Christ the King Football Looks To Bounce Back After 0-2 Start
10/1/17 - 05:41 PM

CK Royals look to rebound from an 0-2 start in their first season in the "AAA"

By Jacob Schneider

After falling to 0-2 to start the season, Christ the King High School’s football program is looking to rebound and make a name for itself this season, its first playing at the AAA level in the Catholic High School Football League.

The Royals have sent out a young roster every week against stiffer competition than they’ve been accustomed to in previous years. The team has just four seniors this year on a 30-man roster, so it is forced to start underclassmen at most positions.

“We have the talent, it’s competing that’s the issue, moving up from AA to AAA,” said ninth-year head coach Jason Brown. “It’s an experiment and we want to see how well we can handle the competition.”

Christ the King is going to rely on the veteran leadership from their seniors to improve as a team. After losing 27-0 to Chaminade in Week 1, senior captain Nicholas Hunter said there are a lot of areas for the team to improve.

“We have to communicate more on the field and off the field,” the middle linebacker said. “We need to improve on both sides of the ball.”

Aside from experience and a jump in competition, another issue facing the Royals this season is conditioning. With only 30 players on the roster, most are expected to be playing on both sides of the ball, which requires everyone to be in better shape throughout the season.

“We only have about six linemen,” Hunter said. “We’re going to need the tight ends to step in and help the offensive line while the guys are getting better conditioned to play both sides of the ball.”

The Royals will also be relying on some of their younger players to step up into a leadership role. Sophomore running back and first-year varsity player Tirek Murphy was named a team captain before the start of the season.

“It felt great to be named captain,” Murphy said. “It just means that I would have to take on responsibilities for my team early and lead them in the right path.”

Murphy knows he’ll face adversity being a sophomore on the varsity squad, but he’s ready for the challenge and relishes the opportunity to be a starter at a young age.

“I’m confident in myself and my team as well,” Murphy said. “All summer, I worked myself every day, going to the gym late night, staying late after practice.”

Murphy also believes that experience he is gaining this season as a sophomore captain will help him in his remaining three years at Christ the King.

“Gaining recognition for my first year is most important to me because your first impression is what counts the most,” Murphy said.

While Coach Brown is focused on this season just going ahead game by game, he can’t help but think of the talent his young team will have in the future.

“We have a lot of 2020 guys,” Brown said. “That’s a really special class. We have some of those guys on JV and we’re expecting them to help a lot next season.”

The Royals are expecting this to be a tough season with AAA being a higher level of competition with more high-level college recruits coming out, but the young Royals are ready for the challenge and are looking to make some noise.

“Everyone doubts us since we’re a young team,” Murphy said. “I want to shock the league.”

Posted 12:00 am, September 28, 2017


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NYCHSFL "AAA" Team Preview: CK Royals
9/18/17 - 03:58 PM

Christ The King

Last Season

Record: 7-2/Lost in the AA quarterfinals to Xavier, 28-27


2017 Overview

A team that for two years (2015, 2016) was so immensely talented and freakishly athletic that it could have hung with any Catholic program regardless of classification, many times in 2016, we were so bold as to suggest that if there were a AAA school, the Royals may very well have gone all the way…Unfortunately, as naturally gifted as they were, costly errors would prove detrimental to CTK, as they made a shocking quarterfinal exist in the AA playoffs last season, losing a rematch of the 2015 finals, 28-27 to Xavier.

The majority of the superstars that put King back on the map during the previous two seasons moved on to higher and more grandiose levels of football after 2016…..Losing 21 players, including their top-2 running backs (Siddiq Muhammad and Hasan Chambers), their top-4 receiving threats (Tosin Oyekanmi, Anthony Lang, Justin Terry, and Aron Sanabria), and three All-State defensive players (Lang-1st team DL, Terry-2nd team DB, and Jonathan Coste-4th team DL), to say that the squad that will be making their triple-A debuts are youthful and untested might be the understatement of the season….Still, fully aware of how much skill walked across the graduation stage  last spring, Head Coach, Jason Brown, gave off a sense of confidence when speaking with News12 Varsity….He referred to his 2017 cohort as “program kids,” meaning that even if they lack reps, they all know the system and appreciate the shoes that they must fill.

If the loss of so many bonafide studs at the same time is the bad news, the good news is that one man who makes a return in 2017 is the team’s leading tackler from a year ago, Nicholas Hunter….An All-Catholic selection, as well as an Honorable Mention All-State honoree, Hunter averaged double digit stops as a junior, racking up a total of 82, while adding three sacks, and a fumble recovery….If you were a coach who was in desperate need of role model, you could do no better than Hunter.   He is a gamer who by his mere presence will make the younger guns around him better.

