High-SchoolNew-York: Boys & Girls

Final N.Y. POWERADE hoops rankings: Boys & Girls reigns

March, 27, 2012
After games on Sunday, March 25

Momentum can be a powerful thing come playoff time. Boys & Girls showed that much during the last two weeks. After avenging two earlier losses to Jefferson with a win in the PSAL Class AA championship, the Kangaroos downed St. Raymond before bouncing defending champ Mount Vernon, 66-60, in the Federation Class AA title game.

Behind Leroy Fludd's 26 points, Boys & Girls won its first-ever Federation crown and Ruth Lovelace became the first woman to lead a boys' team to a Federation title. And with that, the Kangaroos re-enter the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings at No. 50.

In the Federation Class A title, Long Island Lutheran repeated by beating Harborfields 62-61 behind Anthony Pate's game-winning 3-pointer.

That's a wrap for the 2011-12 season, so here are the final state rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 26-6 (2)
Kangaroos punctuated late-season surge by knocking off defending champ Mount Vernon in the Federation Class AA title game, 66-60, behind Leroy Fludd's 25 points.

2. Mount Vernon 23-3 (1)
Knights' bid for a second-straight Federation Class AA crown fell short with a 66-60 loss to the Boys & Girls in the title game.

3. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 25-7 (3)
Orange Wave had their best season ever, winning their first Brooklyn Borough title and reaching the PSAL Class AA title game before falling to eventual champ Boys a Girls.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.
After games on Sunday, March 18

Talk about a wild championship weekend. The Class A and AA final four had plenty of intriguing contests with two teams extending their championship streaks and another seeing their reign end in stunning fashion.

In Class AA, Mount Vernon repeated as champs behind Isaiah Cousins' 22 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Aquinas Institute did its best to threaten the Knights, as Phil Valenti continued his dominant senior campaign with 33 points (one shy of the tournament record) and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough in the 61-57 contest. As a result, Mount Vernon re-entered this week's POWERADE FAB 50 at No. 48.

In the PSAL Class AA final, Boys & Girls avenged two previous losses to Jefferson with a 71-67 win, marking their third straight city title. St. Anthony (N.J.) transfer Rashad Andrews stepped up big with a game-high 26 points while the Kangaroos' defense forced 21 turnovers. Next, they will face CHSAA Class AA champ St. Raymond in the Federation semifinals with the winner moving on to play Mount Vernon.

Finally, in Class A, Tappan Zee seemingly did the impossible, knocking off Dajuan Coleman and four-time defending state champ Jamesville-DeWitt. Patrick Peterson handled the scoring with 31 points while the Dutchmen as a whole held Coleman (13 points, 10 rebounds) scoreless for the entire first half. However, the Dutchmen's hopes at an undefeated season were dashed in the final by Harborfields, which shot 73 percent from the field to win the Class A crown. The Tornadoes will face Iona Prep in the Federation semifinals.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 23-2 (1)
Knights repeated as Class AA state champs with a 61-57 win against Aquinas Institute. Isaiah Cousins led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds. Next up: a Sunday contest in the Federation tournament against the winner of St. Raymond vs. Boys & Girls.

2. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 24-6 (3)
Kangaroos captured their third straight PSAL Class AA crown by avenging two earlier losses to Jefferson. Rashad Andrews scored a game-high 26 points in the 71-67 win. Next up: St. Raymond in the Federation Class AA semifinals on March 24.

3. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 25-7 (2)
Orange Wave couldn't make it three straight wins against Boys & Girls, falling to the Kangaroos 71-67 in the PSAL Class AA final behind 21 turnovers.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

N.Y. Week 14 hoops rankings: St. Raymond wins CHSAA state title

March, 13, 2012
After games on Sunday, March 11

St. Raymond begin the season with plenty of hope and potential, boasting a two-headed monster in Kerwin Okoro and Daniel Dingle. But the regular season had its ups and downs, with a seeming inability to beat the power teams like Christ the King, Cardinal Hayes and several out-of-state foes. But when it counted, the Ravens pulled it together, winning their last six games to capture the CHSAA Class AA intersectional crown.

