NYCHSFL "AAA" Team Preview: CK Royals
9/18/17 - 03:58 PM
Christ The King
Record: 7-2/Lost in the AA quarterfinals to Xavier, 28-27
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.