Aiding Hunter in championing the defensive call to arms will be a pair of devastating two-way linemen, Prince Williams and Felix Jerez…Williams was credited with 24 tackles in 2016

Andre McGann, who has paid his dues sitting behind Muhammad and Chambers, is much better than his 2016 total of 136 rushing yards would indicate…In the case of McGann, because his touches were so minimal, look not at the yardage and focus instead on the fact that when the ball was in his possession, he averaged 5.7 carry….Now that he is “the guy”, you should expect that McGann is primed for a banner season that will make his name one that will remain on the tongues of the populace for each of the next two seasons.

Per the interview with News12 Varsity, Coach Brown pointed at the following newcomers are being potential impact forces this season: Tirek Murphy (Soph. DB/ RB), Nathaniel Prophete (Jr. QB), Tahliq Battle (Soph. RB/DB), Donte Goodwyn (Soph. RB/DB), Zephron Lester (Soph. DL/OL), and Darryl Fuller (Jr. OT/DT).

The Royals will be fortunate to get an early gauge as to what 2017 may have instore for them when they face Chaminade during week #2….Should they succeed in upending last year’s #6 seed in the AAA playoffs, it will mean that they have reason to believe that they will find themselves again in the hunt for Catholic only up a class this year.


News12Varsity Top 100 Football Players in NYC
9/4/17 - 05:03 PM

by Elio Velez on Sun, Aug 20, 2017 4:40 PM


DARRYL FULLER, Christ the King

Junior Offensive Lineman /Defensive Lineman 


NICHOLAS HUNTER, Christ the King

Senior Linebacker


ANDRE MCGANN, Christ the King

Junior Runningback


TIREK MURPHY, Christ the King

Sophomore Runningback


PRINCE WILLIAMS, Christ the King

Senior Offensive Lineman /Defensive Lineman


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News12Varsity Camp Confidential: Christ the King
9/4/17 - 11:49 AM

The Royals will look to have a great season in their first year as a "AAA" team.

by Elio Velez on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 12:08 AM — @eliovelez



Conference/Division: CHSFL Class AAA


LAST SEASON: 7-2 (lost to Xavier in Class AA quarterfinals)


HEAD COACH: Jason Brown (4th season)


TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Nicholas Hunter (Sr. LB), Prince Williams (Sr. OL/DL), Andre McGann (Jr. RB/DB), Felix Jerez (Sr. OL/DL)


NEW CONTRIBUTORS: Tirek Murphy (Soph. DB/ RB), Nathaniel Prophete (Jr. QB), Tahliq Battle (Soph. RB/DB), Donte Goodwyn (Soph. RB/DB) Zephron Lester (Soph. DL/OL) Darryl Fuller (Jr. OT/DT)



Youth, youth and more youth. Christ the King are going to rely on youngsters this season to set the foundation as the Middle Village school set its sights on getting ready for its first CHSFL Class AAA league contest on September 16. 

In the last few years, the Royals have returned to prominence as a winning program under head coach Jason Brown and his staff. Christ the King was just one minute away from capturing the 2015 Class AA title before falling to Xavier. Last season, the Royals went 7-1 in the regular season with a talented senior class before getting upset by Xavier in the first round of the playoffs. 

Even though the Royals could not secure a league title at the AA level, Brown felt it was the right time to make the move to the highest classification in the CHSFL. He sees a bright future despite the expected growing pains his team will encounter.  

“It’s going to be different in the sense that we got a young team,” Brown said. “We’ll see how we can adjust to the speed and try to be as physical to match up with them.”

There will be plenty of holes to fill since the Royals graduated 21 upperclassmen last season and players are expected to contribute on both sides of the ball. 

 “These are program kids,” Brown said. “They know what the system is and they know what will be expected of them.”

There are a few experienced players coming back to help the newcomers. All-city senior linebacker Nicholas Hunter had an excellent 2016 season with a team-high 82 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery. Felix Jerez returns to anchor the offensive line and in the middle as a defensive tackle. Prince Williams is another senior that will start on both sides of the line. 

Nathaniel Prophete gets first crack at starting quarterback as a pro-style passer that will look to get the ball downfield. The 5-8 McGann had only 136 rushing yards but returns as the most experienced player in the backfield. 

Yet a lot of players should get a chance to carry the football. Tahliq Battle will get some time and also play in the defensive backfield. Donte Goodwyn will also see double-duty in the secondary and the 6-foot, 180-pound Tirek Murphy is a player the coaching staff has been excited about. Murphy may see time at multiple positions on defense and his strength could add a different dimension on short yardage situations for the offense. 

Zephron Lester and Darryl Fuller will each see time on the offensive and defensive line and are examples of just how much responsibility the Royals are expected to have with a small roster. Yet Brown is quite excited for his team to have the opportunity at competing against Cardinal Hayes, St. Anthony’s and the rest of the AAA division.

“I’m more excited in the sense that our coaching staff has a chance to work with this core and put them in a position to succeed,” Brown said. “That’s the challenge I’m looking forward to.”

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