Okoro (21 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks) and Dingle (11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists) led the way in a 66-58 win against Holy Cross, vaulting the Ravens into the Federation tournament. They will await the winner of Jefferson and Boys & Girls, who have met four times before this season. Jefferson has won the last two in comeback fashion, but Boys & Girls has been impressive in the playoffs.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 21-1 (1)
The Knights moved on to their second straight Class AA final four with a 98-44 win against Middletown. Isaiah Cousins led four players in double figures with 22 points along with eight rebounds, four assists, five steals and two blocks. Next up: CBA-Albany in Saturday's semifinals.

2. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 25-6 (2)
Orange Wave again showed their resilience as they rallied back against Wings Academy for a 72-68 win. Next up: Boys a Girls in the PSAL Class AA final on Saturday.

3. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 23-6 (3)
The Kangaroos easily downed Lincoln to move on to the PSAL Class AA final, where they will face Jefferson for the fourth time this season.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

New York Week 13 hoops rankings: Christ the King goes down

March, 6, 2012
After games on Sunday, March 4.

A roller-coaster season for Christ the King ended much earlier than most expected, as the Royals fell to Mount St. Michael in the CHSAA Class AA quarterfinals. The loss ended a run of six straight trips to the intersectional final as well as the storied career of all-time leading scorer Omar Calhoun.

Mount St. Michael, which was led by 30 points from Malik Gill, will look to continue its run against Holy Cross in the semifinals, with the winner facing either Cardinal Hayes or St. Raymond.

The final four in the PSAL Class AA bracket is just as intriguing, with the favorite Jefferson going up against a streaking Wings Academy, while Lincoln and Boys & Girls will once again renew their rivalry.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 20-2 (1)
Knights won their seventh straight Section 1 Class AA championship with a rout of Mahopac. After a bye, the Knights will face either Binghamton or Middletown in Friday's regional finals.

2. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 24-6 (2)
Thaddeus Hall dropped 25 points to lead the Orange Wave past Wadleigh. Next up: Wings Academy in the PSAL Class AA semifinals on Saturday.

3. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 22-6 (3)
Thaddeus Hall dropped 25 points to lead the Orange Wave past Wadleigh. Next up: Wings Academy in the PSAL Class AA semifinals on Saturday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

New York Week 12 hoops rankings: Playoff time is here

February, 28, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 26.

The past week provided some outcomes that could be telling for the future, like Christ the King falling to an upstart Holy Cross team in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan tournament and St. Raymond avenging two earlier losses to Cardinal Hayes with a win in the Archdiocesan tournament.

But of course, while history has its place, come playoff time, it's all about the now. Thomas Jefferson is the hottest team in the state, Lincoln hopes to end its recent skid now that star sophomore Isaiah Whitehead is back, Mount Vernon is relying on its experience and Boys & Girls has been known to make its most noise in the postseason. Only time will tell.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 18-2 (1)
Knights overcame foul trouble with its two biggest stars (Isaiah Cousins and Jarrel Marshall) to down New Rochelle 74-59 in the Class AA quarterfinals. Next up: Clarkstown South on Friday.

2. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 22-6 (3)
Top-seeded Orange Wave opens play in PSAL Class AA playoffs on Wednesday against Robeson.

3. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 20-6 (4)
As was the case the last two years when they won the city title, the Kangaroos are seeded second as they begin play in the PSAL Class AA playoffs against Gompers on Wednesday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

NY Week 9 hoops rankings: Christ the King is new No. 1

February, 7, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 5

About two weeks ago, following a 38-point loss to Mater Dei (Calif.) in front of a national TV audience, some may have written off Christ the King, which had lost two of its last three. But in one swift weekend, the Royals reminded everyone of the potential surrounding last year's Federation runner-up.

UConn-bound Omar Calhoun put on a show, pouring in 33 points during a road victory against St. Raymond before dropping 27 in a win against Cardinal Hayes. The result was the top ranking in this week's state rankings and critical momentum as the playoffs loom. Led by Calhoun's 24.6 points per game, the Royals boast two other double-digit scorers in three-point specialist Jon Severe (12.8) and junior Isaiah Lewis (11.2).

