Follow football in the Hudson Valley on Twitter: @MSGVarsityKDJ
NEW ROCHELLE HUGUENOTS
Coach: Lou DiRienzo (22nd season)
2012 record: 11-1, won state Class AA championship
Who’s gone: Joe Clarke, TE/LB; Khalil Edney, QB; Jason Ceneus, RB/DB; Terrence Holden, TE/LB; Ray Ganley, G/DT; Justin Douglas, C/DT; Gavin Harley, WR/DB; Ahmad Encarnacion, WR; Wjhante Holden, RB/DB
Names you know:
Corey Holder, Jr., T/DT: A raw talent last season, Holder has become one of the elite athletes in Section 1. He’s a lean 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and could end up being the best two-way lineman in the region.
Jonathan Forrest, Jr., RB/LB: No one running back over the year has ever really received a bulk of the carries for New Rochelle (not even Ray Rice). But Forrest could be an exception, especially early on. He’s the only veteran in the backfield. But, with his explosive style, he’s not a bad guy to build around.
Tajmir Anderson, Sr., WR/DB: The cornerback was among the team leader in tackles and one of the most productive members in the secondary. He’s gotten bigger and faster. Expect big things.
Nas Sinkfield-Shelton, Sr., QB: Sinkfield-Shelton obviously has huge shoes to fill with two-year starter Khalil Edney, the MSG Varsity Player of the Year, gone. Sinkfield-Shelton didn’t attempt a pass but saw some time late in games. He’s grown a lot in the offseason, now standing at 6-1, 170 and will be a threat to run and pass.
Cameron White, Sr., RB/DB: White saw significant time in a reserve role last season on both sides of the ball and should rarely leave the field this season.
Kyrell Stephenson, Sr., NG: The Huguenots are always strong up front and Stephenson will be counted on to step in and fill in next to Holder.
Jasper Baskerville, Jr., G/NG: Baskerville was a JV call-up last season who’ll be thrust into the starting role this year. He’s quick and agile and the Huguenots feel he’s ready to play a major part.
Demetrius Rodriguez, Jr., OLB: Rodriguez will fill the outside linebacker spot left by Joe Clarke, a major role but one he has the body and speed to thrive in.
Camp report: Every team deals with loss. And it seems every year New Rochelle graduates the most talent.
But this year may be unlike any other.
The defending state champions saw graduation take 20 of 22 starters that lined up in the Carrier Dome last November. Forrest is the only returner that had more than six carries last season and over 90-percent of the receiving yardage is gone, too.
“Even if we had everyone back, defending state champs means absolutely nothing to me,” Huguenots coach Lou DiRienzo said. “That was 2012. This is 2013 and the philosophy isn’t going to change. We are taking it one practice at a time, one game at a time. Once we get to playoffs, then we can start talking about championships.”
Much of the burden falls on the three returning starters – Forrest, Corey Holder and Tamjir Anderson, all who’ve improved from last season and are well equipped to step into the spotlight.
Holder, a junior two-way lineman, could end up among the elite players in the Hudson Valley.
“He’s improved tremendously,” DiRienzo said. “The biggest thing with him is his emotional maturity. He’s got the look; he passes the look test. He’s mature, he’s a leader and I expect big things from him.”
Nas Sinkfield-Shelton could be a major key stepping in at quarterback.
“He’s going to go through the learning curve but he’s up for it,” DiRienzo said. “He wants to be that guy. He’s very smart, he studies film and I think he’s going to be all right.”
New Rochelle will spend the next four days of camp — and the month until opening day – trying to identify the 19 new starters around them.
One thing for the Huguenots will certainly not change — expectations.
9/7 at Ketcham
9/21 at Scarsdale
9/28 Clarkstown North
10/5 White Plains
10/11 at Suffern
10/19 at North Rockland
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at email@example.com