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Posted Tuesday, September 06, 2011 by Elio Velez
 

Bronx football preview: Undefeated CHSFL Class AA champion Stepinac makes jump to Class AAA

Tuesday, September 6th 2011, 4:00 AM

Bruising fullback Caleb Gilligan Evans returns to anchor Stepinac as it accepts the challenge of leaping a full division in CHSFL football this fall.
Richard Harbus for News
Bruising fullback Caleb Gilligan Evans returns to anchor Stepinac as it accepts the challenge of leaping a full division in CHSFL football this fall.

The CHSFL's Class AAA division has a new arrival in Stepinac, which cruised to the "AA" championship last season with a 12-0 record. Although QB Tyrell Goodman and Syracuse-bound DE Donnie Simmons graduated, Stepinac retained the services of bruising FB Caleb Gilligan Evans and TE Austin Taps, who's now a senior.

- Iona Prep, the Class AAA runner-up, may use Justin Combs, a junior cornerback whose speed and instincts are gaining interest from Illinois and UCLA, to start at quarterback.

- Mount St. Michael will rely on a strong defense led by senior CB Bruce Parker and two-way standouts Kenny Acquah, a linebacker, and Najae Brown, a safety who is also expected to start at QB.

Cardinal Hayes coach C.J. O'Neill looks to contend in Class AA with what he describes as a hard-working group that includes first-year QB James Richardson and RB DeQuan June.

Willie Cawley is taking over as coach at Cardinal Spellman.

- Clinton has gotten stronger and faster. The Governors, who lost to Lincoln in last year's PSAL quarterfinals, will have a transfer from Hayes, Ryan Camilo, at QB and junior RB Ashton McKenzie, who rushed for 627 yards as a sophomore.

- Second-year Lehman coach Michael Saunds says he will instill a "nasty" mentality to get the Lions back to the PSAL playoffs.

- JFK coach Andy Lancberg is counting on such veterans as senior OT/DT Francisco Mendez Jr., who is getting interest from Connecticut and Rutgers, and junior TB/CB Romario Dillion to get the Knights to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

- Truman, last year's PSAL Bowl champion, will need to adjust to more competitive surroundings. Senior lineman St. Clair Richards and WR/DB Erik Reynolds are among the Mustangs' few returning players.

- Former South Bronx football coach Jose Cosme and some of his players are now at the new Mott Haven Educational Campus program. South Bronx will not have a football program this year. Columbus and George Washington round out the Bowl division.

- Stevenson, a PSAL Cup division semifinalist last season, will compete against Alfred E. SmithEvander Childs, Stuyvesant and KIPP NYC College Prep, a first-year varsity program.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/high_school/2011/09/06/2011-09-06_bronx_football_preview_undefeated_chsfl_class_aa_champion_stepinac_makes_jump_to.html#ixzz1XELZzvTp

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