Tag Archives: psal

Sports Star: Kristen Kangas, captain, Benjamin Cardozo HS gymnastics team


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Name: Kristen Kangas
School: Benjamin Cardozo High School
Grade: Senior
Sport: Gymnastics

Kristen Kangas is the captain of Benjamin Cardozo High School girls gymnastics team, and has led her squad to the top of the PSAL this year. Coach Richard Parascos calls her the “heart and soul” of the team, and Kangas is consistently ranked in the top 25 in the city in all four gymnastic events; balance beam, uneven parallel bars, floor exercise and vaulting. In her sophomore year she helped start the school’s cheerleading team. She has held part-time jobs in recent summers, working as an office assistant at St. John’s University and last year at Long Island Care Center nursing home. Kangas is dyslexic, but enjoys sports and helping others, so she aspires to be a physical therapist. She has applied to several SUNY schools, including Potsdam, Fredonia, Cortland and Plattsburgh.

Why do you do enjoy gymnastics and other extracurricular activities?
“Teenagers could be very dangerous without goals. When teenagers don’t do something, they get into trouble. I like being involved and I like socializing.”

How does it feel to lead younger teammates?
“I love it, because not only am I helping them, but you help yourself at the same time.”

Why do you aspire to be a physical therapist?
“I love doing sports in general and I care for people. I feel like a combination of those two is physical therapy. I feel like it’s me.”

How does being dyslexic affect you?
“A lot of kids that have it don’t know they have it and they struggle in school, but I have it and really try in school. The difference between someone who has it and doesn’t have it is that you have to really work and that’s like my whole life, I work for everything I do.”

 

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Hercules: Aftermath of the storm


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated at 12:59 p.m.

Queens residents woke up to more than half a foot of snow Friday morning as they prepared to deal with the aftermath of the winter storm.

Snowfall in parts of the borough was reportedly as high as 11.5 inches.

Mayor Bill de Blasio updated the city at about 10:30 a.m. and urged residents to stay off the roadways and be aware of how “deceptively cold” the weather remains. Although the “snow has tapered,” wind conditions have stayed substantial.

There will be a high of 18 degrees on Friday, and a low of zero coming into Friday night, he said.

“This has been and remains a dangerous storm. It is going to be bitter cold today, and New Yorkers need to be extremely careful going outdoors,” de Blasio said. “The best things people can do are to stay off the roads so we can clear them as fast as possible, and to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbors who might need help this morning.”

Nearly 2,500 plows are working through the 6,200 miles of roadways as of “early this morning,” de Blasio said. PlowNYC is activated for borough residents to track real-time progress of snow clearance. Residents are additionally asked not to shovel snow into the street, which could delay snow clearance.

Despite multiple accounts of drivers’ vehicles getting stuck in the snow, NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner John Doherty said the agency was “able to keep the city moving no matter the situation.”

As the snow fell throughout Thursday night and early Friday morning, sanitation department members plowed “primary streets,” highways, multiple times to continue to remove snow brought back onto the roads by wind, Doherty said. They then addressed local roads and side streets.

Garbage and recycling pick-up has been suspended until snow removal is complete. All city hospitals and emergency rooms remain open, and additional ambulances have been added.

Alternate side parking regulations are suspended through Saturday and MTA subways are running with service changes. The LIRR is operating on its weekend schedule. Buses are “delayed but still moving,” and the Rockaway Ferry is not running.

John F. Kennedy International Airport closed Thursday night but Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) officials are aiming to reopen at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, although the FAA ultimately makes that decision, according to a Port Authority spokesperson.

Runways are continually being cleared of snow but the wind is working against them, pushing the wintery mix back to where it started.

At LaGuardia Airport, travelers formed long lines waiting to hear about their outgoing flights.

“This is just crazy. The only good thing is I rather be in here than out there in the cold,” said Jeff P., from Woodside who was traveling to Portland,Ore. for work. “I just hope I make my flight. I got here with four hours in advance.”

Catherine Hidalgo, 27, also made sure to leave her hotel a few hours in advance to make it back home to California.

“I just want to make it to my family safe,” said Hidalgo. “It is crazy waiting but I rather be safe than sorry.”

City schools are closed after newly-appointed Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña made the call Friday morning at about 4 a.m. After-school programs and PSAL are suspended and CUNY classes are canceled as well.

