Royals Rising: Christ the King becomes football powerhouse
10/22/16 - 07:26 AM

by Jon Perez on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 1:18 AM — @JonPerez_


It’s 10:31 p.m. on a Friday night in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

In the distance it appears as if traffic on the Verrazano Bridge has died down. The few streetlights keep 7th Avenue dimly lit. One of the lights flickers rapidly. However, the lights are significantly brighter a few hundred feet away on the gridiron at Poly Prep Country Day School.

Fans donning blue and silver are screaming for a score, those in maroon and gold are shouting for a stop.

Christ the King leads Poly Prep 17-13 with 10 seconds left. The Blue Devils have the ball at the 1-yard line.

The crowd noise starts to palpitate as time starts to wind down.


The volume rises in the stands. Defensive end Anthony Lang is ordering the rest of the Royals’ defensive line to clog the middle.

“They’re going to sneak! Shoot the gap!” Lang barks.

Senior Jonathan Coste and junior Prince Williams get in their stances. They look like hungry pit bulls, and, Poly Prep is waving a piece of meat in their faces.


On the sidelines coaches are yelling, but the noise drowns them out. Senior running back Aron Sanabria is on his knees, chewing his mouthpiece frantically. Fellow senior Tosin Oyekanmi, whose 53-yard touchdown in the third quarter is the reason why the Royals are in this position, can’t bear to watch.

He turns away.

“Have faith.” Christ the King head coach Jason Brown tells him.

He slowly turns back towards the field.

Poly Prep is a touchdown away from giving Christ the King another heart breaking loss.

Nick Kollmer, the Blue Devils’ quarterback lines up under center. His offensive line has been tested all evening. But, there isn’t another line that Kollmer would rather have protecting him. He’s got one of the top linemen in the county flanking him to his left. Isaiah Wilson is 350 pounds of pure force. Wilson has more than 40 scholarship offers to play football at a high major. He has an offer from 17 of the last 18 national champions.

Prayers are said, fingers are crossed, and eyes are buried in palms.


“Ready! Set! Go!” Kollmer shouts.

Kollmer takes the snap, ducks his head and pushes forward. Then, there’s a stall. Coste and Williams are there. They blow past Wilson and grab the ball carrier. It’s a sea of midnight blue and white and a wall forms with Kollmer in the middle.

Then, like the final move in a round of Jenga, the wall collapses. Kollmer is short.

The buzzer sounds, the game is over and Christ the King is delirious.

Players pour in different directions on to the field. They don’t know what to do. They haven’t won a game of this magnitude in quite some time.

“We are the best team in the city!” senior safety Maalik McClymont shouts, “I don’t care what anybody says!”

It might only be a non-league game in Week 2, but the kids from the Middle Village school don’t care. A win is a win.

The trip from Queens might’ve taken an hour, but this win was five years in the making.

The Beginning

Tyree Allison has gone where most football players want to go. The Beach Channel high school alum played big time football in the ACC with North Carolina before transferring to Hofstra where he caught the eyes of NFL scouts.

He had cups of coffee with the New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers before hanging up his cleats in 2003.

Allison was hired by Christ the King Regional High School in 2004 to teach trigonometry and algebra. However, his hunger to teach football needed to be curbed. During his time at Christ the King, Allison helped out with the football team from time to time, but also spent two years at Stony Brook and four years at C.W. Post as the defensive line coach.

But, times were bleak in Middle Village.

Allison had a front row seat to watch Christ the King’s football team struggle under head coach Chris Higgins. From 2009 to 2011, Higgins’ teams went 1-8, 5-5 and 1-8.

As is policy in the Catholic High School Athletic Association, administrators and coaches are paid a seasonal stipend and have to reapply after every season. After the 2011 season, Higgins didn’t reapply for the next season. Forced with a decision, Christ the King had to go in a different direction.

One afternoon in December 2011, Allison was summoned into the Athletics office to interview for the varsity head coach position. Seated across the table were Christ the King athletic directors, Bob Mackey and Joe Arbitello.

The two know a thing or two about winning. As the girls basketball head coach, Mackey has won two national titles, seven state federations championships and 14 diocesan crowns in 17 seasons. Arbitello took over the boys basketball program in 2009-10 and has won five city titles and three state federations.

Colleagues and students liked Allison. The burly man patrolled the hallways as if he is the mayor of the ‘B’ side of the building. He spoke to teachers about the New York Giants game that took place the previous Sunday, He tutored kids during his personal lunchtime, and he was always accessible. Mackey and Arbitello knew how much Allison cared for the school.

But, they wanted to field a winning football program. They wanted a man who would be at the school every day. Higgins wasn’t a teacher at Christ the King and traveled from New Jersey.

