Bishop Ford FALCONS
Coach: Jim Esposito, 2nd season
2001 Record: 1-7, A quarterfinalist
Top Players: QB Ese Gbenedio, Sr.; DB David Algarin, Sr.; WR Joe Abad, Jr.;
LB Tahj Johnson, Jr.; RB/CB Monte Hollingsworth, Jr.
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Outlook: The Falcons, seeded 21st the past two seasons, will be young but
fun to watch, according to Esposito. Gbenedio is a diamond-in-the-rough QB with
size and skill, and how much he improves might determine if the Falcons escape
the basement. Five of last year's losses were by a touchdown or less.
Cardinal Hayes CARDINALS
Coach: Bill Yurus, 1st season
Record: 4-7, AA semifinalist
Key Losses: Adrian Feliciano, Rashaad Pitt, Antonio Colon.
Top Players: OG/NT Joshua Figueroa, Sr.; RB Cyrano Butler, Sr.; OT/DT
Francois Espinosa, Sr.; RB/S Armyan Thomas, Sr.
Outlook: Yurus and the Cardinals face a tough early schedule, playing
defending AA champ St. Peter's, AA finalist Stepinac and Iona Prep in the first
four weeks of the season.
Cardinal Spellman FALCONS
Coach: Joe DeSimone, 1st season
Record: 2-7, A semifinalist
Key Losses: Dwayne July (W. Connecticut St.).
Top Players: DT Ruben Richardson, Sr.; CB/TB Anthony Glover, Sr.; RB Mike
Delano, Jr.; OL/DE David Zayas, Sr.; QB/S Lenny Ramirez, Sr.; QB Rob Meyer, Jr.
Outlook: With a new coach comes a new offensive system. The option is out,
the power-I is in. According to DeSimone, the players are enjoying the new set.
Delano may be small (5-8, 175) but he is strong (350-pound bench).
Christ the King ROYALS
Coach: Michael Cassidy, 7th season
Record: 4-5, AAA quarterfinalist
Key Losses: Rolando Garcia, Steven Shell, Craig Nelson, Robert McGuire,
James Baldi, Douglas Davis
Top Players: OG/LB Michael Cox, Sr.; RB Anthony Lazarus, Sr.; NG/P Justin
Capace; QB Jamar McClaney; RB/SS Steven Morrison.
Outlook: The Royals, for the most part, are young and inexperienced without
much size, but they have talent and speed. They will take their lumps early
against the upper-echelon teams in the league.
Coach: Ben Sarullo, 23rd season
Record: 3-5, AAA quarterfinalist
Key Losses: Joe Basile, Alex LoGerfo
Top Players: RB Kern Collymore, Sr.; QB Scott Bacci, Sr.; DE James Andrea,
Sr.; OL/DL Rob Stevens, Sr.; OL Tom Johnson, Sr.
Outlook: After league titles in 1999 and 2000, the Lions dipped below .500
for the first time in recent memory. Expect them to rebound behind Collymore,
one of the best running backs in the city. Farrell will stray from its familar
single-back set to multi-back formations. The question mark is the defense,
which didn't hold up over the long haul last season.
Fordham Prep RAMS
Coach: Pete Gorynski, 6th season
Record: 1-9, AA quarterfinalist
Top Players: WR Matt Goldhagen, Jr.; WR Ravi Kantha, Sr.; QB Rob Krusz,
Sr.; OG Dan Lamonaca, Sr.; LB David Garcia, Jr.; RB William Holden, Jr.; LB
Bill Santangello, Jr.
Outlook: According to Gorynski, last season's weakness - inexperience -
becomes this year's strength with 15 returning players.
Holy Cross KNIGHTS
Coach: Tom Pugh, 31st season
Record: 4-6, AA semifinalist
Key Losses: Woody Aime (Hofstra), Doug Anderwkavich (Buffalo), Mike Cominos.
Top Players: T Ricky Alteche, Sr.; QB Dan Meara, Sr.; LB Sean Casadiego, Sr.
Outlook: The Knights were ranked 10th in the coaches' preseason poll. Aime
and Anderwkavich are big losses, but Pugh's squad, though small, has speed. The
interior lines are a big question.
Moore Catholic MAVERICKS
Coach: Bill Sullivan, 2nd season
Top Players: QB Jim Tedesco, Sr.; OT Andrew Jagusiak, Sr.; FB/CB Mark
Lapointe, Sr.; LB Ken Jost, Sr.; RB/CB Jim Molinari, Sr.
Outlook: Small second-year varsity squad must stay healthy, because it has
little depth. The Mavs have talent, though. Tedesco is an athletic quarterback
and a leader.
Mount St. Michael MOUNTAINEERS
Coach: Mario Valentini, 19th season
Record: 5-4, AAA quarterfinalist
Key Losses: Dennis Void (C.W. Post), Harry Ocasio, Marcus Watson
Top Players: QB Ryan O'Malley, Sr.; DT George Eshareturi, Sr.; LB Mark
Velez, Sr.; DB Trashaad Thomas, Sr.; NG Tristan Murray, Sr.; DT Donald
Burroughs, Jr.; TE/LB Gary Harrison, Jr.
