Sunday, 08 July 2012 22:46

2012 Playoff Preview

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Landon School will be the scene for the 1st Annual GYFL Playoffs!  Don't miss it! Landon School will be the scene for the 1st Annual GYFL Playoffs! Don't miss it!

Please Note that the game times have been Moved up 1 hour on Saturday July 14th.  The first game is at 3pm!


Playoff July 14th @ Landon School
6101 Wilson Ln  Bethesda, MD 20817

#3 Charles County Heat


#2 Howard County Stars


#4 Baltimore Metro Stallions


#1 Montgomery County Bearcats


Hindsight is the only way to truly evaluate whether a decision was good or not.  We believe we made the right decision by not playing last Saturday July 7th.  It truly was "Hotter Than July."

In future years, our entire season will have ended by the last week in June, including the playoffs, championship, and Super Star North vs South game that we will introduce next year.  As a matter of fact, because we plan on starting so early next year, the masses of players will be finished by the end of May.  We should be able to avoid the intense heat next July that we are experiencing this July.

Thank God we made the right decision and it did not negatively affect the playoffs in any form or fashion.  Our 4 playoff teams were already set and the only question was whether or not Charles County or Baltimore would end up with #3 seed.  Since we did not get to play that head to head match up to determine, we went to our 2nd tiebreaker, which was point differential.  Charles County got the 3rd seed because they had a +150 point differential to Baltimore Metro's +116.

Playoff Preview:

We are not going to make predictions this week because it would truly be foolish to do so.  These teams are far too evenly matched.  The talent is too deep.  The coaching is too good.  Predictions on this one would be like flipping a coin.  I have no idea how to pick these games.  They both played each other in the regular season and it took a last minute TD pass by Montgomery County to come back against Baltimore in week 4 at the same Landon field where the rematch will take place.  The Howard County Charles County game was a 1 point thriller and instant GYFL classic game played at Episcopal in week 3.  Each team has improved since week 3 and 4 and with much more film study, and two weeks to prepare, we can only expect two of the best football games that we have seen in GYFL history on Saturday July 14th @ Landon School.  My prediction is to be there or be sorry!

Game Breakdowns:

Game #1: Charles County Heat vs Howard County Stars

Heat Outlook:  This will be a classic match up of great coaching going head to head with one another.  Coach Terrance Byrd and his staff have been nothing short of phenomenal since taking their second loss in a row back in week 3 against these same Howard County Stars. Coach Byrd is the commissioner of the Mighty Westlake Bulldogs who are one of the titans of youth football in the state of Maryland.  He has assembled and outstanding staff and I distinctly remember the look on Terrance's face after the Heat lost the second game in a row.  The record was 1 - 2.  The team as stunned and in shock because they are loaded with talent at every position.  The parents were in disbelief as well.

Many prognosticators had seen their roster, which is loaded with future Division 1 football prospects and practically handed them the GYFL title.  I spoke to Terrance that night after the game and he shared with me that the last time he coached a team that lost two games in a row, he went on a win streak that lasted two consecutive years without a loss.  He vowed that he would go back to the drawing board, insist that his parents got those kids to practice consistently, and insist that the kids made a commitment to the Heat football team or turn their uniforms in.  

Kids made decisions to leave their AAU basketball teams, track teams, and make the commitment that needed to be made to win in a league as competitive as the GYFL.  They were facing the defending Champion an undefeated DC Warriors in the next game and they looked unbeatable after 3 straight blow outs.  Not only did the Heat put on a show that week against the Warriors in front of representatives from and the University of Maryland coaches, but they have not looked back since and not lost a game.  As a matter of fact, they have averaged over 40 points a game in the final 4 games and have looked very impressive doing it.

I have made no apologies for touting the Charles County Heat offensive line.  Tim Ursery, Warren Clements, Anthony Whigman, Jamie Higginbotham, Brandon Spearman, Matthew Hunt, and Terrance Davis should be household names by now.  If you don't know the names yet, get used to them.  If they continue to develop and work hard they will all be major contributors to the high schools that they will attend.  Don't be surprised to see some of them playing on Saturdays on TV in a few years.  They are that good.

Andrew Rothstein holds it down from his TE position and is a fierce blocker who showed his pass catching and runnign skills off during the Fairfax game.  Shaquon Dyson is one of the best kept secrets on the team and is one of the best athletes in the league.  He can play TE, WR, or wherever you need him to play.  He has sacrificed his individual glory for the good of the team.  But, make no mistake, he will be a star at the High School level. 