“I know the Jersey thing was hard on him, I’m sure that became an issue for him personally,” Mackey said. “Especially with the responsibility and the time commitment. As a head coach, it’s a lot of time, you’re putting in a lot of hours and a lot of work. You’ve got to really love it. I think it just became a difficult thing for Chris.”

After small talk, the interview began.

‘In four to five years, where do you see this program?’ Mackey asked.

‘We’re going to be competing in the ‘AAA,’” Allison responded, referring to the top level in the CHSFL.

“When we were looking at Mr. Allison, it was really important that we had an educator, someone who was involved in football,” Mackey said. “He played the game at multiple levels and he’s a parent as well. That was a win-win. It was really great to have someone on staff, that’s a big plus.”

On Day One, Allison had a blueprint.

Allison flipped the script from the way things were done under Higgins and previous head coach Kevin Kelly.

The team started going away to camp for preseason workouts where Allison preached discipline and accountability. He started a big brother program within the team. Each senior would take an underclassman under his wing and share his experience with the younger teammate.

Outside of camp, Allison wanted to restore the atmosphere surrounding the team. He moved the team’s home games from nearby Juniper Valley Park to Franklin K. Lane High School. He restored Homecoming by getting the student body involved and hiring a DJ to perform at the game. He even held spring practices.

However, the biggest thing he told his staff was to hit every youth football organization within 20 miles of the school and familiarize themselves with the coaches.

That was an easy request for some of the coaches on staff. Assistant coach Fred Capace had previously coached the defunct Lynvet Jets, Neil O’Donnell, the defensive coordinator, was the president of the Queens Falcons and junior varsity head coach Jason Brown was involved with the Bayside Raiders.

Allison was only around for two seasons before resigning for personal reasons. In that time, the Royals went 5-14. But, his impact was greatly felt on the lower levels.

Christ the King now had the talent in the building to compete in the CHSFL ‘AA’. Under Brown, the Royals junior varsity team lost in the ‘AA’ championship games two years in a row.

Upon resigning for personal reasons, Allison recommended Brown as his successor.  As a formality, Brown still had to interview, but Arbitello knew Brown was the right man for the job.

“He would’ve had the job sooner, he’s an electrician so he’s working, and I didn’t think it was going to fit into his schedule,” Arbitello said. “You always saw that he had that love for Christ the King and that passion to be a coach. Those are the first two things that you need.”

Brown was a running back for the Royals from 1986-1990 under head coach Steve Corso. He had scholarship offers from UNC and South Carolina but decided to attend SUNY Empire State College to become an electrician.

Like Allison, Brown also had a hunger to teach football to the youth. Working his way up from the Bayside Raiders, a pop warner team in Queens, Brown learned how to teach kids ages 8-14, which was crucial to how he interacts with the current team.

“These kids, they’re very sensitive,” Brown said. “You have to keep building them back up, so when you knock them down, you have to keep bringing them back up.”

Brown has been a student of the game and uses lessons from coaches he worked with. Brown still preaches accountability and discipline, two things he learned under Allison. Brown also attributes a lot of his mannerisms to the late Ruben Sanchez, an offensive coordinator with Brown who passed away in 2013.

“He taught me how to manage practice,” Brown said. “He showed me how to bring kids back up after you yelled at them, X’s and O’s. He basically laid down the whole foundation and how to be a better coach.”

Inside the huddle

Brown calmly patrols practice on a Wednesday afternoon. Brown is the only calm thing about practice. The Royals share Joseph F. Mafera Park with the public. It’s a large turf field that has two baseball diamonds on diagonal corners with a football field sandwiched in the middle.

On this day, two teens are taking groundballs at second base on the far left side of the gridiron. To the right is a CYO girls soccer practice. It’s not uncommon for a grounder to make its way to midfield.

With the bustling sound of the M train pacing in the background as it stops at the Fresh Pond Road station, the junior varsity and varsity practice together. The offense skill players and cornerbacks are on the football field while the offensive and defensive linemen are tucked behind the end zone pushing the sleds.

Brown watches first-year quarterback Demetrius Wilson. Wilson transferred from Cardozo in the fall and was held back a year by Christ the King. Academically a junior, Wilson has played four years of high school sports, the most a student-athlete is permitted. As Brown and his coaching staff survey passes from Wilson they also keep an eye on sophomore Nathaniel Prophet. Prophet was originally going to be called up to the varsity roster, but Wilson’s progression in camp solidified him as the starter.

On this day, Wilson forgot his practice jersey and is wearing Terrell Hunt’s Syracuse Orange navy blue jersey. Hunt, a 2011 graduate, was the starting quarterback for the Orange from 2013 to 2016. However, the injury bug bit him hard. Twice he went down with season-ending injuries (a fractured fibula in 2014 and a torn Achilles in 2015). He’s worked out for the New York Giants and still holds hope that one day he’ll play in the NFL, but for now, wearing a coaching hat fits him well.