While CTK is on the rise, Lincoln hopes it can avoid a great fall. The Railsplitters enter the Brooklyn Borough playoffs without their best player, Isaiah Whitehead, who is expected to sit out the tournament with an ankle injury. Lincoln showed it can excel without their super sophomore by securing a few wins while Whitehead sat out with injury and eligibility issues.

Meanwhile, Jefferson continues its rise, winning four games last week, including a 95-92 overtime decision against Boys & Girls to clinch its first ever Brooklyn Borough AA title. Thaddeus Hall went off in the win with 30 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Christ the King (Middle Village) 15-6 (9)
Royals vaulted up to No. 1 after Omar Calhoun dropped 33 points in a win against St. Raymond and 27 in a victory against No. 6 Cardinal Hayes. Next up: St. Francis Prep on Tuesday.

2. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 18-5 (5)
Thaddeus Hall scored a career-high 31 points to go with 10 rebounds in a 95-92 overtime win against previous No. 1 Boys & Girls. Next up: Brooklyn borough playoffs.

3. Mount Vernon 14-2 (4)
Knights breezed past Mamaroneck to push win streak to four games.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.
After games on Sunday, Jan. 29

If the first half of the season has taught us anything, it's this: the No. 1 ranking in New York is far from a safe haven. The top spot has changed hands five times so far, with Boys & Girls retaking the No. 1 slot that it held in Week 2 after downing Cardinal Hayes and South Shore.

Continuing with this trend, the Kangaroos' reward for climbing to No. 1 are games against No. 5 Jefferson, which debuted in the rankings on a five-game win streak and well rested, and No. 2 Lincoln. Boys & Girls beat Jefferson in overtime and lost to Lincoln by 10 in their initial meetings, but since then, the Kangaroos have won six of their last seven while Lincoln has lost two of three.

Wins in these contests could move Boys & Girls back in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings, which features no New York teams this week after Mount Vernon, Cardinal Hayes and Lincoln all experienced defeat.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 17-3 (4)
Kangaroos rise back up to the top spot after downing South Shore in overtime and Cardinal Hayes on the road. Things don't get any easier, as they face No. 5 Jefferson and No. 2 Lincoln this week.

2. Lincoln (Brooklyn) 16-4 (3)
Railsplitters have lost two of their last three games against No. 5 Jefferson and New Jersey power Hudson Catholic. They have a chance to bounce back in games against South Shore and top-ranked Boys & Girls this week.

3. Cardinal Hayes (Bronx) 16-2 (2)
Cardinals lost to their first in-state foe when they fell to Boys & Girls by two. A tough week looms with contests against Xaverian, Archbishop Stepinac and Christ the King.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

NY Week 7 Hoops Rankings: Cardinal Hayes moves into FAB 50

January, 24, 2012
After games on Sunday, Jan. 22

Three moves has led to an on-the-move Cardinal Hayes' squad. First, the Cardinals moved up to the CHSAA Class AA ranks this season. Then, with the closing of Rice this summer and the transfer of key players Shavar Newkirk and Tyler Wilson as a result, the Cardinals have moved all the way to No. 47 in the latest POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

A 15-1 start to the season should bode well for the Cardinals as they enter a tough two-week stretch that includes Saturday's contest against Boys & Girls, followed by matchups with the likes of Xaverian, Christ the King and St. Raymond.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 9-1 (1)
The defending Class AA state champion Knights were idle last week. They return to action this weekend at the Montverde (Fla.) Invitational.

2. Cardinal Hayes (Bronx) 15-1 (3)
Cardinals have won seven straight entering Friday's game against Monsignor Farrell. The next day, they will face a big test in No. 4 Boys & Girls.

3. Lincoln (Brooklyn) 16-3 (2)
After falling to Jefferson last week, the Railsplitters will look to bounce back in a big way against New Jersey power Hudson Catholic on Saturday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

Lots of movement in Week 6 NY hoops rankings

January, 18, 2012
After games of Tuesday, Jan. 17

It proved to be a tough week for many New York teams. Just days after Isaiah Whitehead proclaimed his team the best in NYC following a win against Boys & Girls, Lincoln lost its first league game to Jefferson, leading Railsplitter coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton to call his star guard "soft."

