Stepinac Grad Ignites North Carolina

RJ Davis is off to a strong start at the University of North Carolina and helped the Tar Heels reach today’s championship game of the Maui Invitational against Texas in Ashville, N.C. Tipoff is 4 p.m. on ESPN.

The freshman has averaged 12.7 points and 4.7 rebounds over his team’s first three games. He scored a career-high 16 points in a win over UNLV in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.

Davis led Archbishop Stepinac High School to the 2018 state federation championship and the 2020 Archdiocesan title. The 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Davis was named the 2020 Gatorade New York State High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year and 2020 Mr. New York State Basketball by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York. He was selected the 2020 Class AA state co-player of the year by the New York State Sportswriters Association and earned a spot to compete in the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Game, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burke Catholic’s League Pushes Back Winter Sports Start Date to Jan. 19

Athletes at John S. Burke Catholic High School will have to wait until at least Jan. 19 for the start of all low-, moderate- and high-risk winter sports, according to a statement from Orange County League Coordinator Chris Mayo.

League officials met and voted Nov. 25 to change its start date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league is a part of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Section 9, which as a section did not have any competitive fall sports due to the pandemic.

“Our hearts are heavy for our student athletes as we want to get back on the court, field, track, pool, etc. as soon as possible,” Mayo’s statement said on the league’s Twitter site. “Hang in there. We are working hard to make it happen in the safest way possible.”

Low- and moderate-winter sports in the NYSPHSAA and CHSAA were permitted to start practice today (Nov. 30). The high-risk sports of basketball, hockey, wrestling and competitive cheer are scheduled to begin practice Jan. 4.

Deadline Nov. 25 for CYO Contest

CYO New York is having a virtual essay/poetry/art/photo contest this fall, similar to the one held during the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring.

The contest is open to students in grades one through 12, and only parents, guardians or persons 18 or older may enter the information for the program. An 18 year old wishing to enter the program must have a parent or guardian enter them into the contest.

Entry deadline is Nov. 25. Winners will be announced by Dec. 15. Winners will be awarded by county and all entries automatically will be entered into the archdiocese contest.

Lourdes’ Long Signs with Pace

Our Lady of Lourdes High School senior Danielle Long signed a National Letter of Intent to play NCAA Division II women’s lacrosse at Pace University.

“I would not be where I am today without my coaches, teammates and family,” said Long, who will join former Lourdes teammate Allison Brady at Pace, in a press release from the school. “They have truly given me all of the tools I needed to succeed. They have shaped me into the athlete and person I am today. My coaches and teammates will always hold a special place in my heart.”

The Pleasant Valley resident is a member Lourdes’ National Honor Society and also played varsity volleyball at Lourdes.

Long plans to study criminal justice with a minor in either Spanish or psychology at Pace.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES

CHSAA Delays Start of Basketball, Wresting, Hockey, Cheer Seasons

CHSAA athletes may have to wait till end the end of December to learn if Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health will give schools the OK to allow student-athletes to compete in high-risk winter sports.

High-risk winter sports are basketball, hockey, competitive cheer and wrestling. If the COVID-19 pandemic numbers improve in New York and the governor OKs these sports by the end of December, practices for these sports will begin on Jan. 4.

This decision also will affect the Catholic High School Football League, which is having 7 on 7 flag football this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If given the OK, the CHSFL will have its first 11-on-11 tackle games on the first weekend of March.

Low-risk winter sports are permitted to begin practice Nov. 30. These sports include swimming and diving, indoor track and field and bowling.

Stepinac Stars Sign to Play in College

Archbishop Stepinac High School seniors Adrian Griffin Jr. and Malcolm Chimezie both signed National Letters of Intent Nov. 11 to play collegiately at Duke University and Boston University, respectively, during the 2021-2022 school year.

They are the 20th and 21st Stepinac basketball players to sign a National Letter of Intent over the last six years and both played roles in leading the Crusaders to the 2020 Archdiocesan Championship.

“AJ and Malcolm have worked extremely hard in and out of the classroom to be in the position they are today,” said Stepinac basketball coach Patrick Massaroni in a press release from the school. “Both are all-league and all-state players who will go on to play at the next level. Signing day is always a special day for our program and school, seeing each student-athlete achieve his dream to play at the next level.”

Griffin, who chose Duke over 30 other Division I offers he received, averaged 17.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.6 steals per game in 2019-2020. He’s scored over 1,000 varsity career points and is considered one of the top high-school seniors in the country.

Chimezie selected Boston University over 20 other Division I offers, and averaged 10.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game as a junior.

The school announced Stepinac’s three remaining unsigned seniors–Josh Zangerle of Beacon, Jonah Phang of Pelham, and Keith Mency II of Edgewater, N.J.–will sign in the spring of 2021. 

Former Kennedy Star Elijah Hughes Drafted by Pelicans, Traded to Jazz

Former John F. Kennedy Catholic Preparatory School athlete Elijah Hughes was drafted with the 39th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans and was traded to the Utah Jazz.

Hughes played at Syracuse University where he led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring during the 2019-2020 season, earning first-team ACC honors.