With players huddled around Hunt, he demonstrates how receivers should run their routes and how cornerbacks should tail them. He then calls out the JV players.

“This is your time to challenge the varsity,” Hunt commands. “This will be all of you next year.”

Hunt is one of several Christ the King alumni to come back and coach. Willie Poole was an assistant under Allison. Poole played for USC in 2004 and had stints in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. The Royals have also had James Coleman and Jayvaughn Smyer help out as well. Coleman played at Buffalo while Smyer competed at Stony Brook.

“We love having the alumni come back to help us out,” Brown said. “We’re trying to bring in more.”

In addition to bringing back alumni, Brown has made his team give back to the community. Recently he brought his team to P.S. 270 to read to middle school students. Brown has also said he wants to bring his team to local hospitals and spend time with those less fortunate.

So close, yet so far

While there have been bright spots, there has also been heartbreak for the Royals.

If Christ the King appears in the CHSFL Class AA championship game on Nov 19, it will be the fourth time that the senior class has reached the final game.

They have yet to win a title.

In 2013, trailing 22-20 with seven seconds left in the JV ‘AA’ championship, Justin Terry botched a low snap that hit off of his knee and squirted free. Both Terry and running back Elyjah Campbell, now playing at Freeport, went for the loose ball. They were tackled as time expired.

In 2014, the Royals lost to Cardinal Hayes, 24-18, in the 2014 JV ‘AA’ championship.

But, last year’s loss to Xavier in the varsity ‘AA’ championship was the most devastating.

Leading 25-20 with 1:14 left in the fourth quarter and with Xavier out of timeouts, the undefeated Royals were set to punt from Xavier’s 45-yard line. A punt inside the 10-yard line would’ve been a tall order for the Knights. Xavier’s bread and butter is the single-wing offense, which calls for a heavy diet of rushing plays.

With Terry set to punt, the snap came in and so did Xavier’s Rory Kinsella, who got a piece of the punt and Joe Abbruzzese ran it in for the touchdown. A two-point conversion and an interception sealed the championship for Xavier.

In the Christ the King locker room, some were silent, others tried to hold back tears, but mostly, there were a lot of ‘what ifs.’

“It was probably the best thing to happen to us. We lost because of discipline reasons,” Brown said. “We blew teams out all year and the little things we looked over came back to bite us in the butt. We had 10 guys on the field on that punt. The center rushed on the field with no returner and they just came up the middle and the punt got blocked so it was an eye opener. It was a learning experience.”

While the loss was crushing, it gave berth to this year’s motto, which can be found on the back of helmets and coaches shirts.


This fall has been memorable for the Royals. In addition to beating perennial powerhouse Poly Prep on a last second goal-line stand, Christ the King bested long-time CHSFL Class AAA power St. Anthony’s at home on Sept. 24.

Leading 14-12 with 20 seconds left in the game, the Royals stopped the Friars on a potential game-tying two-point conversion.

“I feel like the win against St. Anthony’s was big because they’re always the powerhouse in the Catholic League,” Sanabria said. “Winning against them meant a lot. When I was a freshman, it was always St. Anthony’s, they were the team to beat in the Catholic League.”

After the win, Christ the King crept into News 12 Varsity’s tri-state top 25 poll. The Royals were ranked No. 24. They’ve continued to soar and are currently ranked No. 17 with a 6-0 record.

Two weeks later at Homecoming, Christ the King trailed 16-0 at the half to Iona Prep. The Royals shut out the Gaels, another traditional ‘AAA’ juggernaut now competing in the ‘AA,’ and scored 25 unanswered points behind senior running back Siddiq Muhammad’s 171 all purpose yards and three touchdowns.

There was much discussion at the beginning of this season to move the team up to the ‘AAA’ division. Many believe that Christ the King has the talent to make the jump, but it goes beyond talent. To be successful in the ‘AAA,’ teams need to have depth and Christ the King only has 36 players on the roster.

“These guys are ticked off that they’re not in the ‘AAA’. The reason they’re not up there is because of me,” Brown said. “I felt like we didn’t have enough numbers to be up there.”

Compared to Christ the King’s roster, St. Anthony’s has 78 players on its varsity roster; Chaminade has 65 players while Archbishop Stepinac has 63 players.

“I’m worried about constant beatings of going to play Stepinac and then you go and play St. Anthony’s the following week, then you play Poly Prep and Iona Prep and then you play St. Peter’s and there’s no days off,” Arbitello said. “There is no time for your guys to recover. If you don’t have numbers like St. Anthony’s and Stepinac it’s hard to compete. It’s like teams in the NFL; it’s the same thing. We have the talent, but we don’t have the depth that other programs do.”

