All-state selection Lucas Statz leads Waunakee contingent making college football choices

Three players from the WIAA Division 2 state champion Waunakee football team have announced their college plans. Senior defensive back Lucas Statz, senior offensive lineman Brandon Kaminski and senior Isaiah Lindley have decided to continue their academic and football careers at UW-La Crosse, Waunakee football coach Pat Rice said. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound Statz was a first-team selection on the Wisconsin State Journal/ All-Area football team. He was a first-team choice on the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association and Associated Press all-state teams. He was a first-team Badger North Conference performer and the league’s defensive player of the year. He was named the Jim Leonhard winner as the state’s top defensive back. He had seven tackles, including a tackle for loss, and had a pass breakup in the Warriors Division 2 state title victory. He had 94 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, six interceptions, three fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. He scored two defensive touchdowns and recorded a safety. He also scored on two kick returns. The 6-2, 240-pound Kaminski was a first-team choice as a guard on the Badger North all-conference team. He was an honorable-mention selection as an offensive lineman on the Wisconsin State Journal/Wisconsin Prep Zone All-Area football team. The 6-1, 180-pound Lindley played running back and defensive back. He is coming back from a knee injury sustained in preseason, Rice said. Fort Atkinson’s Ian Carnes makes college choice Fort Atkinson senior Ian Carnes, a 6-2, 275-pound offensive lineman, announced via Twitter that he has orally committed to UW-La Crosse for football. Carnes was a second-team choice as an offensive tackle in the Badger South Conference. He tweeted: “Excited to say I will be continuing my academic and athletic careers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Continue Reading

Football recruiting: Mater Dei’s Amon-Ra St. Brown commits to USC

By Dan Albano | [email protected] | Orange County Register January 6, 2018 at 12:59 pm Mater Dei wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has been selected to the Register’s All-County football team and photographed at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)Mater Dei’s Amon-Ra St. Brown evades a tackle from De La Salle’s Amir Wallace in the CIF State Open Division championship game at Sacramento State in Sacramento on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)Mater Dei’s Amon-Ra St. Brown spins the ball in the endzone after scoring in the CIF State Open Division championship game at Sacramento State in Sacramento on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)Mater Dei’s Amon-Ra St. Brown jumps over Mater Dei defenders for some extra yardage in the semifinals of the Division 1 football playoffs in Mission Viejo on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)Mater Dei’s Amon-Ra St. Brown, left, celebrates Horace McCoy III’s first half touchdown during their Trinity League game at Santa Ana Stadium in Santa Ana, Calif. on Friday, November 3, 2017. (Photo by Bill Alkofer, Orange County Register/SCNG)Mater Dei’s Amon-Ra St. Brown, right, reacts after catching a pass for a big gain after being tackled near the end zone by St. John Bosco’s Cross Poyer, left, during their game in Torrance, Calif., on Friday, October 13, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)Mater Dei’s Amon-Ra St. Brown pulls in TD pass as Bosco’s Jaiden Woodbey defends. Mater Dei Vs. St. John Bosco football game Friday October 13, 2017 at El Camino College. Photo By Robert Casillas,Daily Breeze/ SCNGMater Dei’s Chris Murray, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Solomon Tuliaupupu have some fun while posing in their jerseys for the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Continue Reading

Poly Prep HS football team beats The Hun School, 35-12, in independent schools battle in Brooklyn

Performances like junior quarterback Chris Parker had Saturday afternoon are becoming par for the course, and that is scary news for Poly Prep’s opponents.   On a homecoming day where the seniors were honored before the game, it was the diminutive junior who stole the show, dancing his way up field, constantly making defenders miss and keeping them honest with his arm in a 35-12 win over The Hun School (N.J.) in Dyker Heights, avenging a loss in this same matchup last season.   Parker ran 16 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns and finished 3-for-6 passing for 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This comes a week after he racked up five total touchdowns against Canada Prep.   On the first drive of the game, Parker connected with sophomore tight end Ray Marten up the seam for a 54-yard score that forced the Raiders to respect the pass. It was Parker’s 21-yard touchdown run with 4:16 left in the second quarter, however, that drew the most ‘oohs and ahs’ from the crowd, as he juked at least four defenders on a rush right, breaking tackles on his way to the end zone.   “I’m small; I have to keep bodies off me to keep myself healthy,” the 5-foot-7 Parker said. “So I gotta avoid all the shots I can, don’t let anybody get a free hit on me.”   “The past few games he’s been phenomenal,” Poly Prep coach Dino Mangiero said. “He’s got a great ability to make people miss. If somebody gets back there and he has to scramble, he gets into the open field and he’s tough to tackle.”   Parker did take one hit where he hurt his right shoulder late in the third quarter while the Blue Devils (5-0) were driving with a 15-point lead. Parker said it felt like it popped out, and he had it popped back in on the sideline, though he said it wasn’t too painful, and he didn’t miss a play.   It was an imperfect day for Parker, however. Hun began its Continue Reading

