2012 PSAL - NYC  FOOTBALL
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Even though weeks have passed, the effects of Sandy are
still being felt in the north east. Who would've thought that
this season would include off-field battles from such an epic
hurricane?  

tenacity and stick-to-itiveness that they learn as a result of
One of the justifications for sports for young people is the
participating. Well, Big Apple athletes got a double lesson
One of the justifications for sports for young people is the
thanks to that lethal lady.

Since football is about pushing on no matter what
obstacles
present themselves, whole teams, coaches included, got a
chance to put those life lessons to work  as they played the
hand they were dealt.
Some neighborhoods still look like  war zones in the midst of cleanup and most  
players throughout the boroughs have roughed things out both at school and at
home. Our hat’s off to them and the coaching staff who held things together!


Making Opponents Better
Lincoln/ Port Richmond games.  At the end of one of those games one of the
coaches was over heard saying with genuine conviction , “We have nothing to be
ashamed of !”

He was so right !!!  In both games that we covered we could see 100% no quit
football on all sides of the ball. The effort on the part of running backs, quarter
backs and swarming defenses was flawless as expected in these games.  
NYC Gridiron:  Braving The Storms to Come Out Victorious
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But something that stood out to us was the spectacular
interior line efforts that  was shown by all four teams no
matter weather they were on offense or defense. These
squads proved that they deserved to suit up on this day.  
There can be no doubt that the teams who lost on Sunday
made the victors fight for every inch they earned .


Everybody Wins
It’s funny, we wondered if the teams in both matches were'nt
reading from the same script  because both contests had
periods where the score was either tied or very close.
Friends and family, who had  ridden shotgun with their
respective teams all season  long made their presence
known as they hooted them onto victory.  
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In the Grady/ Bayside game, teams were vying for a slot in next week’s City Bowl contest.  The log jam was eventually broken by Grady
who won the hard fought battle 36-26.  As for the Lincoln/ Port Richmond skirmish, there was plenty of work put in by  the fleet footed
backs who patrol the backfields of both teams. Both squads have the ability to turn short gains into long runs. With less than a minute
on the clock it looked like the game was headed into overtime . That's when one of the  Lincoln workhorses, Antione  Holloman Jr,
turned a short chug into a lengthy trot.  

A few plays later, Jamiek Davis caught a quick toss for the go ahead score.  On it’s Next Possession,  Port Richmond tried to return the
favor but there simply wasn't enough time on the clock. Lincoln who is looking to sit on the thronefor one more year has just one more
hurdle to jump in order play for that crown at Yankee Stadium on December 4th.

No matter how you slice it all the city teams are winners just for the way they dealt with that historic storm and pressed on afterwards,
everyone’s got a lot to be proud of ! There can be no denying that the level of get-up-and-go seen throughout the league has raised
the level of play among those who are still playing and that should certainly result in
Cup, Bowl and Championship games that are
just about the best the city has ever witnessed.


Game shots have been posted.
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Coming Out On Top  
There comes a time in the season when all
of the hard work and effort simply pays off.
For The Peg legs of Stuyvesant high school
and Franklin K. Lanes Knights that day came
when the two squared off for a chance to win
the division Cup title.

Loads of classmates,friends and family were
on hand in spite of the frigid temperatures to
cheer their respective teams on to victory.
Plenty of hot chocolate and coffee flowed to
take the chill off as fans filled the stands at
Springfield Gardens High School facility .

The first quarter ended with each team
drawing a blank on the scoreboard. This
often happens as teams settle in and feel
each other out.  Things began to wake up in
the second quarter as both
teams tallied points.
The first half ended with the Knights  owning a slight lead but it still could have been anybody's
game at that point.  Halftime included recognition and awards for league leaders in various
categories. These were some of the very players and teams who'd heavily challenged both Lane
and Stuyvesant en route to this title game, so it was fitting that they were recognized for their
accomplishments.
By the time the third quarter kicked off any jitters and kinks were gone as both teams went about  
playing all out football. In fact, it seemed as though the flood gates were opened because both
squads racked up a noteworthy amount of points.  Lane ground out 28 points in the third quarter
and while Stuyvesant answered back they simply weren't able to match the Knights intensity.
that this was an all out battle . In the end the Knights took the crown and celebrated what they
hope will be the beginning of a dynasty.  Putting things in prospective the Peg legs were able to
see that they were winners too. Not only were they able to fight through the gridiron adversity that
is to be expected with getting to play in a title game but they'd also fought through some of the
toughest Hurricane -Sandy related setbacks which the city had to offer.

