Obviously, like I said earlier this week, today was my last day at Champions Camp. I’m off on vacation beginning tomorrow afternoon. I’ll post more tomorrow about what to expect and who to contact the next two weeks if you have something interesting to share.
We were in the office this afternoon discussing our coverage of the first day or practice, which will be phenomenal, and our preview package. By the time I made it to New Ro, it was around 6:30, right in time for New Rochelle’s 7-on-7 with Roosevelt. Here are a few notes from today:
— New Ro-Roosevelt was one of four 7-on-7s. The others were Iona Prep-Eastchester, Harrison-Briarcliff, and Ardsley-Tuckahoe.
— From the last two years, I can say that you notice the intensity pick up throughout the week, not only on the field but off it. Even today, coaches and players from a couple other teams were on hand to check out potential opponents. A bunch of players from Bronxville and Stepinac were among the interested spectators.
— As talented as it is, Roosevelt will have to avoid mistakes. The Indians have great big play capability, but they committed a couple of mistakes against New Ro today that would cost them in a game. In a 7-on-7, a turnover just means a new set of downs at the 40. In a game, it can be returned for six. Big difference.
— If New Rochelle’s weakness is its line, that’s fine. It remains to be seen. But its defensive backs played excellent cover defense this afternoon against Roosevelt’s many weapons.
— It’s tough to gauge a winner in any of the 7-on-7s because they’re a paired down version of football and the impact at the point of attack isn’t quite 100 percent. That said, Eastchester looked better than expected vs. Iona Prep. The Gaels still moved the ball, but Eastchester really made them move it piecemeal, just five or so yards at a time. The Eagles were always in the area, and normally stopped the receiver before he could pick up yards after the catch. I thought it was a very positive showing for a team in transition. Tom DiCarlo is a very solid quarterback, but he was not alone. The defense played with a physical edge, competing on every play. (You can read more about Eastchester here in the coming days.)
— Michael Alfano of Iona Prep is just like his brother Chris in that he simply sucks passes out of the air. I think we all wish catching a football was that easy for us.
— Harrison’s young QB Vin Nicita threw some very impressive passes in the few plays I saw of the Huskies’ scrimmage with Briarcliff. He threw a 30 or 35-yard rope to Alex Acompora for a score on the final play that he feathered into the right corner of the end zone.
— Star FB Tanner Knox joined Harrison’s other fourth-year starter Duke Alvora on the sideline today. Knox is nursing a hamstring injury, however, so it’s not as serious. Art Troilo said he hoped Alvora (torn ACL) can return by Week 2 or 3 of the regular season.
— Tuckahoe has some serious size for a Class D team. The most impressive big man for the Tigers is Kevin Chen, a two-way lineman who is probably one of the top centers in the section, regardless of class.
Check back tomorrow for a couple more previews and (like I said above) some contact information for the next couple weeks.