Glenn Foley, former New York Jets quarterback, coaches Valley Forge to win over Brooklyn’s Poly Prep

Dino Mangiero didn't mince his words. "Three trips to the Red Zone (in the first half) and zero points; that's the story of the game," said Poly Prep's football coach. When Poly Prep's vaunted offense, which resembles that of the Tim Tebow-led University of Florida teams, stalled, so did their chance to win. The Blue Devils held the offensive edge but had two turnovers and a blown coverage in the secondary, resulting in a 17-7 loss to Valley Forge Military Academy of Wayne, Pa., Friday night in Bay Ridge. "I love New York," said Valley Forge coach Glenn Foley, donning a smile and a green New York Jets cap. "We beat a really good team but our guys have bought into what we're doing. For the first time this season we didn't turn the ball over." Foley, who quarterbacked the Jets in the 1990s, inherited a team coming off back to back 1-8 seasons. Valley Forge improved to 3-0 as Foley installed an up-tempo Pro Style offense. Valley Forge, an all-male boarding school situated on Philadelphia's Main Line, boasts players from 11 states, including 12 post-graduates. The Blue Devils (3-1) had beaten Valley Forge in 16 of the previous 17 meetings. Poly Prep led 7-3 in the third quarter when senior running back Jacob Rivers scampered 10 yards for a touchdown. Valley Forge took a 9-7 lead with 7:53 left the game on a broken play. Quarterback Tyler Hrycak (5-of-16 for 78 yards) went through his progressions, rolled right and then Poly's coverage broke down. "We were in Cover 3 but the one kid was under the impression we were in Cover 2," Mangiero said. Hrycak's wobbly throw found wide receiver Stephen Hodge for a 37-yard score.On the second play after the ensuing kickoff, cornerback Lawrence Livers returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown and Devon Levesque caught a two-point conversion to cap the scoring.Poly Prep dominated the offensive side of the ball, outgaining their visitors, 238-172, in yards from scrimmage, and held a Continue Reading

Eighth-grader Neil Carruso calls play-by-play for St. Francis Prep

Neil Carruso watches closely as St. Francis Prep's Bobby Dougherty blazes past defenders, returning the opening kickoff in Friday's night contest against Fordham Prep. He takes a deep breath as Dougherty runs into the end zone, exhaling as the ref signals a score. "Touchdown!" Carruso says. "A fantastic return by Bobby Dougherty!" His childish voice makes the statement authoritatively, as if everyone in the Mitchel Athletic Complex can hear. And that's because they can. Carruso is no kid sitting with his parents in the stands. He's alone in a room in the press box, but his every word bellows through the stadium loudspeakers. The eighth-grader from Sacred Heart in Bayside serves as public address announcer for the St. Francis Prep football team, calling every home game for the Terriers this season. "I enjoy it a lot," he says. "And Mr. Fischetti gave me a great opportunity to do this." "Mr. Fischetti" would be Sal, St. Francis Prep's athletic director. Carruso's parents, Neil and Rosemary, both attended the Fresh Meadows school, and Carruso used to frequent basketball coach Tim Leary's summer camp. Often, he'd mention broadcasting with Fischetti in earshot. So last winter, when Fischetti realized he'd need an announcer in 2008, he dialed the Carrusos. Young Neil accepted the post, and his father became just a bit concerned. Carruso turns 13 next month, but he might as well be 30. Or 35. Maybe 40. He says everything with a straight face, prefers discussing economics to entertainment and always begs for more "responsibility." He runs Sacred Heart's school newspaper, competes on the swim team and says he barely has time for friends. Neil Sr. says his son always wanted to "be an adult." "That's weird with him," Neil Sr. says. "Sometimes, he should just be a kid. But he interacts better with adults, it seems like, than kids." Two years ago, while attending a function with his father at North Hills Country Club, Carruso sidled up to Al Trautwig and Continue Reading

