3 Iona Prep Seniors Sign with Colleges

Three Iona Prep senior football players–Kaloni McIntyre, Jose Ruiz and Jayson Vavrica–signed on National Signing Day Feb. 2 to play the sport in college.

In all, 16 Iona Prep football players in the Class of 2022 have committed to play in college.

McIntyre, a four-year member of the football who competed on the indoor and outdoor track teams for three years, signed with Stony Brook, which plays in the NCAA Division I’s Colonial Athletic Association. The member of Iona Prep’s 2021 state championship team earned all-league honors from the New York Catholic High School Football League and was honorable mention for New York State Sportswriters Association’s all-state team. The Bronx resident has a 3.3 grade point average.

Jose Ruiz will play NCAA Division III football at Trinity College. The Bronx resident and a team captain was injured in Iona Prep’s season opener and missed the remainder of his senior season before receiving the CHSFL’s Injured Player Award. He also threw the shut put and discus in the track and field program and owns a 93.72 grade point average.

Vavrica, a two-year varsity starter at defensive end, will play at Pace University, an NCAA Division II program in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Yonkers resident, who also played one season of varsity basketball, has a 3.7 grade point average.

PHOTO COURTESY OF IONA PREP

Anderson, Army Tip Missouri

Cardinal Hayes High School graduate Christian Anderson and the Army football team defeated Missouri, 24-22, on a late 41-yard field goal by Cole Talley at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday.

Anderson, a senior quarterback, ran for 33 yards and a touchdown, and completed 3 of 4 passes for 60 yards. He finished the season with 713 passing yards and five touchdown passes, and 619 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.

Army finished the season at 9-4 overall. Missouri dropped to 6-7 overall.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DANNY WILD/ARMY ATHLETICS

Three Iona Prep Captains Sign to Play Division I Collegiate Football

Three captains of Iona Prep’s 2021 Catholic high school state championship team signed their National Letter of Intent to compete at the NCAA Division I level.

The three signees are Justin Joly, University of Connecticut; Justin Federico, Wagner College; and Scott Becker, Princeton University.

Joly caught 67 passes for 1,033 yards and 13 touchdowns, rushed for 362 yards, and intercepted one pass on defense in 2021. The Brewster resident was named the offensive most valuable player of the state championship game and the Catholic High School Football League’s Senior Bowl.

Federico was a three-year member and two-year starter on the offensive line. The varsity coaching staff named the Putnam Valley resident the most valuable player of the state championship game. Federico sports a 92 overall grade point average.

Becker was a three-year starter on the offensive line. The Briarcliff Manor resident, who has a 97.4 overall grade point average, received the Msgr. Peter’s Memorial Trophy as the top scholar-athlete in the CHSFL and was named the CHSFL’s Lineman of the Year. Becker drew interest from all but one Ivy League school, Army, Navy, Air Force, Holy Cross, Fordham, Lafayette, Sacred Heart, Bryant and Missouri State.

Tackle, Sack for Koonce

Archbishop Stepinac High School graduate Malcolm Koonce finished with a tackle and sack for a second consecutive week for the Las Vegas Raiders in a 48-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

The NFL rookie had a tackle and sack in 17-15 loss to Washington a week earlier.

Koonce, who led Stepinac to a Catholic high school state title in 2015 and played four seasons at the University of Buffalo, has two tackles and two sacks this season.

Anderson Leads Army in Loss

Cardinal Hayes High School graduate Christian Anderson ran for a team-high 67 yards and threw for 108 yards for Army in a 17-13 loss to Navy at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday.

The senior quarterback scored his team’s only touchdown on a 56-yard run in the opening minutes of the game. He collected his 67 rushing yards on nine carries and completed 7 of 15 passes.

Senior outside linebacker Malkelm Morrison, a graduate of Iona Prep, had four tackles for Army.

Army (8-4 overall) will play Missouri in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DANNY WILD/ARMY ATHLETICS

Koonce Records 1st NFL Tackle, Sack

Malcolm Koonce had his first NFL tackle and sack for the Las Vegas Raiders in a 17-15 loss to Washington last weekend.