Major highways including the Long Island Expressway reopened at 8 a.m. but city officials continue to urge New Yorkers to stay out of the driver’s seat and off the roads.

 

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Sports Star: Michael Maldonado, shooting guard, Aviation HS basketball team


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Name: Michael Maldonado

School: Aviation Career & Technical Education High School

Grade: Senior

Sport: Basketball

Position: Team captain, shooting guard

Michael Maldonado is the captain and leading scorer of the Aviation High School boys basketball team (PSAL Queens-A West). He has an 84 percent grade average and is also on the ROTC at the school. He has done numerous forms of community service including breast cancers walks and events to fight juvenile diabetes. He is also a member of the school’s cross country track team. In a recent game against William C. Bryant High School on Dec. 19, Maldonado scored 29 points, 5 assists and 6 rebounds to lead his team to victory, 69-67. He is averaging 18.33 points and 5 rebounds per game in five games this season.

Why did you start playing basketball?

“I grew up in Jamaica, Queens. It’s a rough neighborhood, basketball was a way to make friends.”

What colleges are you thinking about attending next year?

St. John’s University, the University of Buffalo, St. Louis University, Air Force Academy or The United States Military Academy at West Point.”

Why do you like doing community service?

“Helping other people feels great. It betters everybody.”

What would be your dream job?

“Playing for the Puerto Rican national basketball team. I would like to represent Hispanic basketball players. It would be an honor, that’s the way I look at it.”

 

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Cardozo boys basketball team still determined after losing star player


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The Benjamin Cardozo boys’ basketball team has a bone to pick with those who doubted them.

After top-notch transfer Jaquan McKennon left the team preseason, media outlets dropped the Judges in the PSAL rankings. But behind two key players and a solid roster they still believe they will be one of the city’s top teams.

The Cardozo Judges (2-0) proved just that in their home opener against Martin Van Buren High School (2-1) on Monday, December 9, routing the Fighting Vee Bees, 76-40. Senior Francisco Williams scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the team, and sophomore guard Rashond Salnave had 20 points and six assists in the game.

“They said we weren’t going to be that good, so every game we play we got to show out,” Williams said. “Without him (McKennon) we are still going to be a good team. We’re going to win with or without him.”

Williams, who started his high school basketball career at Cardozo, transferred due to personal issues and a health problem with a family member. But following his hiatus he has returned for this final high school year and played his first-ever home game with the Judges against Van Buren. He wants to help the team go far this year.

“I want to take it to the [Madison Square] Garden,” Williams said, referring to the location of the PSAL city championships.

The Judges’ other breakout player is Salnave, who is becoming a top-notch guard in the league. In just his first two games on varsity, the 15-year old combo guard is averaging about 23 points and 5.5 assists.

Besides these two players, the Judges are chock full of talent this year. Senior Carl Edoua Balthazar is a long, lanky forward and a defensive presence on the floor. In the match against Van Buren he finished with 12 rebounds, six blocks and six points.

“Carl is a shot-blocker,” Salnave said. “If we get beat, although it’s not something good to brag about, we know Carl has our back.”

Having coached basketball at Cardozo for more than 30 years, head coach Ron Naclerio knows that the competition will get stiffer as the season drags on. He believes in his team’s strength, but doesn’t want to be cocky.

“I try to say be humble and be hungry,” Naclerio said. “Things could change. Today we were on the north side, but we had some scrimmages where we were on the south side.”

 

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Queens PSAL high school football roundup – playoffs round 1


| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

CITY CONFERENCE- FIRST ROUND

RED DEVILS ON FIRE 

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).

 

BOWL DIVISION- FIRST ROUND

CRUISING COMMODORES 

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).

EAGLES ELIMINATED 

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.

 

CUP CONFERENCE- FIRST ROUND

BULLDOGS BUCKLED 

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.

 

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Francis Lewis can’t cramp Cardozo’s style


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Benjamin Cardozo senior Jason Elliott let out screams in pain and grabbed his leg as he wailed on the ground during the second half of boys soccer game versus Francis Lewis Patriots on September 25.

Elliott’s leg had cramped up and the pain seemed unbearable as Cardozo coach Richard Parascos ran to his side to help.

The game was halted for a few minutes and a handful of teammates picked Elliot up and took him off the field as if he were being saved from a burning building.

“I wasn’t hydrated,” he said.

