I was too busy to post something Wednesday night, but I did stop by New Rochelle for the High School Player Development camp, which is sponsored by the NFL. A few impressions to share:
— A number of coaches raved about New Rochelle QB Khalil Edney. The sophomore looks taller, stronger, faster and more confident under center, and several (not just one or two) opposing coaches said Edney had been one of the most impressive players at camp. Expect New Ro to open the offense (a little) this season to take advantage of Edney and his receiving corps of Shaquille Evans, Anthony Caldararo and Anthony DiRienzo.
— Another QB who looked sharp and ready to step in to a starting role is White Plains’ Jeff Avery. The junior was probably one of the more polished backups in the section last season, but didn’t get much playing time. He should be ready come fall.
— Both Lou DiRienzo and Mike O’Donnell raved about the other’s tight end. Austin Taps wasn’t there Wednesday, but apparently he and Caldararo were one-upping each other during tight end drills Tuesday. No doubt they are both among the best two-way players in the area, and this camp only confirmed that. Coaches raved about Taps’ size and physical dominance. O’Donnell credited Caldararo for his tireless work ethic and intensity.
— Stepinac is looking at two players to replace Tyrell Goodman. Sophomore Dan Hoffer is more of a passer, although, ironically, he is the younger brother of Ryan Hoffer, a former Stepinac tackle who went on to play line for Catholic University. The younger Hoffer’s competition/change-of-pace guy is Keith White, one of the Crusaders’ top athletes who has progressed as a passer. O’Donnell said he’s an explosive playmaker in the mold of Maurice Easterling.
— Ke’Shaun Stallworth and the contingent of Pelham players earned a few plaudits from opposing coaches. Stallworth proved he could make some plays against solid competition.
— Evans, the New Rochelle WR/DB, is healing from a shoulder injury, so he was limited. But the Huguenots were typically impressive with their depth of talent. Even without one of their top players on full display, their were plenty of others strewn throughout the school’s fields to fill the many gaping holes left by graduation.
— Optimism is high at Woodlands, where Mike Meade and his young assistants believe they have found a program with great potential. I talked to Meade, the former Roosevelt coach, for a while. He returns a couple of top playmakers in Malcolm Downey and Justin Riccio and said the HSFD camp was a perfect opportunity for the Falcons. It allowed the coaching staff to see players in pads for the first time rather than on film. They hope it provides them better insight into where their players belong on the field in advance of next month’s camp at Iona Prep.
Meade told me two dozen or so players have shown up for meetings, and many have packed the weight room three days a week. Obviously, the idea is to carry that enthusiasm through a long, hot summer, but the transition from coach Phil Treglia shouldn’t be overly difficult. Treglia ran a spread offense just like Meade, so the players in the program have something to cling to during the transition period.
— Mount Vernon will have a few playmakers to replace on offense, but the defense could be stout, led by DT Lance McDowdell and MLB Sherlon Bacchus. McDowdell wasn’t in attendance Wednesday night, but Bacchus looked solid and healthy during linebacker drills.
— The Clarkstown School District will host an HSPD camp on Friday, June 3 at Clarkstown North High School in New City. You can see the schedule around the state here. Click on the New City camp for more info.