Brown intends on playing many sophomores to have the numbers to compete at the ‘AAA’ level in the 2017 season.

But for now, the current seniors plan on finishing the task at hand, shedding away three years of heartache and completing the picture perfect ending by hoisting its first ‘AA’ championship since 2003.

“We feel like our life is a movie. It’s like when everything starts out sad and there’s a big, happy ending,” Terry said. “I feel like we’ve had those big sad endings, but then we’re going to come out on top for the finish. That’s what we’ve got to do this year; we’ve got to finish. Keep doing what we’re doing now, take every game one step at a time and continue doing what we’re doing.” 


CK makes statement in win over Iona Prep
10/15/16 - 08:52 AM

By: Benjamin Liebowitz

While the weather may have been cold and dreary as the Christ the King football team walked off the field Sunday afternoon, the team couldn’t help feeling as if they were walking on sunshine. 

By erasing a double-digit first-half deficit, the Royals succeeded in defeating Iona Prep 25-16 to stay perfect on the season and add yet another statement victory to the squad’s impressive resume this season. 

After battling through the elements—which included bursts of pouring rain—in the first half, Christ the King settled into a rhythm down the stretch and, by the final whistle, the Royals’ defense was the difference maker. 

“Our defense is stellar,” said Christ the King coach Jason Brown. “They’ve been playing very well for the last five weeks of the season. I can’t ask any more out of our guys.”

The Gaels set the tone of the game early, jumping out to a 16-point lead at halftime, but the Royals answered the call heading into the third quarter and Christ the King’s defensive leaders used that early-game frustration to their advantage. They hit—and they hit hard. 

Junior linebacker Nicholas Hunter led the charge with 15 total tackles, while Justin Terry came up clutch for the second straight week, hauling in a key late-game interception.

Randy Pringle also made his presence known, racking up six tackles and an interception, keeping Iona Prep off its rhythm and giving the Royals offense a chance to work its way back into the game. 

“My coach told me to sit back in the flats in Cover 4, and the quarterback threw a pass that was right to me, and fortunately I picked it off,” Pringle said. “This was an important win to put Christ the King on the map.” 

While the defense delivered hit after hit, the Royals offense made sure to cash in on their opportunities and no one was more efficient than Siddiq Muhammad. The running back—who sat out the Royals’ week four victory over St. Francis Prep—notched 170 yards on the ground and found the end zone three times, including a 30-yard touchdown reception.

The Royals’ second-half performance was a welcome change for Muhammad, who, like his teammates, struggled in the rain early on. 

“In the first half I couldn’t really run people over because the ball was slippery, and I had to make sure I held onto the ball,” Muhammad said. “Fortunately in the second half [running lanes] started to clear up, and everything on offense got better,” he said after the game.

Quarterback Demetrius Wilson threw the ball less than usual due to the wet conditions, but made sure to protect the rock and his touchdown pass to Muhammad was a game-changer.

The play almost didn’t happen, though, as the pass was deflected off and nearly landed in the hands of an Iona Prep defender. Muhammad was simply happy to find the ball in his hands.

“I was so happy that the guy missed the ball, because I was just in the right spot to make a big play for my team,” he said.

Despite having to battle the elements as well as the Gaels, Christ the King’s latest comeback is just another boost of confidence for a Royals team that is positive they can beat anyone.

“This is a big statement win,” Brown said. “I can’t remember the last time we beat Iona Prep.”


Posted 12:00 am, October 15, 2016


Big second half puts CK over Iona Prep
10/9/16 - 09:17 PM 

by Jon Perez on Sun, Oct 9, 2016 6:27 PM — @JonPerez_

Christ the King can take a punch.

After being knocked around on all facets in the first half, the Royals turned on the jets in the final half and side-stepped Iona Prep 25-16 at Franklin K. Lane high school Sunday afternoon.

With whipping winds and heavy rain drops falling out of the Brooklyn sky, Iona Prep made themselves right at home in the first half. In the blink of an eye, the Gaels led 16-0 after a safety, a 3-yard touchdown run by senior runningback Rodney Samson Jr. and a 31-yard touchdown catch from Michael Degasparis.

“Our defense stepped up, the biggest thing weren’t wrapping up [ball handlers],” Brown said. “That’s what got them 16 points very early.”

The second half was a different story.

Senior Siddiq Muhammad was the spark that Christ the King needed in the second half.  The elder statesman rushed for 171 yards on 12 carries, he found the end zone three times.  

However, it was the first touchdown that opened the floodgates. With possession to start the second half, the Royals were driving down the field. Christ the King quarterback Demetrius Wilson threw a dart up the middle that was destined for the hands of Iona Prep safety Joseph Colaio-Coppola. The ball had too much mustard on it and went through his hands, hit off his shoulder pads and propped up into the air and into the hands of Muhammad. The rest was easy as he waltzed into the end zone.