Jamesville-DeWitt lost to nationally ranked Milton (Ga.) by 41 points. Christ the King followed up a third-place showing over the weekend at the Bass Pro Tournament in Missouri with a 38-point loss to Mater Dei (Calif.) during Monday's Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts. Aquinas Institute fell just short of upsetting nationally ranked Chester (Pa.). And St. Raymond has now lost three straight games, dropping the Ravens out of this week's rankings.

After all the dust settled, Mount Vernon emerged unblemished, winning four games to move to 29th in the latest POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon (St. Ursula) 9-1 (1)
Knights capped a 4-0 week with a win against Cardozo. Next up is a test at the Montverde Invitational in Florida on Jan. 26.

2. Lincoln (Brooklyn) 15-3 (2)
The Railsplitters looked impressive in a Saturday win against No. 4 Boys & Girls before being stunned by Jefferson in league play on Tuesday.

3. Cardinal Hayes (Bronx) 14-1 (7)
The Cardinals showed they are for real by downing previously ranked St. Raymond behind Jalen Jenkins' 22 points.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings

St. Raymond vaults to No. 3 in NY hoops rankings with two huge wins

January, 10, 2012
Lost in in St. Raymond's defeat at the hands of Garner (N.C.) in North Carolina's HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational final was that star forward Daniel Dingle missed the game with a shoulder injury. So it's no coincidence that with the senior's return, the Ravens scored two big wins against national powers Paul VI (Va.), in which he had 21 points and 15 boards, and Trinity (Ky.). A similar effort will be needed come Friday, when St. Raymond faces an in-state foe in Cardinal Hayes, which has won three straight.

Don't be surprised to see many of the state's stars come out this week, as an intriguing set of games is on slate.

On Wednesday, undefeated rivals Bishop Kearney and Aquinas Institute will face off in front of a packed house at Aquinas. On Saturday, Lincoln and Boys & Girls will meet up in a battle that could shake up the rankings. And on Monday, Christ the King stands to move up the rankings should it be able to down Mater Dei (Calif.), ranked No. 22 in the POWERADE FAB 50, at the HoopHall Classic in Massachusetts. The 5 p.m. contest will be televised on ESPNU.

Here are this week rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 4-1 (2)
Knights sit at No. 30 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and are undefeated in the state of New York.

2. Lincoln (Brooklyn) 11-2 (1)
Railsplitters were outplayed by Lone Park (Utah) in 90-63 loss at the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee. A big local matchup looms Saturday against No. 5 Boys & Girls.

3. St. Raymond 9-4 (10)
With star senior Daniel Dingle back, the Ravens notched two big victories against out-of-state powers Paul VI (Va.) and Trinity (Ky.). Next up: Mount St. Michael on Tuesday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York basketball rankings.

Lincoln moves up in Week 3 New York hoops rankings

December, 27, 2011
After games ending Dec. 26

Christ the King, Boys & Girls, Jamesville-DeWitt have all had their star players but haven't been able to avoid losses this year. On the other hand, Lincoln has played two games without star Isaiah Whitehead and still boasts a 7-0 record. For that, the Railsplitters have shot up to the state's No. 2 spot and into the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

Just ahead of them is Mount Vernon, which started 2-0 to take over the No. 1 ranking in light of Boys & Girls' loss to South Shore. Still, the Knights face a tough test in nationally ranked Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) this week.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 2-0 (1)
After two blowout wins, Knights face big test in national No. 22 Neumann-Goretti this week.

2. Lincoln 7-0 (5)
Railsplitters move up and debut at No. 26 in POWERADE FAB 50 after knocking off Baltimore power Patterson. The tough road continues in a California holiday tournament this week.

3. Boys & Girls 6-1 (1)
Kangaroos suffered first loss against South Shore, will look to bounce back against Vaux (Pa.) this week.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York basketball rankings.

Boys & Girls is new No. 1 after knocking off Christ the King

December, 14, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

When Leroy Fludd lined up against Christ the King star Omar Calhoun, the Boys & Girls senior had one thing in mind: to prove he was the top player in NYC.

Such a claim can't be settled in just one game, but Fludd certainly gained people's attention by dropping 23 points and leading the Kangaroos to a 64-59 upset of the state's then-top ranked team. Calhoun finished with 18 points.