The school which sits on Manhattan's western shores is located in some of the lowest lying real
estate  which the big apple offers. This meant traveling and other inconveniences just to get
practices in! Bravo to coaches and players who understand the abject lesson of success through
adversity which the sport is intended to teach!
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Staying In The Mix  
themselves in the middle of where all the
action is, they may not come out on top
of the pile but they’re sure going to be
some of the shakers and movers within
the league. The two teams who played in
this year’s PSAL Bowl Game are just that
kind of a team.  As far as many
opponents are concerned South Shore
and William Grady simply represent  
difficult , if not impossible obstacles to
overcome.

Historically both of these schools have
had their moments to bask in glory.
Years ago, before the realignment of
high schools began to take place in the
city, South Shore was one of those teams
which sat on top of the championship
division.
Their strong appearance in
the 2004 city championship game is
proof of their  past dominance.
Those were the Days when David Legree stood over center and tossed the stone to the likes of Parker Canty and Tyrone Battle. In fact, The
Vikings made a solid run at the city’s
Cup title last year against MSIT.

Grady's  past is not to be overlooked either. For whatever reason Grady is one of those teams who always seem to be loaded with a quiver full of
speedy backs that are ready to decimated defenses. They certainly bring a unique flavor to the gridiron as seen in their
2005 cup appearance.
Looking at the pre-game record the fact is that Grady was the 800 pound gorilla in the room. They’d weighed in as the number-one seed who’d
churned through all comers during regular and post season play.  The Fact is that on paper The Falcons looked like the team to beat.  Being
aware of the energy which the Falcons bring to the gridiron probably helped prognosticators predict them as winners.

So what happens when two teams with known legacies meet to battle it out for a bowl title?

Well football is a funny game where there are no guaranteed outcomes, in this case it seems like the “Any given Sunday” theory kicked in before
all was said and done. The game started out with Grady making its presence known, as expected. But South Shore, who had a season’s worth of
scrapping and clawing held on without giving up. Down 14-0 in the second half the Vikings fought back on both sides of the ball to take the win 14-
13.  For South Shore It may be redemption and even the start of better things to come. No doubt for Grady, it is a letdown but don’t count the
Falcons out.

In fact look for both of these teams to be in the thick of things and shaking things up one way or another for years to come!


Game shots have been posted
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THE UNSTOPPABLE  ONES  
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Football teaches and reinforces tenacity and few teams
have the trait like Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School.

After losing a grab at last year's crown in the NYC
championship game against Lincoln, the Dutchmen
would not be denied another opportunity to take the belt
this year and that's just what they did!

While the Brooklyn natives are legendary for the solid
teams they've put out, they've particularly been a force
to be reckoned with since 2008 when Wayne Morgan, a
true freshmen helped lead the Dutchmen in a solid run at
the
2008 City Bowl Title  
While the blue crew didn't’t come away victorious they
simply reloaded Morgan and company and set their sights
on the City title for the following three years to come.
Oddly enough it seems that their pursuit of the title almost
led to entanglements with the equally dogged Pirates of
Tottenville
In 2009 the Pirates up ended the Dutchmen late in post season play to win the last slot for the championship
game.  Tottenville, who had a particularly tenacious defense that year went on to play for the City Title against that
year’s
beast-of-the-east Curtis but didn't’t come away with the crown.  

In 2010 Erasmus made it to the post season, though Tottenville made further.
Once again in 2011 Both teams were playing great ball. In fact the squads clashed deep in the post season and the
Dutchmen beat the Pirates to appear in the
Championship game at Yankee Stadium.
However they lost to Abraham Lincoln in a showery game which held storm clouds for the Dutchmen literally as well
as figuratively, despite leaving it all out on the field.

It’s funny how teams have the kind of collectively good memories which ruminate over who beat them in the past and
both of these teams remember their history well, those are the kinds of memories which create rivalries.

