attempts. Senior James Jones scored a touchdown as well, rushing for 26 yards on seven carries. Next up for the Bull-Dogs will be the Boys and Girls Kangaroos (3-2).

The John Adams Spartans (2-3) lost their third game in a row at the hands of the John F. Kennedy Campus Knights (3-2) 32-6. The Spartans, who scored their lone touchdown in the fourth quarter, were dominated in offensive yards. The Spartans had just 109 total yards while the Knights piled up 479 yards — all on the ground. For the Spartans, junior Danny Messina completed one out of two passes for 15 yards and the Spartans’ lone touchdown. Junior Eldridge Edens completed two out of five passes for 13 yards. Edens led the team in rushing with 27 on 12 attempts. Senior Eugene Donohue added 23 yards on three attempts while junior Lakeith Everett added 22 yards of his own. For the Knights, senior Timothy Jones had a career game rushing for 266 yards on 19 attempts while scoring four touchdowns. Junior Demetrius Wade scored a touchdown on his lone attempt which went for 65 yards. Senior Jonathan King added 98 yards of his own on five attempts. Next up for the Spartans will be the New Utrecht Utes (3-2).

The Beach Channel Dolphins (2-3) beat the Herbert H. Lehman Lions (0-5) by a score of 14-12. The Dolphins, who had a total of 335 yards, were led by senior Breland Archbold, who was responsible for 255 yards of the Dolphins’ total yards. Archbold completed eight of 15 passes for 130 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Archbold also ran for 125 yards on 10 attempts. For the Lions, sophomore Maurice Blease completed two out four passes, throwing for 85 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Senior Jermaine Hall rushed for 58 yards on seven attempts while scoring a touchdown. Junior Asante Anthony added 108 yards on 14 attempts. Next up for the Dolphins will be the Harry S. Truman Mustangs (3-2).

High school football roundup

| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

The John Adams Spartans (2-2) dropped to ninth place in the Championship Division after losing at home to the Harry S. Truman Mustangs (2-2) by a score of 36-16.  Offensively, the Spartans were led by junior Eldridge Edens. The starting quarterback completed 12 out of 20 passes, throwing for 132 yards, a touchdown and an interception. On the ground, Edens rushed for 72 yards on 11 attempts, while crossing the goal line twice. Adams was never able to climb out of a 16-0 hole, as the defense struggled on the day. The Spartans allowed the Mustangs to amass 255 yards on offense including 193 yards rushing. Junior Giovahn Watson led the Mustangs with 91 yards rushing on 17 attempts, scoring once. Senior Hamed Dembele rushed for 69 yards on 5 attempts, while scoring two touchdowns. Junior Armani Williams added 25 yards of his own on five attempts with a touchdown. Next up for the Spartans will be the John F. Kennedy Campus Knights (2-2).

The Knights beat the Canarsie Educational Campus Chiefs (1-3) by a score of 34-32. The Knights ran for 285 yards against the Chiefs. Senior Mathew Evora led the Knights with 135 yards on 18 attempts while scoring a touchdown. Junior Anthony Cruz added 100 yards on 13 attempts, while scoring two touchdowns.

The Campus Magnet Bull-Dogs (3-1) beat the Dewitt Clinton Governors (1-3) by a score of 26-22. The Bull-Dogs had a total of 424 yards. Junior Blessuan Austin completed five out of nine passes, throwing for 160 yards and a touchdown. Senior Asaikie Blake led the Bull-Dogs with 219 yards rushing on 21 attempts, while scoring one touchdown. Austin also added two touchdowns on the ground. Next up for the Bull-Dogs will be the Port Richmond Red Raiders (3-1). The Bull-Dogs will have to stop a Red Raiders team which has won three in a row. The name of the game for the Red Raiders is rushing. Out of the 466 total offensive yards amassed by Port Richmond 348 was rushing. Senior Mario Villafane rushed for 218 yards on 18 attempts and scored three touchdowns.

In the Bowl Division the Bayside Commodores dropped to 2-2 with a loss to the James Madison Knights (4-0) by a score of 22-21. Senior George Wallace led the Commodores, rushing for 65 yards on two attempts, crossing the goal line twice. Senior Julian Moody completed the only pass he threw on the day, the pass going for 60 yards and a score. The Knights were led by sophomore Daniel Martinez who completed eight of 22 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Next up for the Commodores will be the Tilden Educational Blue Devils (2-2).

High school football roundup

| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

In the Bowl Division the Bayside Commodores won their second straight game, improving to 2-1 on the young season. The Commodores beat the the Franklin D. Roosevelt Cougars by a score of 38-14. Senior George Wallace led the Commodores to victory with 192 yards rushing on 13 attempts, while crossing the goal line four times. Junior Trevon Moe rushed for 72 yards on three attempts while scoring a touchdown of his own. Senior Julian Moody completed five out of 11 passes, throwing for 79 yard and a touchdown. For the Cougars senior Isaiah Covington led the team with 100 yards rushing on 15 attempts with a touchdown. Junior Xavier Martin was second on the team with 38 yards rushing while senior Ivan Nunez added a touchdown. Next up for the Commodores will be the James Madison Knights (3-0).

The John Adams Spartans who are fourth in the Championship division dropped their first game of the season losing to the Tottenville Pirates (3-0) by a score of 40-6. The Spartans were not able to get their offense going. Eldridge Edens completed four out of six passes during the game, but was only able to throw for 31 yards while throwing an interception. Senior Levaughn Baker led the Spartans with 51 yards rushing. Baker scored the only touchdown for the Spartans. For the Pirates, senior Augustus Edwards led the team with 144 yards rushing on 16 attempts with two touchdowns. Seniors Brandon Barnes and Tyler Logan had one touchdown a piece. Next up for the Spartans will be the Harry S. Truman Mustangs (1-2).

The Mustangs beat the Susan Wagner Falcons (0-3) by a score of 20-18. Junior Giovahn Watson led the Mustangs with 136 rushing yards on 16 attempts while junior Armani Williams scored two touchdowns. Senior Brandon Sanchez added a touchdown through the air. Junior Muhyi-Din Abuhamdeh led the Falcons with 141 rushing yards on 14 attempts with a touchdown. Senior Alen Nikezic rushed for 48 yards on 16 attempts with a touchdown.

The Campus Magnet Bull-Dogs dropped their last game to the Erasmus Hall Campus Dutchman (3-0) by a score of 26-12. The Bull-Dogs had a total of 273 offensive yards. Junior Blessuan Austin led the Bull-Dogs with 88 yards rushing on 14 attempts while scoring a touchdown. Second on the team was senior Asaikie Blake with 80 yards on 12 attempts. Senior Aaron Welch added 46 yards of his own while scoring a touchdown. For the Dutchman senior Matthew Domina completed six out of 10 passes while throwing for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Jonathan Samerson threw a 15 yard touchdown pass in his only attempt. Junior Kahlil Lewin led the team in rushing yards with 125 yards on 13 attempts with a touchdown.