Thanksgiving Football is Back

Looking to get out of the house to enjoy a Thanksgiving tradition before celebrating the day with family and turkey?

Four Catholic high school football programs will carry on their Thanksgiving tradition and rivalries on Thursday morning.

Xavier and Fordham Prep will play at 10 a.m. at Fordham University’s Coffey Field, and Cardinal Hayes will travel to Mount St. MIchael Academy in the Bronx for a 10:30 a.m. game.

These Thanksgiving games were not played in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, Cardinal Hayes and Mount St. Michael did not play because Cardinal Hayes won its league title and was preparing for the state championship game.

Four JFK Athletes Commit to Colleges

Four John F. Kennedy Catholic Preparatory seniors signed their letters of commitment to play baseball in college.

The four players are Gary Gill Hill (pictured) of Walden, Fairleigh Dickinson University; Brendan Kenneally of Yorktown Heights, Adelphi University; Russell Hunter of Croton Harmon, Hofstra University; and Pierson McGinnis of Montgomery, Bard College.

The four players were a part of the 2020 Kennedy Catholic baseball team that lost to St. Joseph by-the-Sea in CHSAA City Championship game. They were joined at the signing by their coaches and parents.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNEDY CATHOLIC

Lourdes Star Signs with UConn

Our Lady of Lourdes High School senior Ryan VanDeWater signed a National Letter of Intent Nov. 23 to play baseball at the University of Connecticut.

The Hyde Park resident grew up playing in the Hyde Park Little League and with The Bronx Bombers travel baseball program. He pitched and played first base at Lourdes, and chose UConn after receiving offers from Georgetown, St. Thomas Aquinas and Pace.

VanDeWater plans to major in financial risk management at UConn.

“I plan to play the game of baseball as long as I possibly can,” he said. “If that takes me to professional baseball, I plan on playing at the highest level that I can. Eventually, when the game passes me by as a player, I hope to teach and instruct younger players in their pursuit of excellence in the game of baseball.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES HIGH SCHOOL

Iona Prep Wins AAA Championship

Ajani Sheppard threw for three touchdowns, ran for two touchdowns and was named the Catholic High School Football League AAA Championship game’s offensive most valuable player after leading Iona Prep to a 49-15 victory over Msgr. Farrell at Mitchel Athletic Field in Uniondale on Saturday.

Sheppard completed 17 of 22 passes for 220 yards and ran for 75 yards on 10 carries for the Gaels, who will host St. Francis of Buffalo in the state Catholic high school championship game at noon Saturday.

Iona Prep, the state’s No. 1 Class AA team in the state sportswriters poll, will be playing for the program’s first Catholic high school state football title.

“Major accomplishment for the program/school,” Iona Prep coach Joe Spagnolo told Catholic New York/Catholic Sports Scene. “The boys are very excited to be playing for a state championship on Saturday.”

Justin Joly caught five passes for 73 yards and one touchdown, and had seven carries for 76 yards and a touchdown for Iona Prep. Michael Senatore, MIke Ryan and Colin O’Garro each scored a touchdown.

Defensively, Iona Prep stopped Msgr. Farrell’s running game and had three quarterback sacks. Zyian Moultrie-Goddard was named the game’s defensive most valuable player.

