I spent this morning at White Plains for an 11-way scrimmage that included the following: White Plains, Rye, Eastchester, Mahopac, Clarkstown North, Yorktown, Nyack, Carmel, John Jay-East Fishkill, Westlake and Truman.
Here are some highlights from Saturday’s scrimmages:
Here’s White Plains coach Skip Stevens on defending last year’s Class AA title with a young team:
Here’s Nyack senior Adonis Alcime on his outlook for his team and himself:
Ten stray facts/observations:
1. John Jay-East Fishkill was clearly the best of the 11 teams in attendance. The Patriots are huge up front and return a whopping 35 players from last year’s team. To put that into perspective, Iona Prep has about that many players on its entire team. New Rochelle’s numbers last year were similar.
2. John Jay has plenty of quality, too. Outside of one long pass from Andrew Livingston to Tim DeGraw (who combined for over 1,000 yards passing last year), the Patriots basically did not allow Rye to move the ball a yard.
3. Rye still needs to develop more than Livingston-to-DeGraw. The Garnets are not at the level they were at by this point last year.
4. Mahopac will have a young team, at least compared to what we typically expect from the Indians. Junior Dan Foley looks like the starter at QB. You’ll remember his older brother, T.J., quarterbacked Mahopac to its perfect regular season in 2011.
5. White Plains will start its third Avery at QB. Tommy Avery, the younger brother of Kevin and Jeff Avery, former starting QBs, definitely has some ability. But with just one returning lineman, the Tigers will need to prove they can protect him.
6. Avery actually was the backup on varsity last year as a sophomore, giving Donovan Brunson the starting nod on the JV. The junior will now be a do-it-all back for White Plains. He was dynamic when I saw him against John Jay-East Fishkill. The Tigers will have to find a role for him somewhere, and a big one.
7. Yorktown lost a lot of players at the skill positions, but it was hit especially hard up front by graduation. However, a name to watch: Junior Nicky Santavicca. The kid with the familiar surname could be the ‘Huskers’ next star. He has all sorts of elusiveness.
8. Nyack looks like a playoff team to me in Class A. The backfield is loaded, led by the aforementioned Adonis Alcime, a senior who is as good as any two-way player in the area. He plays with tremendous force. Flanking him will be junior Ralph Cruz and Maleak Michelle. The latter is a transfer from North Carolina. Mike Ramponi has also been impressed with his new QB, L.J. Norfleet, who takes over for Jordan Mews, one of the section’s most underrated players a year ago.
9. Eastchester has been hit hard by the injury bug again. QB Matt Pantel and HB Stefano Scarpa are both out for the year. Those are key losses for an already young team. Having said that, watch out in Week 2 for a great matchup of two of the area’s best WRs: Mamaroneck’s Alex Parkinson and Eastchester’s Andrew Schultz. Despite the injury to Pantel, the Eagles have still found ways to get Schultz the ball.
10. Clarkstown North will try to do some different things on offense this year, and has switched to a new defense. Steven Haber will be a two-way star for them at running back and linebacker. The Rams have already dealt with some injury woes, but kept some players out today to stay healthy. They host New Rochelle Week 1.