At the WR position they feature two big, fast, athletes who can get it done for your.  Jayson Johnson and Jordan Holmes both have impressive physiques that are taylor made for D-1.  Alec Martin is the game breaker with the speed and hands to make any QB look good.   He has made a series of highlight reel catches this year and we don't expect him to be satisfied.  At QB, Aaron Parker has just gotten better and better each week as his confidence soars.  He has great size, a strong arm, he can run when need be, but has shown great poise in pressure situations.

In the backfield, they are fierce.  They have a combination of thunder and lightning in Devin Montgomery and Damien Jones.  Montgomery is quick, elusive, tough, and can read and set up blocks with the best of them.  Jones is a flat out animal.  The kid is a machine.  He is big.  He runs through people.  He runs around people.  He runs over people.  He is fearless with the ball and thrives contact.  He has the speed to take it to the house on any play and he is very durable.  He is a D-1 coach’s dream.

They can replace the backs with Joshua Chase and Perrin Turner who  have star potential in their own right but sacrifice their stats for the good of the team.

On defense, many of the better kids go both ways.  Most of the offensive linemen double as defensive lineman with Hunt and Davis dominating the trenches.  Dyson is a problem coming off the edge.  Rothstein, Holmes, and Johnson are lights out LB's.  DeMarco Blount has made big plays from the secondary position.  Myles Plummer has been solid all year long. Perrin Turner is a shutdown corner.  Aaron Holliday has played well as of late from the secondary, as has Isaiah Purvis.  Montgomery and Jones double as safeties for the Heat and do a great job.  Jones patrols the secondary with reckless abandon and makes it detrimental for WR's to come across the middle.

The Heat have no weakness that we can see.  So how could they have lost 2 games?  The competition is ridiculous at the top of this league!

Stars Outlook:  The Stars don't have quite the same amount of depth as the Heat, nor do they have the massive size on their OL/DL.  However, what they lack in size and depth, they more than make up for in talent and coaching.  It took me almost half the season before I became true and absolute believers in this team.  I always knew the coaching was premiere.  Coach T. White has over 20 years in youth football coaching.  He is a former NFL player, college coach, HS coach and nobody knows more about the game of football than T. White.  He put together an All Star organization first!  He did not put a coaching staff together first when he came into the league.  He put together an ORGANIZATION from the top down.

He ran this thing like a business!  He had his daughter set up a website before he recruited one kid or one coach so the Stars would have credibility as an organization.  He linked his 501c3 tutoring and enrichment program to the Stars so that the parents he recruited would understand that joining them meant much more than joining a football team.  T. White had a vision and it is coming to life right before our eyes.  T. White had been supporting and observing Grassroots for the past two years.  He recruited a number of the Baltimore players on last years team over to St. Frances, where he was the defensive coordinator.  After the Fall season he called me and told me that God put it on his heart to start a team in the GYFL.  I told him I was planning on starting a Howard County Team in the spring of 2013 and even though many of his kids would come from Northern PG County and the Laurel area, I would give him that region to begin play in 2013.  He told me that his plan was to come into the 2012 season.  I thought he was crazy.  It was November of 2011 at the time and I didn't think there was enough time to do it right!  I guess I didn't realize who I was talking to.

T. White galvanized the troops.  He set up that organization like a business.  He recruited an All Star coaching staff from some of the best youth clubs in the region, and they set out to recruit!  Boy did they recruit.  The rest is history.  When I first saw their roster, I thought they were going to be too small up front to stay with the size of the Heat, the Bearcats, the Warriors, etc.  I failed to measure the size of their hearts.

On the offensive line, they don't feature any players.  They just roll out a group of tough as nails, hard nose kids, that play hard every play like their lives depended on it.  Nathaniel Randolph, Craig Williams Jr., Alex Leger, Michael Coolie, Harmadu M, Marquise Chambers, Joe Macklin, and Sean McCutchen all get it done.

Their WR core is second to none in the GYFL.  De'Andre House is as wonderful an athlete that you will see at the middle school level.  He has size, speed, hands, an the whole package.  Trey Simpson is cat quick and elusive.  He can break a game at any moment.  Ronnie Rountree was a integral part of the crew before a season ending injury took him out.  Aaron Hansford is a big physical receiver with speed that can make plays.  Eric Burrell is arguably the best player in the GYFL.  As receiver is a dependant position and WR's can't throw the ball to themselves, Burrell may not have the overall statistics to make that claim, but all you have to do is know football, and watch this kid play.  You can see how special he is on both sides of the ball.

At QB, the Stars have two kids who are capable of winning for them.  Armani Ceballlos is the starter and has been solid all year finding Burrell and House.  He is especially adept at throwing the 9 route up the sidelines.  Keshaun Ebron is a sensational athlete who can do it all from the QB position.  He is a dual threat QB who can run and throw.  The Stars use their QB's interchangeably and keep defenses off guard because they are so different.