Outlook: Valentini likes his team's work ethic and chemistry. Void leaves,
well, a major void - he was one of the best backs in the league.
Coach: Mike O'Donnell, 15th season
Record: 8-3, AA finalist
Key Losses: Tyler Nugent (Holy Cross)
Top Players: FB/LB Frank Scuderi, Sr.; RB/DB Griffin Nugent, Sr.; RB/DB
Wendall Barbour, Sr.; OG/DE Chris Archer, Sr.; OT/DT Kevin Amodio, Sr.; C/LB
Ryan Lenihan, Sr.; RB/DB Rich Padilla, Sr.; RB/DE Owen Omeregie.
Outlook: The Crusaders, as always, have a number of skilled players,
including Scuderi and Nugent. But they have just 36 players, so they must avoid
St. Francis Prep TERRIERS
Coach: Vincent O'Connor, 49th season
Record: 7-4, AAA finalist
Key Losses: Chris Zambrano (Lehigh), Brian Forman (Post), Eric Maiorino
(RPI), John Kay (Williams), Adam Tanalski (Robert Morris).
Top Players: QB/P Pete Mazzurco, Sr.; LB Dan Michitsch, Sr.; OG Dave
Bermudez, Sr.; RB Nat Modica, Sr.; FB Mike Conigliaro, Sr.; TE/DB Mark Burik,
Sr.; WR Bill Sangster, Sr.; OT Mike Luginsland, Sr.; OG Tim Dunne, Sr.; OG/PK
John McArdle, Sr.; DB Al Foy, Sr.; C Frank DeMattia, Sr.; LB Walter Rublewski,
Sr.; LB Vincent Mazzurco, Sr.
Outlook: The Terriers were the CHSFL's surprise team last season. Now
they'll be one of the targets. O'Connor, the dean of city football coaches,
believes he has capable skill players in Mazzurco and Modica, but there is a
core of inexperienced players who either watched from the sideline or played JV
a year ago. There also is an overall lack of speed.
St. Joseph by the Sea VIKINGS
Coach: Greg Manos, 1st season
Record: 6-4, A finalist
Key Losses: Marc Murphy, Dan Ballatine, Joe Noto
Top Players: QB Paul Rosenberg, Sr.; OT Walter Roesch, Sr.; RB Ollie Ogbu,
So.; PK Steve Austin, Sr.; LB Joe Velez, Sr.
Outlook: Manos, who was an assistant under Tottenville's Jim Munson, has a
solid core of returning players. Rosenberg will lead the offense and Ogbu is
intriguing as a 6-3, 275-pound running back. Austin is a solid kicker, a high
school rarity. Roesch, a 6-6, 290-pounder, will anchor the O-line, and Velez
will key the defense. Qualifying for the AA playoffs is a lofty, but
St. Peter's EAGLES
Coach: Mike Cosentino, 3rd season
Record: 10-0, AA champs
Key Losses: Dan D'Avanza, Derrick Valentine, Jon Clemente
Top Players: TB/FS Mike Dudley, Sr.; OG/DT Louis Giachetta, Sr.; OT Kwame
Tawiah, Sr.; CB Dan Schultz, Sr.; WR/CB Dan Giordano, Sr.; WR/SS Mike
Outlook: The Eagles, the class of the AA last season, graduated 16
starters. Dudley will be the main cog on an offense that still hasn't settled
on a starting QB. Giachetta and Tawiah are the mainstays on the O-line. The
secondary will be the strength on defense.
Coach: Dom Laurendi, 8th season
Record: 1-8, AA quarterfinalist
Key Losses: Peter Belford (Kings Point), Jason Romney (Robert Morris)
Top Players: NG Mark Conigliaro, OT Anthony Perillo, DT Anthony Ferrante,
DE Israel Pinero, WR Henry Edwards, WR James McCourt.
Outlook: Laurendi expects improvement on the defense, with a diversified
attack on offense. The Clippers have nowhere to go but up.
Coach: Johan Williams, 2nd season
Record: 2-6, A semifinalist
Key Losses: Brian Rivera (C.W. Post), James Costa (Fairfield), Bernardo
Vunibobo (Canisius), Lee Rando (Canisius)
Top Players: CB Shawn Rafferty, Sr.; LB Brad Gerardi, Sr.; DL Parker Smith,
Sr.; RB Segun Akande, Sr.; FB Rocco Coluccio, Sr.; OL Giorgio Bianchi, Sr.; OL
Adam Rosello, Sr.; TE Dom Mingione, Sr.; DB Brian McKeon, Sr.; OL Michael
Outlook: Rafferty, Gerardi and Smith will anchor the defense and Akande and
Coluccio will get the lion's share of carries on offense.