Not only was he thirsty for water; Elliott was hungry for a win. After a break on the sidelines, some stretching, water and a massage, Elliott recovered and scored the golden goal, a header in the 87th minute, to give the Judges a 2-1 win over Francis Lewis in PSAL Queens Division A soccer.

“I saw it coming from far and I just try to make sure to get myself the best opportunity to score it,” Elliot said about the goal. Through the goal his cramped leg was still hurting, but Elliot said, “We’re resilient. We fight. We don’t give up.”

And that’s the way they played all game. Cardozo (4-1) was backed into a corner after allowing an early goal in the first half.

In the 26th minute Francis Lewis (3-2) took a 1-0 lead after forward Dorie James headed the ball in the goal, following a throw-in from senior Nikolas Touros.

But Cardozo wasn’t going to back down. With just seven minutes into the second half the Judges found the answer. They flooded the box on a throw-in and senior Panayiotis Koumas headed the ball in for the equalizer.

“In the first half we really didn’t step strong to the ball,” Parascos said. “That was the big difference in the game. I think we possessed the ball better in the second half.”

From then it was a back and forth of teams exchanging off target, but powerful shots and near corner kicks that were headers away from finding the back of the net. The atmosphere between these eternal Queens rivals was reminiscent of a playoff match in November, despite being just the fifth league game of the season.

And then the shenanigans ensued.

At one point Cardozo had an extra player on the field. It may have been an honest mistake, but Francis Lewis was taking a free kick and the play should have resulted in a yellow card. However, the referees blew the call and Cardozo got off lucky.

With just a few minutes left in regulation, when it was Cardozo’s turn for a free kick, Patriots coach Roger Sarmuksnis purposely told two extra players to get on the field to defend the goal, leading to a successful stop, but a yellow card charge.

“This is playoff soccer right here,” Sarmuksnis said. “I’m just laughing, because that normally happens at the end of the season.”

The game flowed into extra time until Elliott’s goal brought it to an end. With the win Cardozo now heads to top of the standings.

 

QUEENS A EAST SOCCER STANDINGS – 9(26)13

Benjamin Cardozo    4-1-0

Francis Lewis             3-2-0

Bayside                         2-1-2

Forest Hills                 2-1-2

John Bowne                1-4-0

Martin Van Buren    0-5-0

 

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Queens high school football roundup


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

HEATHER ZWILLENBERG

Roundup as of September 22, 2013

 

-CITY CONFERENCE-

FLUSHING RED DEVILS FLUSHED BY CANARSIE CHIEFS

After starting off the season 2-0 in the City Conference division, the Flushing Red Devils (2-1) lost to the Canarsie Chiefs (2-1) by a score of 12-6 on September 21. The Red Devils struggled to compile offensive yards with just 168 total yards on the day while the Chiefs compiled 236 yards on the offensive side. Flushing Junior Terrence Chavis completed six out of 15 passes for 116 yards, while throwing one touchdown and an interception. On the ground senior Deandre Ross Lomax led the team with 39 yards on nine attempts. The Red Devils will try to get back on the winning track when they face the John F. Kennedy Knights (2-1) on Friday, September 27.

JFK KNIGHTS TRUMP GRAND STREET CAMPUS WOLVES

The John F. Kennedy Knights (2-1) beat the Grand Street Campus Wolves (1-2) by a score of 27-20 on September 21. The Knights had a total of 352 offensive yards with all but 19 of those yards coming on the ground. Senior Demetrius Wade led the Knights with 158 yards on 16 attempts with two touchdowns. Senior Caine Caldwell had 101 rushing yards of his own on seven attempts with two touchdowns as well.

JOHN ADAMS SPARTANS STILL STRUGGLING

The John Adams Spartans (0-3) continue to struggle with a 38-8 loss against the Midwood Hornets (2-1) on September 21. The Spartans who only had a total 165 yards could not solve the offense of the Hornets, and allowed Midwood to amass 417 yards. Spartans junior Iyenoma Osagie had 103 yards on the ground on eight attempts and a touchdown. Next up for the Spartans will be the New Dorp Cougars (2-1) on Saturday, September 28.