In the backfield, the Stars are absolutely loaded.  They lost one of the best players on the team and in the league as far as I am concerned with FB Sonny Csorba went down with a foot injury, but the Stars rolled on.  Abdul Adams is a game breaking type runner with outstanding speed and decision making.  he hits the hole hard and fast every time, makes one cut and he is off to the races.  Adrian Platt is flat out special!  This kid is extremely durable.  He runs violently, never afraid of contact.  He can shake and bake when need be.  He can run you over if need be.  He has a vicious spin move and if he sees a crack he will NOT get caught.  Great KR man as well.  Both of these kids will be elite at the next level.

Defensively, just like with the Heat, the OL double as DL and do a great job with Randolph and Williams being the standouts.  Platt doubles as a LB, along with Burrell who is big time.   From the defensive backfield, the Stars throw a stream of athletes at you who all tackle well.  Lemond Bynoe, Jaquan Bell, John Sterling, all contribute heavily to the Stars defense.  House and Simpson hold down the corners and are elite.  Aaron Hansford makes huge plays on the defensive side of the ball.  Butler contributes big plays as well.

This is another team that has no weaknesses.  One team has to win and one team has to lose.  It is anybody's guess.  Neither team will outcoach each other.  They will both be ready.  They will both make adjustments.  It will be a battle of wills and let the best kids win!

Game #2: Charles Baltimore Metro Stallions vs Montgomery County Bearcats

Stallions Outlook:  Baltimore is loaded with talent once again. This team looks similar to the 2010 team that won the inaugural GYFL Championship. Coach Ty and Coach Clay don’t have a deep staff at all this year. Bernie Cooper has held down the administrative duties from her President’s position and Coach Ty and Coach Clay have just done what they do. They live, sleep, eat and drink football and they love those kids with their whole hearts. They don’t get a ton of help but they make the most of what they get. Gilman HS has been a blessing to provide an elite practice facility for them but it has been good ole fashion sweat that has made this team tick. Coach Joe Hill has been a true blessing to the staff by coming down from his home in Delaware to assist.

The Stallions are a proud group that deals with all types of adversity. They have kids that have had a variety of other responsibilities to juggle. Somehow, someway, they just keep getting it done. When the Stallions lost two games in a row, Coach Ty did the same thing that he did two years ago when they were 1 – 2. He looked at the schedule, figured out the scenario, told me they were going to win the championship when they looked like they weren’t in the running. After losing 2 in a row, he looked at the schedule and figured out what it would take to make it to the playoffs. He promised me he would get it done and he did it again. He is in the playoffs and the Stallions are excited about the opportunity to see the Bearcats, as crazy as that may sound.

They had Montgomery County on the ropes on their home field in week 4 and it took a botched kickoff and some great throws by a 6th grade QB for Montgomery County to squeak out the win. They were without one of their game breaking WR’s Morgan Scroggins and they were missing the Hollis twins who provide the muscle for the Stallions. They believe that they can beat the Bearcats and who are we to say they can’t. They go into this game with a ton of confidence and a fully loaded deck.

They are tough in the trenches. They are not very deep there, but they are very good. Javon Childs brings the beef to the OL. Jonathan Tynes brings the stability and experience. Myron Turner, Dujuan Dallas, and Montreze Watt bring the toughness. Murad Hussain does an outstanding job at the TE position.

The WR’s for the Stallions are insane. Morgan Scroggins “Next Level Slim” has already been offered a scholarship by Youngstown State before he set foot on a high school field. He has the speed, the hands, and the quickness to make big plays in an instant. Steven Smothers, AKA “Optimus Prime” is one of the most exciting 8th grade receivers that we have seen in 3 years and has been dubbed the Next Stefon Diggs by many. He can do it all. He is fast, explosive, has great elusiveness, and a passion to be the best. Taj Washington is a versatile athlete that can play any position on the field. He can catch it, run, and from what we hear, he can throw it too. Juan Campbell broke the DC game open with a catch and TD run in the final 2 minutes. He doesn’t get a lot of action from the WR position, but he has proven what he can do when he touches the ball.

The RB’s are fabulous. Johnson Lloyd “The Law Firm” is one of the most complete backs in the GYFL. He runs very hard and tough. He is not a game breaker, but he has good enough speed. He is a terror between the tackles. His running mate Malik Alston is a tank with legs. He pulverizes defenders with his power. He has a low center of gravity and is tough to tackle. Azariah Bratton-Bey, AKA “AZ”, AKA “The Ninja” is just ridiculous with the ball in his hands. He is not big by any means like Alston and Johnson, but he is quick as a hiccup and runs as hard as any 200lb running back. He refuses to go down on 1st, 2nd, or 3rd contact. The kid plays football like he is playing for his life. He has the game breaking speed.

