Tag Archives: St. Francis Preparatory High School

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.”



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.



‘The new’ Big East

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


If the 2013 Big East tournament was a funeral for what had been one of the nation’s best college basketball conferences, then a Wednesday, March 20 press conference announcing a 12-year television deal between Fox Sports and the new Big East could be called a rebirth.

St. John’s and the other so-called “Catholic 7” universities will be joined by Creighton, Xavier and Butler in the new Big East starting next season and the conference will keep its postseason tournament at Madison Square Garden, officials said.

The Big East will get back to its roots next season after slowly being pulled apart by a flirtation with big-time football. And St. John’s fans are welcoming the change.

Rather than bemoaning the loss of Connecticut and Syracuse, two of the conference’s founding members, longtime St. John’s supporters are anticipating the formation of a hoops-oriented league that harks back to the program’s heyday in the 1980s.

“If you look at the teams that were in the Big East at that time, it was a basketball-centric conference and when people look back at that era, those were the best times,” said Chris Holbrook, 33, a Long Island attorney who grew up rooting for St. John’s and graduated from law school there in 2005.

The Big East started as a basketball conference, but slowly expanded over the years in a drive to be a relevant football league as well. Big East officials acknowledged Wednesday that the push toward football, which they said was undertaken to “accommodate” Syracuse and Boston College, had ultimately led to the demise of the conference.

But St. John’s fans aren’t necessarily disappointed with the results, and they believe the new Big East’s focus on basketball will bring stability to the league.

“It won’t be the same, but I’m looking forward to getting back to basketball,” said Gus Stanzione, a 1981 alumni from Staten Island who was headed into the Garden about an hour before the Red Storm were set to take on Villanova in the Big East tournament. “That’s when the problems started – when they started going after football.”

The 12-year television deal will give the conference a home on Fox Sports, and maintaining a foothold in New York City should help the league build its profile, just as it did when the Big East tournament moved to the Garden in 1983.

“Keeping the Garden is huge,” said Tom Shanahan, a 1987 St. John’s graduate who grew up here but now lives in Indianapolis. “It’s probably more important for those other schools, but it’s big to stay in the city.”

Shanahan and other St. John’s fans said keeping the postseason tournament at the Garden will help schools in the conference continue attracting talented local players, who are often more willing to leave home for college with the promise of returning to the city each year for at least a few games.

The Garden has long been a recruiting tool for St. John’s and fans of the team said the departure of Syracuse, arguably the most popular team in the city, could help the Red Storm once again rise to prominence here in New York.

“I think it could make St. John’s the New York team,” Stanzione said.

Shanahan, who attended St. Francis Preparatory High School in Fresh Meadows, hadn’t been inside the Garden in 15 years and made trip to watch St. John’s.

“Honestly, to get to see St. John’s and the rest of the teams I grew up watching, that’s pretty big for me,” Shanahan said. “That’s going to be a good basketball conference.”