 

-BOWL CONFERENCE-

BOOMING BAYSIDE

The Bayside Commodores (3-0) have started the season with a bang. The Commodores beat the William E. Grady Falcons (0-3) by a score of 28-8 on September 21. The Commodores had a dominating offense, while the defense only allowed one first half touchdown. The Commodores had a total of 320 yards with 81 yards through the air and 239 on the ground. Junior Henry Mccoy completed seven of 15 passes for 81 yards with two touchdown and two interceptions. Mccoy also rushed for 78 yards on 11 attempts with a touchdown. Senior Trevon Moe rushed for 110 yards on 9 attempts and scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery. Next up for the Commodores will be the Jamaica Beavers (0-3) on Saturday, September 28.

 

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PSAL basketball roundup


| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

The Bayside Commodores improved to 5-0 by beating the Forest Hills Rangers (0-4) by a score of 85-65. Senior Austin Williams led the way for the Commodores scoring 29 points. Senior Cantrell Barker scored 18 points. Senior Gagandeep had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Junior Daqauise Andrews scored 14 points. Next up for the Commodores will be the Benjamin Cardozo Judges (3-0).

In their last game, the Thomas Edison Engineers (3-2) beat the Flushing High School Red Devils (1-2) 67-29. For the Engineers, senior Jaleel Charles had a double-double, scoring 19 points while pulling down 14 rebounds. Senior Nosike Obanya scored 19 points as well. Junior Jediah Greene scored 12 points while dishing out five assists. For the Red Devils, not one player reached double figures; sophomore Shahiem Greene led the team with eight points. Next up or the Engineers will be the Rangers.

The John Adams Spartans (3-1) lost their last game to the Pathways College Prep Trailblazers (3-1) by a score of 85-55. For the Trailblazers, senior Sam Annorh Jr. had a game-high 30 points. Junior Izaha Jackson added 18 points while pulling down seven rebounds. Senior Jamel Holmes scored 15 points to go along with nine boards. Senior Romario Fletcher had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. For the Spartans, senior Markell French scored 17 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out six assists. Senior Ahmed Kone was the only other Spartan to score in double figures with 11 points. Next up for the Spartans will be the Grover Cleveland Beavers (0-3).

The Campus Magnet Bull-Dogs (2-2) beat the Martin Van Buren Vee Bees (0-4) by a score of 54-46. Junior Noah Vickers led the Bull-Dogs with 17 points. Senior Tyrell Fields was second on the team with 15 points. Senior Alton Bennett scored 11 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. For the Vee Bees senior Trevor Newman led the team with 15 points. Senior Brian Agard was second on the team with 14 points while senior Miles Banks had a game high 12 rebounds.

 

PSAL basketball roundup


| hzwillenberg@queenscourier.com

The John Adams Spartans (1-0) beat the Richmond Hill Lions (0-1) in the first game of the season by a score of 66-45. The Spartans who outscored the Lions in each of the first three quarters, road the strength of their incredible start. The Spartans shutout the Lions 15-0 in the first quarter. Senior Ahmed Kone led the Spartans with a double-double scoring 17 points while grabbing 15 rebounds. Senior Markell French recorded a double-double as well, scoring 13 points and dishing out 11 assists while also pulling down six rebounds. Seniors Simeon Hall and Ishmael Nausrudeen added 10 points each. The Lions were led by junior Kevin Baksh who scored 17 points. The only other player in double figures was senior Paramvir Singh with 12 points. The Spartans will play the Hillcrest Hawks in their next matchup.

The Bayside Commodores (1-0) beat the Thomas Edison Engineers (0-1) by a score of 69-57. For the Commodores senior Cantrell Barker led the team with 22 points. Junior Daquise Andrews added 19 points to go along with six rebounds. Senior Austin Williams scored 12 points while senior Brandon King scored 10. Next up for the Commodores will be the Flushing High School Red Devils.

The Campus Magnet Bull-Dogs (1-0) bested the Forest Hills Rangers (0-1) 65-50. Junior Nohah Vickers led the Bull-Dogs with 25 points. Senior Tyrell Fields scored 16 points while Sophomore Ramel Powers added 10. Next up for the Bull-Dogs will be the Engineers.

The Springfield Golden Eagles (1-0) beat the Pathways College Prep Trailblazers (0-1) by a score of 61-57. The Golden Eagles found themselves down at halftime by a score of 30-19. The Golden Eagles then went on a tear in the third quarter outscoring the Trailblazers by a score of 23-6. The Golden Eagles were led by junior Dupree McBrayer who had 20 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists. Juniors Jason Deochan and Tyree Lynch had 16 and 11 points, respectively. For the Trailblazers senior Sam Annorh Jr. led the team with 18 points. Sophomore Noel King Wicks scored 12 points to go along with his eight rebounds. The Trailblazers will play the High School For Construction Red Hawks in their next game.