Fordham Prep’s Calvin McCoy injures ankle, out for Senior Bowl

Fordham Prep planned to play "smash-mouth football" against Thanksgiving Day rival Xavier. But those plans were scrapped on the first snap of the Rams' 20-14 loss at Aviator Field in Brooklyn. Senior runner Calvin McCoy took a handoff on the Rams' first play from scrimmage and tweaked his ankle when a safety landed on his leg after the tackle. "That was the last guy I had to beat before the end zone," McCoy said. "It was horrible." McCoy returned to the field three plays later but couldn't make it back to the line of scrimmage on a third-down carry. He said doctors told him he had sprained his ankle and that he would be on crutches for two weeks. McCoy will miss the CHSFL Senior Bowl, scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Hofstra. Fordham Prep was forced to throw the ball for the rest of the afternoon and played mostly out of the shotgun. "We weren't ready for it so everything was out of synch," said McCoy, who led 'AA' with 124 rushing yards per game. "The snaps were bad and the running backs had four or five fumbles." Xavier back Seamus Kelly ran for 217 yards and three touchdowns as the 'A'-champ Clippers won their second straight Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Rams, who had won seven straight before last year's loss. This rivalry dates back to 1886, but the schools didn't play annually until 1927. MOUNT 36, HAYES 0: Mount's defense shut out Cardinal Hayes to extend its Turkey Bowl winning streak to 27 in a home win last Thursday. Senior Jayson Holt threw three touchdown passes, matching his season total. He spread the scoring strikes to Marvin Brown, Justin Gonzalez and Chris Merengueli in the 65th edition of the rivalry. James Martin ran for a four-yard touchdown in the first quarter and Gary Acquah added a 60-yard touchdown run on the Mountaineers' first play of the second half. Mount lost a close 'AAA' title game to seven-time champ St. Anthony's for the second straight year five days before trouncing the young Cardinals. Continue Reading

Prep football: Immokalee wears out South Fort Myers late in battle of district champs

South Fort Myers at Immokalee lived up to the high school football hype Friday night. For three quarters, anyway. As both coaches promised, their district championship teams held absolutely nothing back even though both teams splash into the playoffs -- Class 5A for Immokalee and Class 7A for South Fort Myers. In a game loaded with talented seniors, it was a sophomore who made the biggest difference as Immokalee quarterback RJ Rosales led the Indians to an eventual 55-23 rout with five touchdown tosses and several crucial double-digit yardage runs. South Fort Myers coach Brian Conn, whose team finished the regular season 5-4, was awful impressed."The first time I saw him play in person was on a Tuesday night at Cypress (Lake)," Conn said. "Without looking at the program, I could've sworn he would be a senior with the way he controls the offense."The score is a bit deceptive as Class 7A South Fort Myers trailed just 34-23 with 11:16 left to play before the bottom fell out thanks to the eighth-ranked Class 5A Indians, who finished the regular season at 9-0. "We wore down a little bit in the end and made some mistakes," Conn said. "They have some guys that make it look like a video game at times. We know they can score. We needed to score a few more than we did tonight, but overall I was happy with the way the guys fought tonight."Second-year Immokalee coach Rodelin Anthony said pulling away is the Indians' thing. "That's how we do it," Anthony said. "We condition and we work hard and understand what kind of ball we play. We keep it up, keep our momentum going. We're a tough team. We believe that and we can hang our hat on that."All Florida teams learn their playoffs draws Sunday. Immokalee has only gone undefeated in a regular season twice. In 2000, the Indians made the state semifinals after doing it. In 2006, the undefeated Indians weren't eligible for the playoffs. Rosales was 14 of 17 for 215 yards and had no interceptions Continue Reading