Koonce, a graduate of Archbishop Stepinac High School, played his collegiate football at the University of Buffalo and was drafted by the Raiders 79th overall in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

At Buffalo, Koonce was a two-time, first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection. In six games as a  senior, the defensive end had 30 tackles and a team-high 6.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks. As a junior, he led the MAC with nine sacks.

At Archbishop Stepinac, Koonce had 58 tackles as a senior to earn second-team all-state honors and helped the Crusaders to an undefeated season and the 2015 Catholic school state championship.

Senior Bowl Ends in Tie

The 2021 Catholic High School Football League Senior Bowl between the top seniors from archdiocese and Long Island ended in a 13-13 tie at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale on Sunday.

The league also announced its top award winners with Iona Prep picking up five of the league’s top honors. The Gaels won the league AAA championship and the Catholic high school state championship.

Iona Prep award winners were Ajani Sheppard, AAA Offensive Player of the Year; Zyian Moultrie-Goddard, AAA Defensive Player of the Year; Scott Becker, AAA Lineman of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year; and Ellis Robinson IV, AAA Special Teams Player of the Year.

The Golden 11 Student Athletes from the archdiocese are Henry Belin, Cardinal Hayes; James McCauley, Archbishop Stepinac; Justin Axiak, Xavier; and Anthony Ulses, St. Joseph by-the-Sea.

PHOTO OF AJANI SHEPPARD BY CHRIS SHERIDAN

CHSFL All-League Picks

The Catholic High School Football League released its all-league selections this week.

Here are the players from the archdiocese who were honored:

Offense

Ethan Yak, Msgr. Farrell; Jack Wolf, Fordham Prep; Matt Wissman, St. Joseph by-the-Sea; Dae’Shaw Allen, Archbishop Stepinac; Jack Annicelli, Fordham Prep; Donovan Beauvoir, Cardinal Hayes; Scott Becker, Iona Prep; Henry Belin, Cardinal Hayes; Evan Bernal, Kennedy Catholic; Nicholas Bruno, Xavier; Messiah Burch, Msgr. Farrell; Thomas Cammileri, St. Peter’s; Jabril Carter, Mount St. Michael; Anthony Castaldi, Kennedy Catholic; Micael Cogoni, Archbishop Stepinac; Gjok Deduvakaj, Archbishop Stepinac; Terrie Francis, Mount St. Michael; Gio Gentile, St. Peter’s; Aidan Hanley-Piri, Cardinal Spellman; Aramis Irizary, Cardinal Hayes; Justin Joly, Iona Prep; Nicholas Jordan, Moore Catholic; Chris Long, Msgr. Farrell; Devin Malvasio, St. Joseph by-the-Sea; James McCauley, Archbishop Stepinac; John Michalski, Moore Catholic; Marcus Petterson, Fordham Prep; Sean Richter, Xavier; Casar Roman, Cardinal Hayes; George Ruiz, Iona Prep; Michael Ryan, Iona Prep; Ajani Sheppard, Iona Prep; Henry Tabansi, Moore Catholic

Defense

Ryan Amos, Archbishop Stepinac; Logan Arroyo, Cardinal Spellman; Joseph Badayna, Msgr. Farrell; Devon Banks, Cardinal Hayes; Liroye Biyo, Cardinal Spellman; Muhamed Boja, Cardinal Hayes; Chris Booras, Msgr. Farrell; Tyler Cadienhead, Mount St. Michael; Wayne Coleman, Archbishop Stepinac; Chris Demartino, Archbishop Stepinac; Charlie DiMartino, St. Peter’s; Aaron Espinet, Msgr. Farrell; Vaughan Johnson, Fordham Prep; George Kokakis, St. Joseph by-the-Sea; JT Krivinskas, Archbishop Stepiniac; Joe Lecchese, St. Peter’s; Capri Martin, Iona Prep; Kaloni McIntyre, Iona Prep; Nicholas Mittag, Kennedy Catholic; Jack Moran, St. Joseph by-the-Sea; Zyian Moultrie-Goddard, Iona Prep; Tyler Murphy, St. Joseph by-the-Sea; Eduoardo Pierre, Moore Catholic; Jaiden Roberts, Xavier; Ellis Robinson IV, Iona Prep; Jameson Sessa, Msgr. Farrell; Daniel Sheahan, Fordham Prep; Gavin Taylor, Cardinal Hayes; Troy Telesford, Moore Catholic; Matthew Valentino, Xavier; Paul Ventura, Msgr. Farrell