PHOTO COURTESY OF IONA PREP

Football Champions Crowned

AAA Quarterfinals

Msgr. Farrell 37, Christ the King 7

St. Anthony’s 42, Cardinal Hayes 28

Archbishop Stepinac 42, Kellenberg 7

AA-1 Quarterfinals

Moore Catholic 35, Xavier 21

St. Francis Prep 28, St. Joseph by-the-Sea 27

Fordham Prep 13, St. Peter’s 12

AA-2 Quarterfinals

St. John the Baptist 34, Cardinal Spellman 6

Kennedy Catholic 35, Xaverian 12

Holy Cross 43, Mount St. Michael 14

Bowl Game

St. Dominic’s 35, Nazareth 14

AAA Semifinals

Iona Prep 35, St. Anthony’s 28

Msgr. Farrell 24, Archbishop Stepinac 21

AA-1 Semifinals

Chaminade 31, Fordham Prep 0

Moore Catholic 18, St. Francis Prep 7

AA-2 Semifinals

Holy Trinity 28, Holy Cross 0

St. John the Baptist 42, Kennedy Catholic 29

Championship Games

AA2–Holy Trinity 21, St. John the Baptist 10

AA1–Chaminade 43, Moore Catholic 7

AAA–Iona Prep 49, Msgr. Farrell 15

Hogan Leads Fordham Prep to Title

Myles Hogan won the boys race to lead Fordham Prep to the CHSAA Intersectional Championship at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx on Saturday.

Fordham Prep compiled 43 points. Xavier was second with 49 points.

Hogan, a senior, ran to a time of 12 minutes, 50.4 seconds over the 2.5-mile course. His teammate and classmate, Liam Dennehy, was third in 13:27.6.

Xavier senior Michael Hawkes placed second in 13:12.2.

In the girls race, Notre Dame of Manhattan was the top finisher from the archdiocese with 171 points in fifth place. Notre Dame Academy and St. Joseph Hill Academy followed with 172 and 173 points, respectively.

Notre Dame Academy’s Lola Dinneen was the race winner in 15:06.5.

St. Joseph Hill’s Ava Gumb placed second in 15:15.4, and Notre Dame Academy teammates Alyssia Brown (15:57.4) and Meghan Leonard (16:25.3) were third and fourth, respectively.

Anderson Scores in Army Win

Cardinal Hayes High School graduate Christian Anderson ran for 43 yards and the game’s first touchdown during Army’s 63-10 football victory over Bucknell in West Point on Saturday.

The senior quarterback saw limited action as his team scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters.

Anderson has run 473 yards and six touchdowns on 72 carries this season.

Army improved to 6-3 overall with its second straight victory and clinched a spot in a postseason bowl for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The Black Knights will host UMass at noon Saturday in a game being televised by CBS Sports.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DANNY WILD/ARMY ATHLETICS

Archdiocesan XC Championships

Three hundred eleven runners participated in the Archdiocesan Cross Country Championships Nov. 14.

Here are the winners of each race:

PreK-K (.125 miles): Nia Podkalicki, NDA Girls, 50.9; Joseph Pagni, BSS Boys, 52.0. Grades 1-2 (.25 miles): Charli Cosentino, St. Clare Girls, 1:39.6; Luke Thevenot, Sacred Heart Boys, 1:38.6. Grades 3-4 (.5 miles): Maeve Reilley, St. John/Paul Girls, 3:31.7; Robert Genco, SJSTSJN Boys, 3:12.9. 5-6 Girls (1 mile): Ella DiStefano, St. Clare Girls, 7:07.8; Leonides Anzurez, St. Patrick’s Boys, 7:05. Grades 7-8 (1.5 miles): Danielle List, St. Aedan Girls, 9:28.2; Harrison Moeller, SJHA Boys, 9:27.5.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CYO NEW YORK

CYO Cross Country Championships Set for Sunday on Staten Island

The Archdiocesan CYO New York Cross Country Championships will be held at noon Sunday at Catholic Charities of Staten Island.

The event, open to runners in PreK through eighth grade, will support the Food Pantry of Staten Island.

Here are the winners of the recent CYO New York County Championships:

Kindergarten-Second Grade (400 meters); Girls–Ari Pennicooke, CYO Unattached, 1:25.5; Boys–Thomas Foley, CYO Club Boys, 1:16.8.

Grades 3-5 (1,500 meters): Girls–Grace Delaney, St. Aedan, 6:35.8; Boys–Declan O’Keefe, CYO Unattached, 6:31.8.

Grades 6-8 (2,000 meters): Girls–Danielle List, St. Aedan, 7:19.2; Boys–Michael Rynne, Iona Prep, 7:32.9.