“It was a big momentum shifter, it finally went our way. This is CK football, we always get heartbreaking losses.” Brown said. “[Justin Terry] was open, I don’t know what took [quarterback Demetrius Wilson] too long to throw it. If he had thrown it earlier we wouldn’t have had the heart attack play where it hits off of (his) hands and Siddiq caught it.”

As impressive as Muhammad was, the Royals’ defense came up clutch. Christ the King, ranked No. 22 in News 12 Varsity’s tri-state poll, shut out Iona Prep, which fell to 2-3, in the second half and forced three turnovers (Randy Pringle and Justin Terry each had an interception and Anthony Lang recovered a fumble)

“Like I said from for the last five weeks, our defense has been stellar,” Brown said. “They’ve been holding us down, our offense has been shaky these last five weeks, I don’t know when we’re probably going to get it together. But, I appreciate the win, I’ll take anything, it’s the first time [we] beat Iona Prep, I can’t remember the last time we beat them, [Iona head coach Joe Spagnolo] is a great offensive coordinator and I expected that from him.”

Christ the King, which improved to 5-0, has outscored its opponents 127-65 this season. The margin has added a quiet confidence to the defending CHSFL ‘AA’ runner-ups.

“We just work hard every day, we take it day-by-day,” Muhammad said. “At practice, we’re always running our plays. We expected to win, so this is nothing to be that excited about.”


CHSAA Week 4 Player of the Week: QB Demetrius Wilson
10/6/16 - 06:26 PM

By: Matt Diano

Demetrius Wilson (Jr.); QB – Christ the King Royals

Having returned so many weapons on offense from last year’s AA runners-up, when 2016 commenced, the feeling was that the Royals might serious threats to put up 30-40 points every game of the season regardless of opponent…Blessed with a wealth of speed, athleticism, and skill, endless waves of points seemed more like a destiny than a possibility….However, through three games (note: two of which were non-league games against perennial powerhouses—Poly Prep and St. Anthony’s), CTK had yet to connect all of the dots, averaging a modest (by their golden standard) 18.3 points per game and only exceeding the 20-point mark once after hitting it in all 11 of their games a season ago.

This past Sunday, the “48 minute scoring storm” that the experts were forecasting all along finally reached land, as the #6 ranked team in the New York State Class A polls put on a show for those in attendance, combing for 470 yard between their running and passing attacks en route to a 47-12 win on the road against St. Francis Prep.

A complete team effort that witnessed five different Royal student-athletes reach the end zone, there was no shortage of viable options from which to choose…Ultimately, the committee opted for the junior field general, Wilson, because his role as a dual-threat QB enabled him to have a hand in four of the team’s six total touchdowns…The Cambria Heights product was very balanced in the damage he inflicted, as he threw for two touchdowns and then ran for an additional deuce.

Undeniably the best performance of his still young varsity career, in week #4, Wilson established a career high in passing yards with 182, tied his previous best effort with the aforementioned two TD tosses, posted a 139.2 QBR, and even had a banner afternoon the ground, notching his first career multiple rushing TD game.

All in all, Wilson was directly responsible for over 50 percent of CTK’s total offense, as the 74 yards for which he ran, when added to the 182 he tossed added up to 256 yards…He accomplished all of this gaudy numbers despite only touching the ball 16 times (11 passes; 5 runs) all day.

The 6’2 junior completed 6 of 11 pass attempts, hooking up with star wide-out, Tosin Oyekanmi (3 catches, 100 yards), on both TD strikes, and ran for an average of 14.8 carry, to rank second on the team in this category.

Wilson and the Royals will look to keep the points train rolling next week when they face Iona Prep in a potential preview of the AA championship game…The visiting Gaels have scored no less than 31 points in each of their four games this season and are averaging 43.5 points/game in their two double-A contests…Hence, if Christ the King intends to maintain their status as the division’s prohibitive favs, it goes without saying that the offense is going to need to be locked and loaded on Sunday the 9th.


CK Royals Make MSGVarsity Trip-State Top 25
9/27/16 - 09:10 PM

After an impressive 14-12 victory over Long Island power St. Anthony's of Huntington, the CK Royals have cracked News 12 Varsity's Tri-State Top 25 for the first time in well over a decade. 

The Royals, who are currently 3-0, enter this week's top 25 at number 24. There are only 2 other NYC teams ranked higher than the Royals.

CK is also ranked number 3 overall in this weeks city poll.

Congratulations to Coach Jay Brown, the coaching staff, and every member of this years varsity squad on what has already been a historic season for the Royals.

CK takes on Queens Rival St. Francis Prep next Sunday at Martin Van Buren. Come out and support your CK Royals!!!


