Tag Archives: virginia

Kevin Ogletree goes from Queens to America’s Team


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of David Petkowsky/Virginia Media Relations

Kevin Ogletree, a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, had eight receptions and two touchdowns in the Wednesday, September 5 NFL opening game against the Super Bowl champion Giants. He joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and has battled for a starting receiver spot ever since.

Before that he played for Virginia, where he finished his degree in just three- and-a-half years.

And before that, he played in Bayside at Holy Cross High School. The Queens native played four seasons with the Knights where he not only broke a nearly 15-year-old record, but was academically fit, his former coach, Tom Pugh said.

During his four years at the all-boys Catholic school, Ogletree was a natural, yet quiet, leader.

“[He] knew how to conduct himself as a gentleman,” said Pugh. “He led by example…never ‘rah-rah’”

In his senior year alone Ogletree had 67 receptions and 21 touchdowns. This broke a record set by Carl Mackey (son of Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey), who had 58 receptions in a season in the early 1990s.

“Kevin was a guy who worked after practice, before practice,” Pugh said. “That was the good thing about him.”

The record-breaking receiver with high SAT scores promised his grandparents that he would continue his education and enrolled at the University of Virginia.

There he played under former Jets defensive coordinator Al Groh for three of his four years at the school.

Ogletree was a natural athlete, Groh said, and because of that, he was able to thrive in his first two years, before being sidelined with a knee injury during his junior year. He was able return the following year, but had to work back toward his normal abilities.

Ogletree could not be reached for this story.

At Virginia, he caught the eye of tight end coach John Garrett, who would move on to join the Cowboys’ staff. Groh and Pugh both said Ogletree’s talent and abilities caught Garrett’s eye — and would pay off for the young receiver in a big way.

He was picked up by the Cowboys as a free agent in 2009 after an impressive show at training camp. From 2009 to 2011, however, he saw little playing time — usually when starting receivers were injured. Despite this, Ogletree caught the first touchdown at Cowboys Stadium, albeit in preseason.

Life off the field was hit with tragedy earlier this year when his brother, Calvin, was shot outside of his car rental business in St. Albans. Calvin, it has been reported, is still in critical condition months later.

Facing elimination from the roster after three disappointing, sub-par seasons, Ogletree tightened up his training program this off-season, said Pugh, who still regularly speaks with his former player through text messages.

This included losing weight and working out even harder, something that was always part of Ogletree’s ethic, Pugh said.

“He really pushed himself this year,” he said.

Groh, now a defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, said Ogletree’s performance against the Giants earlier this month was the best he had ever seen the 6’1” receiver play.

“He looked the most polished I’ve ever seen him,”

After his break-out performance in the 2012 season opener, Ogletree told reporters he was inspired to do well for his brother, whom he visited while in town. When Ogletree took the field at MetLife Stadium last week, Pugh — an admitted Giants fan — didn’t focus on the game. Instead, he watched the player he saw grow into the pro he is working to become.

“I was watching Kevin,” Pugh said. “I root for my guys.”

Slay-suicide horror in Maspeth


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Slay-suicide horror in Maspeth

A woman died yesterday after her boyfriend slashed her throat in their Maspeth apartment, stabbed her stepson, then jumped in front of an LIRR train, authorities said. Maureen Biermann, 43, died at Wyckoff Heights Hospital. Her attacker, James Peck, 33, died on the tracks. Biermann’s stepson, 22, was in stable condition. Read More: Daily News

No deals for cop ‘killers

Brooklyn’s top prosecutor yesterday said he won’t even think about cutting plea deals with the five thugs accused of murdering cop Peter Figoski. “There will be a trial,” District Attorney Charles Hynes vowed. “We want the public to understand that the murder of a police officer is as serious as any crime we’ve ever had. In cases like this, there’s no indication of a plea deal — ever.” Read More: New York Post

Queens pair sentenced in Virginia for bank fraud

Two New York residents have been sentenced in Virginia for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently tap into home equity lines of credit and credit card accounts. U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride says 41-year old Joan Marsh of Queens was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison. Thirty-year-old Ayodele Adewale Onasanya of Queens was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison. A federal jury convicted Marsh in September on a dozen conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering counts. Onasanya pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.  Read More: Wall Street Journal

A mission born from a cause

Fifteen-year-old Carly Rose Nieves is turning ordinary people into heroes, one pint of blood at a time. For the second year in a row, the Middle Village teen — and her team of family members and friends — organized a blood drive and bone marrow registry at Christ the King (CTK) Regional High School. The December 17 event brought in 75 pints of blood and 10 new bone marrow donors for the New York Blood Center. Read More: Queens Courier

After Resigning, Tearful Senator Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes

In the annals of municipal corruption in New York City, the themes of graft, greed and betrayal have been familiar running mates from one century to the next, accompanying the fall of the Tammany boss William Tweed in the 1870s, the resignation of the popular mayor James J. Walker in 1932, and the bribes, appetites and suicide of Donald R. Manes, a former Queens borough president, in 1986. But the denouement of the political career of State Senator Carl Kruger, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges on Tuesday, goes beyond that story line, encompassing tales of romance and perhaps even sacrifice, and laying bare one of the more bizarre domestic tableaux — even by New York standards — ever uncovered by F.B.I. wiretaps. Read More: New York Times

Aqueduct racino construction workers exposed to hazards including lead, feds say

Construction workers toiled virtually around the clock to get Queens’ glitzy gaming hub operational, but federal officials are now charging that contractors cut corners when it came to safety. Five companies skirted regulations during construction of the Aqueduct racino this summer and exposed employees to hazardous conditions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday. Read More: Daily News

Five Remaining MLB Free Agents Who Can Help the New York Mets: Fan’s Take

The New York Mets need all the help they can get. Unfortunately, they aren’t willing to pay much to get it. All indications are that the financially-challenged Mets will stay away from free agent solutions for 2012 as they look to cut payroll. However, these five overlooked free agents may come at a discount, tempting Mets general manager Sandy Alderson to give them a call. It may be worth it. Read More: Yahoo Sports

Deal Struck to Broaden Taxi Service in the City

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo struck a deal with the Bloomberg administration on Tuesday that would expand taxi service in New York by allowing livery cabs to be hailed on the street in parts of the city traditionally underserved by yellow cabs. The agreement, which Cuomo is poised to sign into law on Wednesday and which ends months of fractious negotiations, would also create 2,000 more wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs. The auction of those medallions is expected to raise at least $1 billion for the city. Read More: New York Times