The QB is a 7th grade sensation named Kasim Hill. We initially gave him the nickname “The Archer” but we have to pull that one back. His parents didn’t love it, so we will call him Kasim “The Dream” from now on. Kasim has missed the last two games with a concussion but he will be back and ready to rock for this playoff game. He is a good athlete that can run when he has to, but he is not a runner. He is a pure drop back passer that can make all of the throws. He is calm, cool, collected and has all the poise that you want in a QB. We expect him to have a standout HS football career, but he still has to get through the 8th grade. He will have a ton of weapons to get the ball to.

Defensively, once again the OL double as DL. Childs and Turner lead the way from the DT positions, but Eric Arvinger absolutely takes over games with his speed rush off the end. Therefore, we gave them the nickname “Takeover.” Watt has a motor that won’t quit for the Stallions. Travon and Troy Hollis are menacing from their linebacker positions, along with Alston. AZ Bey plays a strong LB as well. Lloyd and Hussain are solid and effective as well. In the defensive backfield, Scroggins and Smother are both shutdown corners who excel in man to man coverage. Campbell is equally as effective. Taj Washington plays big in the secondary and his 7th grade little brother Tavion is a future star who made an amazing pick against DC to get them to the playoffs. If the Stallions can get Shemar Shanks back for the playoffs, they will be that much stronger.

Bearcat Outlook: We saved the best for last. At this point in the season, the Bearcats are the only undefeated team in the GYFL. In three years, they are the first undefeated team. They have earned the #1 seed and earned the right to be called the best because they have beaten all the best teams head to head. They beat the Stallions in that thriller. They beat the Heat 18 – 0. They beat the Stars in a close game as well.

They go into this playoff well rested and on a roll. They have a truly elite coaching staff led by the Good Counsel head freshman coach Andy Steffanelli. Andy has a strong and versatile staff made up of some of the best youth club coaches in Montgomery County. They even have a DeMatha coach on the staff. They always have those kids ready to play. They do what they do and they do it with precision. It is a run first, ball control offense that sucks you in and hits you over the top when the opportunity arises. Defensively, they just fly to the ball and tackle well and sure.

They are big, fast, and deep! They have no weaknesses. On the offensive line, they are very big and dominant. They lost standout Mike Drolet to a knee injury early in the season. Mike just had surgery and we pray for his full recovery. We expect him to have a great HS career. When they lost him, they picked right up and kept on winning. Kyle Loughner is a tremendous football player with great potential. Under the tutelage of Coach Maderas, he has gotten better each week. Cody Peterson, Charlie Siarkas, Jack Stubbs, and Jalen Lea have been nothing short of spectacular. They have dominated defenses in the trenches making way for a bevy of talented running backs that have excelled. Joey Freeman and Michael Briggs have been solid at TE.

The WR’s have been amazing when called upon. The Bearcats don’t throw a lot, but when they do, Malcolm Littlejohn has made big plays. Two-time GYFL All Star Travon Stott has had a magnificent 2nd year campaign from the WR position making play after play just when they needed him. He will have a number of scholarship offers before he leaves HS.

The QB has been very impressive. Kendall “Doc” Bonner has been clutch in big time games. He is not a tall kid yet, but he has plenty of time and room to grow. What has shocked us has been his poise under pressure. This kid has made big play after big play when the Bearcats needed to pass to win games. He has a bright future ahead of him. His backup Shawn Bliss is capable as well if they have to go to him.

The backfield is where the Bearcats are just unbelievable. Jonathan Wanat is arguably the most complete FB in the league. He is a great blocker that reminds us of 2011 All Star Zack Ralli. He can run when asked to and catch the ball out of the backfield. They have two time GYFL All Star Daqwan Hill as their featured back. Hill has been battling through ankle injuries all season but when they need the big back to deliver, he always does. Hill has size, quickness, speed, power, and the ability to cut on a dime. He reads holes well and sets up blocks. If he stays humble and continues to work hard, he will be a high school star with tons of D-1 scholarship offers before he is done.

Jonathan Lee is scary. He was injured early in the season and we didn’t get a chance to see if he would be able to perform against unweighted GYFL competition the way he did against Pop Warner competition. But, when he came back he did so with a vengeance. He is a true game breaker with blazing speed and quickness. He has a nose for the end zone and finds it frequently. If he is given a crease, you can forget about trying to catch him.  With Lee's combination of talent and grades, he should have his share of D-1 offers as well.