Christ the King notches season-opening win over Xavier
9/16/16 - 07:42 AM

CK gets some revenge by beating Xavier in its first game of the season

By Benjamin Leibowitz

It was anything but an easy game for the Christ the King football team Saturday. The Royals squared off against Xavier in a repeat of last year’s city championship and took on a difficult offensive scheme known as a “single wing.”

But while Christ the King may have come up short against the Knights last year, this year’s Royals squad was more determined than ever and that will led to a season-opening 24-12 victory.

“It was like a heavyweight fight,” Royals coach Jason Brown said. “We have a new quarterback. It was a tough game but we finished. And that’s our motto, finishing.”

The Royals got on the board early, but Xavier’s offense hit its stride in the second quarter. 

The “single wing” is an offense that is designed to deceive—nearly all the plays in the scheme are rush and passing attempts designed to come as a surprise. 

Xavier did its fair share of surprising as well, mixing up plays and scoring 12 points in the second quarter as Jalen Johnson hit the ground running. The senior barreled into the end zone from four yards out for his first touchdown of the afternoon, sparking the Knights and setting Christ the King back on its toes. 

Xavier was throwing Christ the King’s defensive rhythm off early when the Knights started passing the ball and while passes came few and far between, Malik Fisher’s 31-yard reception was a momentum-changer late in the second quarter. 

Facing a five-point deficit, the Royals desperately needed a spark before halftime. 

That spark came from Justin Terry. With time about to run out in the first half, Terry hauled in a slip screen from quarterback Demetrius Wilson, and took it all the way down the field for a touchdown.

Christ the King went into the break with a 14-12 lead and the Royals walked off the field with a spring in their step.

The Royals did not allow another point for the remainder of the game as they locked in on both sides of the ball.

Sophomore running back Andre McGann stepped up in a big way for his team down the stretch. McGann, who is behind several running backs on the depth chart, proved that he belonged in this game. He broke off a 52-yard run and a 21-yard run, as well as saving a fumble and running it back to the line of scrimmage. 

“I always tell myself that life is about adjustments, and I just needed to adjust, and I adjusted well,” McGann said. “And now I need to step up and focus on next week,” 

Terrell Jones also ran an interception into the end zone for a touchdown, playing a shutdown defensive game at cornerback. 

“I jumped the route, and saw the passes well,” said Jones of the play. 

By the final whistle, the Royals defense settled into its stride and proved that Christ the King has one of the deepest units in the city. 

This defense is loaded with college recruits including cornerback Randy Pringle, who is committed to Stony Brook; defensive end Anthony Lang, who is committed to Albany; and defensive tackle Jonathan Coste, who has offers from Old Dominion, Monmouth, Delaware State, and Central Connecticut State. Kylon Coombs also stepped up in the waning moments, coming through with a big sack and fumble recovery. 

It wasn’t a perfect game and, going forward, the Royals hope to settle into a rhythm from the opening whistle. Nonetheless, a win is a win and now, it’s just about the next game and the next hit. 

“Defense wins games,” Coons said. “If you can’t play defense they score, and we’ll lose.”


Posted 12:00 am, September 16, 2016


CTK makes last stand to beat Poly Prep
9/16/16 - 12:01 AM

by Elio Velez on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 11:52 PM — @eliovelez 

Christ the King has made it a vow this season to execute on the one word that is written on the chalkboard before every football game. This season for the Royals is about the word ‘finish’ and nothing could have been as more of dramatic example than trying to fulfill that motto on the final play of the game. 

The Royals defense stood up Poly Prep quarterback Rob Kollmer at the Christ the King's 1-yard line as time expired on the clock to give the visitors a stunning 17-13 non-league victory Friday night in Bay Ridge. 

Jonathan Coste was one of the Royals starting defensive linemen that made enough of a push forward against highly ranked lineman Isaiah Wilson and the Blue Devils to halt Kollmer’s sneak attempt just inches away from the end zone. Christ the King improved to 2-0 this season and ranked No. 9 in New York City and No. 12 in the Small School 15 poll by News 12 Varsity. 

“We had enough time and this was us going to get the win you know. It’s all about defense. In practice everyday, we work on our goal line,” Coste said. “I had the number two player in the country in front of me. I didn’t pay no mind. I did what I have to do, we got in there and we made the stop.”

The Royals also showed the mental adversity according to head coach Jason Brown to end up the victor in what was an intense back and forth contest. Demetrius Wilson battled through right shoulder soreness as the junior quarterback to complete touchdown passes to Tosin Oyekanmi and a 53-yard strike Anthony Lang in the third quarter that gave Christ the King the lead for good. 

“That’s a great win for the program and Christ the King. It shows how far we came. Our defense played a hell of a game and we kept them on the field a lot,” Brown said. 