Hughes played in high school at Beacon High School, Kennedy Catholic and South Kent School. He helped Kennedy Catholic to a 26-2 season and a spot in the CHSAA state championship game as a junior, earning first-team all-state honors from the New York State Sportswriters Association.

He competed for one year at East Carolina University. He transferred to Syracuse and played two seasons there before announcing he was entering the NBA Draft after his junior season.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNEDY CATHOLIC

CYONY Adds Polar Bear XC Season

Registration is open for CYO New York’s first CYO Youth Polar Bear cross country season.

Children in grades 3 and up are welcome to participate in outdoor cross country practices, track/cross country meets with field events from December through March and virtual workouts. Outdoor practices began this week, and virtual practices start in January.

The outdoor cross country meets will be at either Iona Prep in New Rochelle or St. Augustine in Ossining. The first meet is Dec. 12 in Ossining.

Click here to register and donate as much as you like. All donations will go to Catholic Charities food pantries in the archdiocese. Tips to run in the cold weather are listed on the registration site.

Boys Soccer All-League Teams

The CHSAA released it’s all-league teams for 2020 boys soccer. Here are the honorees:

AA League: Mike Albanese, Msgr. Farrell; Michael Angelaras, St. Francis Prep; Daniel Bono, Xavier; Daniel Brady, Iona Prep; Denis Bravo,  Christ the King; Justin Cartularo, Iona Prep; Brendan Ferguson, Molloy; Tom Fitzgerald, Msgr. Farrell; Seamus Girdusky, Molloy; William Goldschmidt, Xaverian; Joseph Grace, Stepinac; Alex Grodzki, St. Francis Prep; Andrew Hasfal, Fordham Prep; Eamonn Jensen, Regis; Nikolas Kapsalas, Molloy; Sean Keag, Msgr. Farrell; Samuele Lanza, Xavier; Will Lulka, Fordham Prep; Colin Marment, Fordham Prep; Evan Mulgrew, Stepinac; Aidan Murphy, Fordham Prep; Kyle Nicholson, Regis; Luca Nitti, Holy Cross; Rinor Okshe,  Msgr. Farrell; Matt Ragde, Fordham Prep; Nick Ragde, Regis; Miguel Ramirez-Herrer, Msgr. Farrell; Maksim Sadeghi, St. Francis Prep; Angel Salas, St. Francis Prep; Tai Torres, Msgr. Farrell; Carter Tresgallo, Fordham Prep; Matthew Valente, Iona Prep;  Padraic Wedge, Iona Prep

A League: Emiliano Avalos, McClancy; Anthony Brandimarte, St. John’s Prep; Saul Cardozo, McClancy; Luke Corridan, McClancy; Nicholas DiMonda, St. Joseph by the Sea; Paul Duggan, Kennedy Catholic; Luke Gerstner, Kennedy Catholic; Andrew Goenaga, McClancy; Stephen Haney, St. Peter; Matty Kieblesz, McClancy; Rory Lilley, St. Joseph by the Sea; Brendan Liddy, Kennedy Catholic; Eduardo Medina, St. John’s Prep; Liam Mulholland,           Kennedy Catholic; Ciaran O’Connor, Mount St Michael; Matt Riccardi, St. Peter; Luis Suzuchany, St. John’s Prep; Daniel Tapia, Mount St Michael
B League: Julian Abreu, St. Raymond; Antonio Acevedo, St. Raymond; Sebastian Albarran, Bishop Loughlin; Alvaro Alvarez , Sacred Heart; Frank Camastro, Cathedral Prep; Jesus Cano Jr., Cristo Rey Brooklyn; Aldrin Cenebafto, Moore Catholic; Alexander Chen, Cathedral Prep; Sebastian Cherry, Cristo Rey Brooklyn; Conor Crosby, Sacred Heart; Valon Dudus, LaSalle; Kevin Generoso, Sacred Heart; Hugo Huete, Bishop Loughlin; Vlad Kurchuk, Sacred Heart; Kerneil Melius, Cristo Rey Brooklyn; Stefan Morgenstern, Moore Catholic; Carlos Orellana, Cathedral Prep; Javier Pantaleon, Cristo Rey Brooklyn; Aaron Parajon, LaSalle; Marchel Saint-Juste , Cristo Rey Brooklyn; Christopher Santagata, Cathedral Prep; Brandon Verdejo, St. Raymond; Orin Williams, Sacred Heart        

NYSPHSAA Delays Start of Winter Season for High-Risk Sports

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced it is delaying the start of high-risk winter sports–basketball, hockey, competitive cheer and wrestling–to Jan. 4.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Albertus Magnus, John S. Burke and The Ursuline School are Catholic schools from the archdiocese competing in the NYSPHSAA.

“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director, in a release from the NYSPHSAA. “Minimizing risk and exposure to COVID-19 is a top priority of the association.  We continue to make these types of decisions based upon readily available information and communication with state officials.”

Low- and moderate-risk winter sports–gymnastics, indoor track, skiing, swimming and diving, and bowling–will be allowed to start practice Nov. 30. Competitive games and meets may begin once the student-athletes have participated in the required number of practices.