By Anthony Damon ’18 and Sasha Celestin ’18.
Making the playoffs in back to back years is not an easy task, but the Varsity Football team did just that when Dewitt Clinton and Canarsie Educational Campus both lost on November 6. Sadly, the team lost the second round of the playoffs 48-12 to Curtis High School on November 19.
Finishing with a 5-4 record in the regular season earned the Hornets a playoff berth.
“It feels great to make the playoffs in my first year on varsity,” said Dontae McGriff ’19 “The guys and I worked so hard all summer, and now we have a chance to play in the playoffs, showing that our hard work paid off.”
The final regular season game on November 4, against the South Shore Vikings, could have been the last for many seniors on the team. Early in the game Charles Dubreuil ’18 recovered a fumble and took it into the end zone for a touchdown, but the Vikings rebounded and eventually won the game 24-20. South Shore scored a go-ahead touchdown with under two minutes left, putting them ahead for good. Losing the last game of the season is not the way many want to end their season, but luckily the seniors will have at least one more chance to play with their team, and try to get as far as they can in the playoffs.
“It feels great to make it this far with my teammates, in my final season playing on the high school level,” said Matthew Boateng ’17. “The South Shore game humbled me, and gave me more motivation for the next game.”
Transitioning from JV to Varsity can be overwhelming for some, but not for Tyshawn Young ’18. One of the team’s leaders, he will be bringing his team into the playoffs as the starting quarterback.
“It feels good to be the person the team depends on, especially in tough situations,” said Young. “It feels great to make such an impact in my first year on varsity.”
Preparation is a key component to winning, and how the players prepare starts with the coach. Getting ready for a playoff game can be nerve-racking, but sticking to their normal routine can set the players up for success come game day.
“We’re not going to change how we prepare, and we’re hoping the guys do what they’ve been coached to do, and that we come out on top,” said Mr. Anthony Odita. “It’s very hard to make the playoffs in our league, so I’m proud of them for making it.”
The Hornets defeated Susan Wagner 34-16 on November 12 at Wagner’s home field. Lliam Mareus ’17 caught 3 touchdowns from Young, who had 4 touchdown passes in the win. Isiah Lombard ‘17 intercepted a pass, and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown, sealing the victory. The defense stepped up, shutting down Wagner’s running game and limiting their passing with good downfield coverage.