Poly Prep was down 3-0 early in the second quarter when senior cornerback Tegha Egbiri intercepted a Wilson pass deep into CK territory. Just four plays later, senior quarterback Rob Kollmer continued his fine effort on the night with a 5-yard touchdown run up the middle to give the hosts a 7-3 lead with 7:52 left in the first half. 

Christ the King’s offense committed three turnovers, including two fumbles for Siddiq Muhammad in the game but the group did respond with making big plays. Oyekanmi caught a slant pass up the middle and went downfield untouched for a 38-yard touchdown reception with 3:29 left in the first half to go up 13-10. 

Kollmer had an impressive game using his strong frame to rush for 22 carries with 126 yards and engineered Poly Prep’s opening touchdown drive to start the second half. LSU baseball commit Nick Storz used all of his 6-foot-6 frame to outleap two defenders in the end zone to haul in a 7-yard touchdown pass as the Blue Devils took a 13-10 lead. 

Lang helped his team respond with a heads up play on a third down and seven when Wilson was flushed out of the pocket and heaved a long pass down the left sideline. The Albany bound wide out adjusted on the fly to take a few steps back to get the ball and then shook off a defender’s ankle tackle to dive into the end zone with 3:37 left in the third quarter on the go-ahead 53-yard touchdown score.

“I just look at it like you have to go up and get it. It’s whoever wants it more,” Lang said. “I wanted it more that play. I wanted my team to come out with the victory.”

The hosts made a big defensive stand at their 31-yard line with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter and made their long march downfield. Storz caught a 22-yard reception to set up Poly Prep at the 12-yard line and were just inches away form winning when the referees eventually ruled after a moment of hesitation that Kollmer was stopped short of the goal line.

Poly Prep coach Kevin Fountaine was happy with the effort his team displayed on the night and for dealing with injuries to key players like freshman Lamy Montini, who suffered a sprained ankle in last week’s win over Valley Forge. The Blue Devils are now 1-1 and ranked No. 7 in the Tri-State Small School 15 poll. 

“We play tough all the time. Christ the King has a lot, lot of talent but so do we,” Fountaine said. “We’re real proud of our guys and we’re going to regroup and get ready for homecoming.”

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Championship Rematch on Saturday
9/9/16 - 10:39 AM

We will never forget

On Saturday the Royals of Christ the King will play the very same team that ended their season last year. XAVIER.

Game time is 2:30 at Franklin K. Lane High School.


MSG Varsity Camp Confidential: Christ the King Royals
9/4/16 - 08:57 PM

The Royals head into the 2016 season with confidence 

by Elio Velez on Sat, Sep 3, 2016 4:48 AM — @eliovelez

Christ the King Royals Confidential


LAST SEASON: 10-1 (Lost to Xavier in CHSFL AA championship)


HEAD COACH: Jason Brown (3rd season)


TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Anthony Lang (Sr. DE/TE), Justin Terry (Sr. WR/DB), Siddiq Muhammad (Sr. RB/OLB), Randy Pringle (Sr. DB), Jonathan Coste (Sr. DE), Adrian Velez (Sr. RB)


NEW CONTRIBUTORS: Jarrett Paul (JR. DB), Prince Williams (Sr. DT), Demetrius Wilson (Jr. QB)


OUTLOOK: One sequence during last year’s CHSFL Class AA championship game ultimately defined Christ the King’s 2015 season.

Royals coach Jason Brown took responsibility along with his coaching staff when its special teams allowed Xavier to block an attempted punt that allowed the Knights to scoop up the ball for the game-winning touchdown to seal its first Class AA title. The lesson of that day last November has been taken quite seriously for this upcoming season.

“Our motto this year is to finish. The problem we had last year the kids were undisciplined on the field,” Brown said. “We had 10 guys on the punt and a guy ran down unshielded down the field. it was management, coaches fault and you cant blame the kids. You got to put them in the right spot and it could have worked out”

The bitter ending overshadowed what was a quite year for the Royals, who have continued a turnaround in the standings ever since Brown arrived to take over the program three seasons ago. Christ the King returns 26 players and a number of those have already received scholarships from NCAA FCS programs or offers from BCS schools.  

The Royals have a number of players hat will start or see time on both sides of the ball. At least four of Brown’s starters have accepted scholarships including lineman Anthony Lang to Albany, Justin Terry to Monmouth, running back Siddiq Muhammad to Marshall and Stony Brook bound Randy Pringle.

“We’re just focusing on trying to be more disciplined as a team.  We’re just trying to stay on track and have that same skillset,” Terry, who will start at defensive back and at wide receiver, said. “We lost a couple of guys but I still think we have that same skillset to get us where we was last year. We just need to finish.”