Playing at the level which these teams have played in the last few years, it was inevitable that they meet in a
championship scenario and Yankee Stadium proved to be the perfect backdrop.
Though Wayne Morgan has moved on to college football, there were plenty of warriors to fill
in the gaps but the same was true of Tottenville.  Almost, as if proving the comparableness
of the two teams, the championship game was a close one from beginning to end. The
opposing crowds swapped plenty of cheering and booing. Alumni from both teams were out
in force, especially the Dutchmen faithful who’d set up their tailgate right on the edge of the
stadium.

When the last second fell off the clock Erasmus was the team who had clawed for the
slimmest of leads but a lead nonetheless.

Congrats to both teams who came through all sorts of opposition both on and off the field in
a season which will always be remembered for Hurricane Sandy and the havoc it wreaked
on the north east.

Game shots have been posted
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UNFORGETTABLE  PIGSKIN
There can be no doubt that people as well as teams are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in one way or another throughout the north east.  The games we
covered just before the storm were some of most unforgettable ones we'd covered this season. most of those games were played by white-knuckled,hold on for your life
teams who simply played all out football . Some teams were playing for a playoff spot while others were playing for pride and still others were playing for both. Which ever
applied every contest made for  the kind of memorable football which couldn't be erased by a hurricane like Sandy.  Game shots have been posted below.
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Can Pain Be Good ???
Ask most new football players about pain and they’ll tell you that they hate it and do what they can to avoid it. Yet if you
ask a seasoned player and he’ll tell you how pain is one of his best friends.  No he’s not crazy, he’s simply using pain as
a motivator to make him a better football player.

It’s funny how pain was a common theme during our recent weekend coverage. What’s even funnier is that the theme
repeated itself at every level of play that we shot. There were good teams who are approaching the “ make or break”
point of the season who lost key games.  Since they’ve still got a chance to make the playoffs those coaches prompted
their wards to embrace the pain of loss and remember it through the weeks of practice and games which are to come.
Teams were encouraged to do a bit of gut checking to see if they’re really giving it their all or if they’d started to take
winning for granted. Those who don’t like the feeling of losing are sure to do all in their power not to allow themselves to
be found in the lose column again. Pretty  powerful stuff .
For other teams, the pains they’d suffered in past losses was actually a cause for celebration.  How so?  Well, there were
those who we covered that are fairly inexperienced in the game. After taking their lumps and bumps in previous outings,
they’d finally turned the corner and began showing solid game skills.  Bravo to the coaches who see this positive  
milestone and who celebrate it with their teams. What a great foundation to build on! Things can only get better from
here.

As the saying goes,” no pain, no gain” so if you’re dealing with pain, use it to your advantage.
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Inside The PSAL: Special Genetics     
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There can be no doubt that both of these teams have the tools to grind opponents down. They’ve both got physical as well as mental stamina.
So, there was no letting down by either squad whenever the other scored or made some other gain.
New York City athletes seem to have different DNA than most
others. We don’t know if it’s in the water or if it’s just great
genetics but Big Apple teams come with their own unique brand
of toughness which is not to be found anywhere else on the
planet. A good number of the city’s teams have dogged
defenses which are as hard as the concrete they live on.  Fast
twitch and reactive quarterbacks are plentiful and most have
their fair share of beefy linemen that love to punch holes in the
opposition.
On the “O” side of the ball speedy backs that know how to find
the end zone. Win or loose, any team in the city is gonna hit
opponents with everything but the kitchen sink and that usually
makes for some great match ups. Knowing that this is no mere
folklore, we perched ourselves on Dewitt Clinton’s sideline up in
the Bronx in order to get a healthy dose of high quality action.
Pitch pace and power were the order of the day as  Dewitt
Clinton hosted the visiting Curtis warriors. The Governors always
a tough bunch that don't give up anything easily in any year.
But since this game is played by the clock any tit-for-tat mash up ultimately has to end. In this case the warriors carried the win back home to Staten
Island . Final score 14-12.

Game shots have been posted.
If any team is en route to a championship the governors are usually among the ground and pound obstacles that they have to get through. This
year in particular they've got a bunch and crunch defense that usually swarms to the ball. Curtis who has had its historical share of great seasons,
also played its own brand if All in pigskin. Both teams can be exciting to watch especially with bleachers full of fans cheering em on.