Prep football: Barron Collier awaits playoff fate after loss to Wauchula-Hardee

This certainly wasn’t the time for an absolute clunker of a performance by the Barron Collier High School football team.The Cougars, fighting for their playoff lives, made way too many costly mistakes to Class 5A district champion Wauchula-Hardee on the road, and now must sweat out their playoff fate after a 36-22 loss when a win would have certainly gotten them into the postseason.Coming off a heartbreaking 16-15 loss to archrival Naples last week, the Cougars looked a bit lifeless early on, with Hardee jumping on them for a 14-0 first-quarter lead.“We came out flat,” Barron Collier coach Mark Jackson said. “It’s my job to get them ready to play, and I don’t necessarily think we were ready to play tonight. Just a whole bunch of mistakes tonight. In that first quarter, we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We’d make a play (on defense) and then give up two. We just couldn’t put it all together.”Barron Collier (4-5) entered the game knowing it needed to win and it would qualify for the postseason for a second consecutive season.With the FHSAA going to a points system to determine the playoff teams among the non-district winners in Classes 5A through 8A, the postseason picture is now muddy for the Cougars. Barron Collier entered the night in seventh place in the Class 6A-Region 3 standings, with the top eight qualifying for the postseason. No. 6 Clearwater lost to 4-5 Class 7A squad East Lake, while No. 9 Charlotte lost to 6-3 Class 7A squad Palmetto. Hardee is a playoff-bound 7-3 Class 5A school, and with both No. 5 Palmetto Ridge and No. 8 Port Charlotte winning, the race for the final two spots appears to be razor-thin.“I’m just hoping we get another opportunity, and I think we’re going to back-door our way in there,” Jackson said. “And if we do get in, I like our chances. Everybody starts 0-0 and we’ve shown we can play with anybody.”Hardee senior quarterback Kai Continue Reading

Prep football: Estero beats Cypress Lake to snap losing streak

 ESTERO — Three first-half rushing touchdowns pushed the Estero High School football team to a 27-12 victory over visiting Cypress Lake in both teams’ regular-season finale on Friday night at Jeff Sommer Stadium. The Wildcats rushed for 188 yards as a team and held the Panthers to just 46 yards rushing in snapping their 3-game losing streak. “We came out and tried to run the football,” said Estero interim coach Brad Vojcak, who's filled in since head coach Jeff Hanlon was reassigned by the school district pending an investigation a month ago. “We have all the faith in our defense because they have been great all season. Our guys fought for 48 minutes and I’m happy for our seniors to go out with a win.”Cypress Lake (3-6) opened the game’s scoring in the first quarter on the first drive of the game when senior Jerry Ridley scored on a 2-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead. Estero (4-4) struck right back on its next drive however as sophomore quarterback Tanner Elliott kept the ball on a zone read play and scored on a 9-yard touchdown run around the right tackle. The Wildcats added a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs by senior Phil Hobbs — the second coming with four seconds left in the second quarter — to take a 21-6 lead into the halftime break. “We played an embarrassing and ugly first half,” Cypress Lake coach Richie Rode said. “We were down about 12 guys today but that is part of it this late in the season. I was proud of the second half but the first half just put us in too big of a hole.”Estero stretched its lead to 27-6 in the third quarter when Elliott found Ethan Johnson on a 7-yard touchdown pass. The Panthers trimmed that lead to 27-12 late in the third quarter when senior Nik Gardner caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback CJ Shedd but drew no closer as neither team scored in the fourth quarter. Hobbs led all Continue Reading

50 years ago, IU football made the Rose Bowl — no, really

Think times are turbulent?Fifty years ago, the United States was at war in Vietnam, and with itself. It was the summer of love, and of hate. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws banning interracial marriage, and Thurgood Marshall became the first black justice. The Beatles ruled pop culture.Into this maelstrom came the Indiana Hoosiers. They were coming off a 1-8-1 football season and a 51-6 loss to Purdue. If they were not the worst major college team of 1966, they were close to it. Coach John Pont wasn’t on the hot seat. He was as good as gone.One year later:If the Hoosiers were not the nation’s best team, they were close to it.  They finished the regular season 9-1 and ranked No. 4 in the country.ESPN can be excused for not filming a “30 for 30” documentary. Might be dismissed as fake news.Except there was nothing fake about it.After winning their Big Ten opener at Illinois, the Hoosiers became 3-0 for the first time since 1928. As players boarded the bus for the trip back to Bloomington, quarterback Harry Gonso found himself sitting near offensive lineman Bob Russell, one of the seniors who had endured two seasons with three total wins.Gonso expressed amazement.Russell turned, looked at his quarterback, and replied:“You know, I think we’re for real.”They were.Players and coaches are returning to IU for a 50-year reunion. They will be introduced to the Memorial Stadium crowd Nov. 18 during the game against Rutgers.The 1967 Hoosiers were the Cardiac Kids, playing eight games not decided until the final four minutes. “Punt, John, punt” became a catchphrase. The Hoosiers had an infusion of talent, were lean and fast, featured a new offense and a stout defense ... and, well, some luck. The Big Ten was down.Mark Stevens was a freshman center at Indiana. Years later, he witnessed his son, Brad, coach underdog Butler to within one shot of college basketball’s national championship. As with those Continue Reading