The newest face on the offensive side of the ball is the most important position. Cardozo transfer Demetrius Wilson is an athletic 6-foot-1 quarterback who doesn’t have a lot of experience but his potential upside would match up with his teammates. 

Senior wide receiver Tosin Oyekanmi was the team’s leading receiver and a deep threat downfield. Siddiq Muhammad will use his burly strength in the backfield and mix and match alongside Adrian Velez, Elyjah Campbell, Hasan Chambers, Aron Sanabria and others. 

The team’s strength defensively may arguably be the secondary with Terry, who had 64 tackles last season coming back at free safety, joining alongside Pringle, Maalik McClymont and promising sophomore defensive back Jarrett Paul. Jonathan Coste was second in the team with 7 sacks last season and newcomers Prince Williams, a transfer from Valley Stream High School along with Felix Jerez will see time on the defensive line. 

“We’re really working hard. We’re kicking it up a notch so we’re going hard every day. Working in the weight room,” Muhammad said. “We’re really working hard. Hopefully we get that ring we are looking for.”



Home games at Franklin K. Lane HS


Sept. 10, 1:30 p.m. vs. Xavier 

Sept. 16, 7 p.m. at Poly Prep

Sept. 24, 1:30 p.m. vs. St. Anthony’s

Oct. 2, 1 p.m. at St. Francis Prep (Martin Van Buren HS)

Oct. 9, 1 p.m. vs. Iona Prep 

Oct. 15, 7 p.m. vs. Kellenberg (Mitchel Athletic Complex)

Oct. 22, 1:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist

Oct. 28, 7 p.m. at Fordham Prep 

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Royals are focused for a push toward the CHSFL crown
9/4/16 - 08:54 PM

CK senior's Justin Terry (L, Monmouth Commit), and Siddiq Muhammed (R, Marshall Commit) hope to lead the Royals to the CHSFL "AA" City Championship this season 

By: Lauren Amato

The Christ the King football team can still remember every detail of their loss in last year’s CHSFL Class AA championship game agaist Xavier. This year the squad is determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. 

This season’s Royals are focused—on competing, on winning and, most importantly, on clinching a championship. 

“Since my freshman year we’ve gone to the championship three times in a row and we haven’t finished,” said senior receiver and Monmouth commit Justin Terry. “I feel like our life is like a movie, so we just have to end with a ‘w,’ get that happy ending.”

The Royals notched a handful of practices on their home field last week before packing up their bags for a team camp. It’s a trip that has become a tradition for Christ the King, one that helps refine that much-needed focus. 

“The problem we had last year was discipline and it showed on the field,” coach Jason Brown said. “This class is special. But we want to finish this year. That’s very important to us.”

Christ the King returns a whopping 26 players from last year’s squad, which finished a perfect 6-0 in league play and dominated on the offensive side of the ball. 

But there are still a few questions when it comes to offense, particularly with brand-new quarterback Demetrius Wilson.

Brown called Wilson, who previously played at Cardozo, a true athlete, but it’s his first year in the position and there have already been obstacles on the offensive side of the ball. 

“We’ve got a new quarterback, so it’s been kind of hard to get the same bond,” Terry said. “But we’re trying to stay on track and keep the mindset. We lost a couple of guys from last year, but I personally think we’ve got the same skill set to get us back to where we were. We just need to finish and we just want to avenge ourselves.” 

The Royals may be one of the most naturally skilled teams in the entire city, but Christ the King isn’t willing to rest on its laurels. That philosophy didn’t lead to a championship in the past and the team knows it won’t this year. 

“We’re really working hard,” said senior Siddiq Muhammad, who will head to Marshall University next year. “We’ve kicked it up a notch and we’re going hard every day on the field. Hopefully we get that ring that we’ve been waiting for.”

Every team across the city comes into the season with its collective sights set on a championship, but Christ the King is determined to prove something. 

“This is about winning a championship although I don’t like looking that far ahead,” Brown said. “That’s our main goal though is to win a championship and then move up to AAA. This is a blessed class and just a lot of winners.”


Posted 12:00 am, September 2, 2016



Royals Earn MSGVarsity Top 100 Honors
8/11/16 - 09:00 PM

CK running back Adrian Velez, along with 6 other Royals, made MSGVarsity's Top 100 players in NYC for the 2016 football season

Congratulations to the members of the CK Royals Varsity Football team who have earned the honor of being considered part of the top 100 players in NYC by MSG Varsity.

The players, in no particular order, are:

Jonathan Coste, Senior OL/DL

Siddiq Muhammad, Senior LB/RB, commited to Marshal

Tosin OyeKanmi, Senior WR/DB

Jarrett Paul, Junior DB

Randy Pringle, Senior DB, commited to Stony Brook

Justin Terry, Senior DB, commited to Monmouth

Adrian Velez, Senior RB

Check out the full list on :