Marvin Beander is one of the most exciting 7th grade RB’s in the DMV. He has tremendous vision, great speed, elusiveness, and toughness. This kid is the real deal and will be one of the most highly recruited prospects in the class of 2017. 7th Grader Darius Golston has not gotten many touches because of the Bearcat depth, but every time he has touched it, he has done something special.

Defensively, the Bearcats just suffocate teams. Jalen Lea is a flat out monster who will be another one of the top 2017 recruits. He can’t be blocked by 1 person and he reminds us of 2011 All Star Ellison Jordan, who was just named to the Max Preps Top 50 Watchlist for the class of 2016. Don’t be surprised to see Kasim Hill, Lea, and Beander on that list next year. Izon Pulley is a force and a terror on that defensive line. He and Lea make it very difficult on offenses to run the ball. If they do get past the interior line they have to get past David Sangwa from the LB position and that is easier said than done. He runs sideline to sideline and sticks his nose in every chance he gets. Clarence McNeary is another hard-nosed LB who is always around the action. Hill is a standout LB as well who dominates with crushing hits. Joey Freeman is another Bearcat LB to be reckoned with.

The secondary is just ridiculous. They can all run, catch, and love to tackle. Cedric Content is a big hitter who is always looking for contact from the hybrid safety position. Littlejohn is the epitome of a shutdown corner, and Stott is not far behind. Those kids don’t give up much at all. If and when they do Juran Woodyard is one of the best coverage safeties in the GYFL. His range is phenomenal as he covers hash mark to hash mark. Carleton Taylor is one of the best 7th grade cornerbacks that we have seen and will be a great one at the next level.

I just don’t know how to call these games guys and won’t waste my time trying. There are 4 teams with no weaknesses that I can find. They all have speed, size, toughness, and great coaching. I have no idea who will move on and play for the Norman Anderson Trophy, but I know it is going to be a blast finding out!


GYFL Players at Playoffs

We want all of our GYFL players to attend the games on Saturday. We are going to announce the GYFL honorable mention players and bring them out between the games to be introduced to the fans at midfield. We can’t require them to be there but we certainly hope you will all come out and support your league.

We also want to take team pictures beginning at 2:30pm if possible. GM’s please contact me to let me know if you are going to have your teams there for the pics, or if you are going to arrange for your own pictures.

FBU Tryouts

The first Team Maryland Tryout will be July 21st at 10:00am at Riverdale Baptist School prior to our Championship game.  The first Team Northern Va. Tryout will be July 29th  @ 8am at St. Stephens St. Agnes HS prior to the Chesapeake Bowl South Team tryout.

Click Here for details and to register for both events. The Team Nova page for FBU is not live yet. Make sure to sign up on our registration page so we can get back in touch with you as soon as it is ready.

Under Armour/Lavar Arrington Free Tackling Clinics

Under Armour and Lavar Arrington have joined forces to teach kids how to tackle properly for FREE. There will be 5 days for you to choose from. You don’t want to miss this as you tune up for your fall season. Click Here for details.

GYFL Awards Banquet Reservations

The first annual Post Season banquet is schedule for August 5th. You must RSVP now so we will know how many to expect. The ESPY’s, only GYFL style! Click Here to RSVP.

Jr. Rank Free Camp Slots

We have 50 free slots available for this elite camp. You must register on our list to take advantage. Click Here to sign up. After the first 50, the cost is $149.

Twitter and Facebook

We have a lot of information to share with you real time and the best way to get the information is to like us on Facebook (Click Here), and to follow us on Twitter (Click Here). Please follow us and like us so you don’t miss out any important information.

Highlight DVD’s

No serious football players should be caught dead in 2012 without a highlight DVD. We have provided a venue for your son to have the best film in the business. You must put it to use. You will need this as the first part of your football resume. Your son will need invites to the best camps in high school. You will want him to be ranked in the important publications. I need a highlight DVD to properly promote your son. Click Here to register ASAP.

Online Player Profiles

How you market and promote your child is just as important as having the tool. If you have the tool and the right people don’t see it, how effective is it. We get 1 million hits per month on this site. Coaches are constantly reviewing it. Ranking services are reviewing it. To have an online player profile on OUR site is going to maximize the exposure. The Player profile allows you to provide a complete online resume with recommendation letters, standardized test scores, verified statistics, full game videos, as well as your highlight video. You can’t do that with you tube or copies of DVD’s. Click here for details.


See you Saturday at 3pm!




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