Senior Bowl on Sunday

The 2021 Catholic High School Football League Senior Bowl is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale.

The Senior Bowl has the top seniors from the league in the archdiocese competing against the top seniors from Long Island.

Here are the players playing for the team representing the archdiocese:

Offense

Donovan Beauvoir, Cardinal Hayes; Aramis Irizarry, Cardinal Hayes; Justin Joly, Iona Prep; Michael Ryan, Iona Prep; Terrie Francis, Mount St. Michael; Jayden Porter, Cardinal Hayes;l Frank Espisito, Msgr. Farrell; Jack Wolf, Fordham Prep; Ethan Yak, Msgr. Farrell; Nicholas Bruno, Xavier; Caesar Roman, Cardinal Hayes; AJ Turner, Iona Prep; Cole Abbruzzese, Msgr. Farrell; James McCauley, Archbishop Stepinac; Henry Belin, Cardinal Hayes; Aidan Hanley-Piri, Cardinal Spellman; Jack ​​Anicelli, Fordham Prep; Chris Long, Msgr. Farrell; Sean Richter, Xavier; Robert Capolongo, Msgr. Farrell; Nicholas Molina, Cardinal Hayes; Giovanni Rivera, Cardinal Hayes; Marcus Petterson, Fordham Prep; Shane Smith, Mount St. Michael; Vincent Tulipano, Archbishop Stepinac; Mark Serratore, Archbishop Stepinac.

Defense

Darryl Reaves, Iona Prep; Jaiden Roberts, Xavier; Troy Telesford, Moore Catholic; Chris Booras, Msgr. Farrell; Aaron Espinet, Msgr. Farrell; Kaloni McIntyre, Iona Prep; Muhamed Boja, Cardinal Hayes; Ryan Amos, Archbishop Stepinac; Chris Demartino, Archbishop Stepinac; Beau Baldwin, Cardinal Hayes; Jaylen Johnson, Archbishop Stepinac; John Prince, Archbishop Stepiniac; Jayson Vavrica, Iona Prep; Charlie DiMartino, St. Peter’s; Eduoardo Pierre, Moore Catholic; Jameson Sessa, Msgr. Farrell; Paul Ventura, Msgr. Farrell; Joseph Badyna, Msgr. Farrell; Daniel Sheahan, Fordham Prep; Gavin Taylor, Cardinal Hayes; Devon Banks, Cardinal Hayes; Logan Arroyo, Cardinal Spellman; Joe Lecchese, St. Peter’s; Matthew Valentino, Xavier; Jaden Peterson, Cardinal Hayes; Johnson Tafari, Cardinal Hayes; Fong Suraj, Archbishop Stepinac

Special Teams

Liroye Biyo, Cardinal Spellman; Victor Defelice, Cardinal Hayes

Iona Prep Captures State Crown

Iona Prep won its first Catholic high school state football championship with a 38-22 victory over St. Francis of the Buffalo region in New Rochelle Nov. 27.

Iona Prep led, 17-9, in the third quarter before scoring 21 consecutive points to take a 38-9 lead in the final quarter. Justin Joly scored twice and Colin O’Garro once for the Gaels.

Ajani Sheppard completed 15 of 21 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and finished with 12 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown for Iona Prep. Zyian Moultrie-Goddard led the defense with 12 tackles and one fumble recovery, and Jayson Vavrica added 11 tackles and one sack.

Read more in this week’s issue of Catholic New York.

PHOTO BY CHRIS SHERIDAN