As a result, the defending PSAL champs are the new No. 1 this week, overtaking idle Mount Vernon and debuting in the POWERADE FAB 50 at No. 24

Jamesville-DeWitt also dropped a few spots after losing its opener to DeMatha (Md.), the nation's No. 10 team. The Red Rams hung tough in the National High School Hoops Fest until Dajuan Coleman was sent to the bench with his third foul, sparking an 18-0 run by DeMatha. Such tough games should pay huge dividends down the line, though.

Lastly, Lincoln looked impressive, going 2-0 without star Isaiah Whitehead, who was out with academic problems and a knee injury. The sophomore is expected to be back for Friday's game against Grady. Likewise, Cardinal Hayes debuts after an undefeated start, backing up the belief by many local coaches that the Cardinals are a team to watch.

Here are this week's state rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 5-0 (5)
The Kangaroos jump into the top spot after upsetting nationally ranked Christ the King behind Leroy Fludd's 23 points.

2. Mount Vernon 0-0 (2)
Isaiah Cousins leads the nation's No. 26 team when the season opens next Monday against Gompers.

3. Christ the King (Middle Village) 1-1 (1)
The Royals drop a couple spots after falling to an emerging Boys a Girls squad, but will look to recover during the holiday tournament season.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York basketball rankings.

New York football playoffs beginning to heat up

November, 11, 2011
With the PSAL entering its postseason play this weekend, the entire state of New York is now in the midst of its most exciting time during the football season — the playoffs.

An epic battle between St. Joe's Collegiate and Canisius on Thursday proved just that. Marauders QB Chad Kelly showed why he made the Elite 11 this past summer, orchestrating a last-minute drive to help his team pull out a 48-47 win in the MMAA semifinals.

Down 47-40 with, Kelly drove his offense to the Canisius 6 with under a minute to play. Two incomplete passes and a run play that yielded negative yards brought up fourth-and-16. But Kelly showed his poise, connecting with Rod Payne for the touchdown before finding Yanni Zaulia for the decisive two-point conversion with 18 seconds remaining. Next, the Marauders will face St. Francis, which they beat earlier this season, 27-20.

Here are some other intriguing games to watch out for this weekend:

Iona Prep vs. St. Anthony's
When these two met on the gridiron two weeks ago, even though St. Anthony's escaped with a 21-20 win, there were some who weren't convinced that the Friars were the better team. The difference came when Iona Prep's two-point conversion try was stuffed with 24 seconds remaining, but coach Vic Quirolo said that had his kicker (and All-State goalkeeper) Alex Kapp been at the game rather than at a soccer commitment, they would have kicked the PAT and rolled the dice in overtime. Kapp is expected to play this weekend, which is welcome news for the Gaels, but is it enough? The Friars appear to be as close to full strength as they've been all season after standout players like Dariyan Riley and Brian Sherlock struggled with injuries. And though Kapp is slated to play, starting QB Mario Biaggi III might not due to an ankle sprain he sustained last week. If not, Justin Combs, who scored three times in last round's win, will get the nod.
My pick: St. Anthony's 24, Iona Prep 21

Campus Magnet vs. Curtis
Campus Magnet's season began with hope (a 24-20 comeback win against Erasmus Hall) while Curtis' started in defeat (a 40-12 loss to Boys & Girls). Both have had their ups and downs en route to a 6-3 regular season showing, making this weekend's first-round PSAL contest a closely matched one. Homefield advantage is in Campus Magnet's favor, but Curtis has a tailback Kevin Austin who could exploit the Bulldogs' struggles against the run this year.
My pick: Campus Magnet 24, Curtis 17

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Fordham Prep bids for upset against St. Anthony's in Week 2 NY football

September, 23, 2011
Up until this week, it appeared No. 1 St. Anthony's couldn't get a break.

In the offseason, Sean McDonaugh, who was supposed to replace the graduated Charlie Raffa at quarterback, went down with a season-ending back injury. Then the replacement, Pete Carew, sprained his ankle and standout defensive lineman Bryan Rhodes tweaked his hamstring. If that wasn't enough, after Hurricane Irene cancelled the season opener, tailback Dariyan Riley left last week's game with a foot injury.