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.

Tennis Ace: Cardozo freshman wins the Girls’ Singles Individuals Tournament


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Sabrina Xiong

Neal Baskin has been coaching for more than 40 years, and he knows talent.

So when Howie Arons, boys’ tennis coach for Benjamin Cardozo High School, told him there could be a prodigy coming to join the girl’s team last year, Basking said he would have to see her for himself.

“I respected Howie’s judgment, but until I see a player I can’t make my judgment,” Baskin said.

Baskin was convinced that the Lady Judges had found a special player after he met Sabrina Xiong and watched her try out for the team.

“I’m always looking for a ‘blue chip’ athlete to come in and that’s what she is,” Baskin said of his star player.

Xiong, 14, slipped into the lead singles role at Cardozo and took PSAL Division A girls’ tennis by storm, going undefeated in the regular season, 7-0, leading Cardozo to finish second in the league. She even breezed past upperclassmen to win the Girls’ Singles Individuals Tournament.

“Winning anything feels great,” Xiong said. “But it was good, especially since I was a freshman, and it was the first time I played on a school team. It was really nice having people support me.”

Baskin admitted the scary thing about the young girl from Fresh Meadows is the that fact that she is a freshman.

No PSAL player has won the singles title four years in row, but Xiong has set herself up to become the first.

“I’ll try my hardest,” Xiong said.

As Arons once pointed out, Xiong had long been big news on the city’s tennis radar before she entered Cardozo.

After her mom signed her up to take tennis lessons at the Billy Jean National Tennis Center when she was eight years old, Xiong just took off.

“At that time I thought maybe she needed to play some kind of sport,” said Jennifer Wang, Xiong’s mother. “But the coaches over there just kept putting her in the next level, and next level and next level.”

In 2010, when U.S. tennis legend John McEnroe opened up his tennis academy on Randall’s Island to foster young talented players, Xiong had developed a burning passion for the sport and went to try out for the program.

Approximately 175 aspiring players were judged on everything from swings, volleys and serves, to physical speed, strength and technical skills.

The field was shortened to about 25, and then six, who were personally evaluated by McEnroe himself.

Xiong aced the evaluation after playing with McEnroe, and earned a full scholarship.

Since then she has trained at the academy, practicing for nearly seven hours a day in the summer. During the school year she travels to the facility on Randall’s Island from 6 to 8 p.m., after completing homework.

“It’s a really good experience,” Xiong said. “It’s really intense and it keeps me motivated. Very few people get the chance to go to the academy and meet John [McEnroe]. And I get to hit with him sometimes.”

On some weekends she competes in United States Tennis Association (USTA) tournaments for her age group.

With the current No. 3 ranking in the USTA Eastern 14 and under division, she will compete in a Super National tournament in Florida this weekend.

Her success in a sport in which stars usually make their pro debut at an early age leaves many to wonder whether Xiong will be aiming to enter the professional field early.

However, right now she’s not thinking about it at all.

“I’ll wait a little a bit longer,” Xiong said. “I have to train more for that. I think education is my first priority. Getting into a really good college and playing there would be great, because I just want the experience of playing on a [college] team.”

 

Long Island City bests John Adams for city cricket championship


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Liam La Guerre

Captain Troy Mars of John Adams High School was undoubtedly the most dominant cricket batsman in the PSAL this season.

Players, coaches and announcers said that if Mars, who led the PSAL in runs (739) and had three century performances (117, 177 and 194 runs), heated up in the PSAL Cricket Championship on June 16, the Spartans would seize the title.

However, the Long Island City (LIC) Bulldogs had a Trojan horse and Troy fell.

Fast-bowler Redwanur Khan shattered the middle leg of Mars’ wicket in the seventh over with a seemingly hittable ball, which the standout Spartan whiffed, giving the undefeated Bulldogs (17-0) the momentum to overpower the Spartans, 158-119, and take their first crown at Baisley Park in Jamaica.

“I just bowled my regular ball. I put it on the line and I got his wicket,” said Khan, who won Best Bowler of the final for his two wickets, 13 run outing.

After taking Mars’ wicket, Khan celebrated by chest bumping a teammate on the pitch, because he thought it was a given that they would win.

“Our main target was Troy Mars, because he’s really good,” he said. “So we got him, and we thought we are going to win the game.”

And Khan’s predication held true. Following Mars, who was limited far below his 67-run average to just 18 runs, the Spartans (14-2) began falling quickly.

Vice captain Randall Wilson lost his wicket in the eight over, and Khan dropped his second wicket in the ninth over against Harmanveer Singh.

“It was very disappointing, because my whole team was depending on me and I disappointed them,” Mars said. “I just want to say sorry to my team.”

John Adams made it to the final game for the third time in five years, but once again the title eluded the Spartans.

The Bulldogs continued to attack relentlessly, tying up the Spartans’ batsmen until in the 20th over with the final delivery and mathematically assured victory, Bulldogs Captain Mustafa Mahnaz bowled out the 10th and final out.

“Everybody said to me, we need this wicket,” Mahnaz said. “We don’t want to win by the over; we want to win by the wicket. And I just looked at the stump and I bowled the ball.”

Last year the Bulldogs failed to capture the crown when they lost in the final against Brooklyn’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a super over, but this year LIC brought enough firepower for the job.

Mars won the coin toss, but allowed LIC to bat first. The Bulldogs powered a solid 158 runs, while only losing five batsmen.

Attaur Khan led the bulldogs with 33 runs, slamming 3 sixes and 1 four, and won the Best Batsman award. Redwanur Khan and Sajib Salam also added 25 runs apiece in the win.

“I was very confident about every single player,” said Bulldogs coach Dharmvir Gehlaut. “They were hungry for this championship; for them it’s meat. When you’re a hungry lion or tiger you don’t see what else is in the field you just go and grab your share.”

Queens Vocational falls short in city championship


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

When the championship game was over and the Queens Vocational Tech Tigers had lost, head baseball coach Robert Schimenz gathered his team of teary-eyed teens.

He wasn’t angry, but wasn’t sad either.

He simply pointed above the dugout and said “Go say thank you to those fans,” referring to the more than 300 students, teachers and family members that traveled to MCU Park in Brooklyn and witnessed the team lose, 2-1, to South Bronx H.S. in the PSAL Division B baseball championship on June 8.

“Today was career day at the school, but the focus of the school was baseball and I like that,” Schimenz said, adding that the supporters behaved similarly in 2007 when the Queens school won the crown.

Although the Tigers clawed and growled, they couldn’t get past the blazing fastball and tricky curveball of South Bronx Phoenix pitcher Kevin Victoriano, who hurled a complete game with 11 strikeouts, while allowing just two hits.

“He’s [Victoriano] a great pitcher and he’s going to make it far in life if he continues playing baseball,” Queens Vocational infielder Jose Monegro said.

On the other hand, Queens’ starting pitcher Daniel Corona almost matched Victoriano, collecting seven strikeouts in six innings while allowing six hits.

“Danny [Corona] pitched great. He pitched better than usual,” Schimenz said of his starting pitcher. “His pitch count was low and he didn’t put a lot of guys on.”

Corona ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when he allowed two runs off back-to-back doubles and a triple by Victoriano.

Victoriano, who had a shutout through the fifth frame, was good enough to protect the lead for the rest of the game.

“It was mostly striking out to outside pitches,” senior Queens catcher Jason Perez said. “We really weren’t in the zone at the plate.”

But in the sixth, the Tigers showed their teeth.

With the bases empty, Monegro smacked a double deep to center that flew over the Bronx outfielders and landed just in front the warning track.

After Monegro moved to third base on a ground out, Victoriano threw a wild pitch high over the catcher’s reach, allowing Monegro to score the only run for the Tigers.

“I was excited and trying to get my team momentum,” he said about scoring. “But unfortunately we came up short.”

Victoriano walked the next batter, but recovered and got the two remaining outs to end the inning.

The dominant pitcher came back after a quiet sixth inning by the Phoenix and finished the game with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the final batter.

Despite the loss, Queens fans clapped and cheered for each Tigers player during the ensuing ceremony as his name was called to receive a silver medal.

“It was a long, tiring season that there was so much positive in,” Schimenz said. “I’m glad they [the Tigers] got here. I would’ve liked to have seen them win because they’re dynamite baseball players.”