Fortunately for the Friars, Riley is OK and they beat Monsignor Farrell to extend their current win streak to 20 games. But the road doesn't get any easier, as they travel to face a tough Fordham Prep squad. The Rams have breezed to a 2-0 start behind quarterback James McHale and tailback Logan Williamson (four touchdowns). Their defense should test Carew at quarterback, but the balance and experience of the Friars should help them pull out the win.
My pick: St. Anthony's 20, Fordham Prep 14

No. 6 Fort Hamilton (2-0) at Boys & Girls (1-1)
The regular-season win streak is at 34 for the Tigers, thanks Travon Reid Segure blocking a potential game-tying field goal against Campus Magnet last week. The defending PSAL champs will be tested again versus Boys & Girls, although the Kangaroos looked a bit out of sorts last week after showing promise in the opener. Boys & Girls has a playmaker in quarterback Keon Marsh, but it probably won't be enough to hang with the Tigers' strong rushing game behind Segure and quarterback Marvin Centeno.
My pick: Fort Hamilton 28, Boys & Girls 14

Erasmus Hall (1-1) at Clinton (1-1)
The last time these two teams met, Clinton pulled off the upset in the 20-16 upset in the first round of the PSAL playoffs. Match that with the sting from blowing a 13-point fourth quarter lead to Campus Magnet in the opener and you've got a vengeful team in Erasmus Hall. Clinton struggled to slow the talented Tottenville tandem (say that three times fast) of QB Brandon Barnes and WR Alvin Cornelius, and with All-State player Wayne Morgan leading the Dutchmen, it could be another long game for Clinton.
My pick: Erasmus Hall 21, Clinton 10

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Aquinas Institute, St. Joe's Collegiate kick off football season

September, 3, 2011
A lot has happened in the last few days, from Boys & Girls firing and hiring a football coach to one of the state's top soccer players leaving for Arizona.

But first, I of course have to touch on today's big matchup between No. 2 Aquinas Institute and No. 8 St. Joe's Collegiate.

Outside of the obvious rankings implications, what makes this matchup intriguing is the struggle that could ensue between St. Joe's offense and Aquinas' defense. The Little Irish feature the state's top-ranked player in defensive lineman Jarron Jones, who committed to Notre Dame earlier this week. His size and ability off the line are a big reason why Aquinas Institute won the Class A title last year and are favorites to do it again.

All day long, though, Jones must keep his eye on St. Joe's QB Chad Kelly, who's coming off a monster summer. The Elite 11 gun-slinger has the arm, athleticism and confidence to give the Little Irish defense fits. Jones, along with LB Marc Pettrone and their defensive comrades, must be on guard for Kelly's every move since he can scramble effectively when he sees an opening.

Because of the star power in this matchup, the difference could be made when the Little Irish have the ball. Aquinas boasts a talented wideout in Jahmahl Pardner, but with 14 returning starters across both sides of the ball for the Marauders, it's safe to say that the game will be a lot a closer than last year's 48-21 victory for the Little Irish.

Check back here on Tuesday for a recap as well as thoughts from Kelly in the first installment of his senior diary.

On Wednesday, the Kangaroos were without a coach after dismissing Barry O'Connor for reportedly receiving un unsatisfactory rating from administrators, according to this New York Post article. Two days later, Boys & Girls handed assistant coach Clive Harding the keys to its football program.

The in-house move should allow the Kangaroos to maintain some continuity, especially with its season opener against Curtis just a week away on Sept. 10. For more on the story, check out this article by the folks over at ESPN New York.

Jordan Allen could endure quite the culture shock when he heads from New York to Arizona soon. But the junior has good reason.

After netting 16 goals as a sophomore, the talented midfielder has opted not to play for Aquinas Institute this season and instead enter the Real Salt Lake Youth Development Program. Such a move is nothing new, of course, as talented soccer players across the nation choose similar routes. And Allen certainly fits that category, as he spent time at the IMG Academy this past spring for soccer development.

The move is a unique win-lose for Little Irish coach Howard Allen, who loses his best player but gets to witness his son advance his soccer career, according to this MPNnow article.

Speaking of Allen, stay tuned for October magazine, which features this year's All-State soccer team. And let's just say this: Allen's name can be found in those pages.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.