2003-08-22 / Sports

Rollercoaster Ride For Clark and Brooklyn Cyclones

By Elio Velez
Rollercoaster Ride For Clark and Brooklyn Cyclones By Elio Velez

It’s been a long summer for yours truly. With the heat, the unforgiving sun was giving migraines and headaches to last for weeks. The blackout and the lack of blinding lights did give me a moment of clarity. The thought finally popped in my head is what happened to my little column all these months. Whoa!

Well I’m back and there is good news to report for former Beach Channel High School basketball star Rhashon Clark. This is the first city newspaper to report that the All-City forward has made a verbal commitment to attend Iowa State for the 2004-2005-college basketball season. Clark averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds for the PSAL Queens champion Beach Channel Dolphins. He will be headed to the Big 12 Conference to play with first year head coach Wayne Morgan.

Clark is a 6’6 forward whose athletic ability and scoring touch garnered honors throughout many publications. He helped Beach Channel to a 22-3 record before being eliminated by Gompers in the second round of the PSAL basketball tournament. Attending high profile camps and tournaments such as the Adidas ABCD Tournament this summer increased Clark’s stock with colleges.

Clark’s journey before heading to Iowa State will lead him to Bridgeton Academy, a prep school in Maine. Mo Johnson, head coach for the AAU Long Island Panthers, where Clark also played and assistant at Beach Channel said that Morgan made Clark feel comfortable about attending Iowa State.

"Wayne made Rhashon feel comfortable. Wayne is from Brooklyn and he just knew how to talk to him and relate to him", Johnson said. Johnson said that other schools such as Fordham, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Kent State also recruited Clark.

Johnson says that Iowa State’s style of play will be good for Rhashon. "Rhashon needs to play a style that is uptempo and he can slash. They play a up and down game that’s good for him. A system that plays halfcourt won’t work."

It is true what Johnson says about Clark’s intention to play a faster game. Clark has displayed the skills suited to a small forward spot, which Clark said at the ABCD camp he will most likely end up at. Clark will be moving from center and he will need to shape his game to slashing to the basket and hit the 15 to 20 foot jump shot that is already a part of his game.

Clark will be playing for Wayne Morgan, who was a long time assistant at Syracuse and was the top assistant coach for former Cyclones head coach Larry Eustachy. Eustachy resigned earlier this year after the Des Moines Register published photographs and an article which told of his drinking and partying with college age students after his team’s losses in the past two seasons.

With Morgan starting off fresh, Clark is the first top recruit for the program. Johnson said that Clark is ready to play in college. "He made the decision by himself. His parents support the decision and I’m happy for him. I know he’s going to do well".

Football Problems

We all know that the college and pro football season is only a few weeks away. And it can’t come any sooner for those who are bored with baseball or are just tired of hearing the Kobe Bryant case. (I have words about that coming soon)

High school football starts up on September 5 and Far Rockaway will try to make the playoffs after finishing 5-3 in a rebuilding year. But in Beach Channel’s case, their goal is just to play a season. Longtime head coach Marty Senall was fired this summer after an alleged verbal confrontation with a player during a spring practice.

Senall filed an appeal with the Department of Education and the result of that appeal may not occur until Opening Day. Assistant coach Steve Goldman has taken over the duties for now. The 2003 season may be in jeopardy if a new coach is not named or if Marty Senall does not win his grievance with the Board of Ed. Stay tuned.

Final Notes…

The Rockaway Grizzlies, a semi-pro football team in the Garden state Football League will play a home game at Beach Channel High School on Sunday, August 24 against the Pottstown Bulldogs. They also have scheduled home games on September 14 and September 28. For more information, go to rockawaygrizzlies.com.

The Brooklyn Cyclones finish their last week of the regular season at home with seven home games starting on Monday. The Cyclones lead their division over second place Williamsport. If they hang on to their lead, the Cyclones should make the playoffs for the second time in three years.

The Cyclones have been done well with pitching, which leads the entire NY Penn League. Manager Tim Teufel had been pulling his hair out night after night in finding an offense to work with. With that in mind, the Mets decided to import 2002 Cyclones players like Aaron Baldiris and Blake Whealy to add stability and spark to a dormant offense. OF Lastings Milledge, who recently signed as the first round pick of the Mets after tenous negotiations, may actually finish time in a Brooklyn uniform. It should be an exciting next few weeks for the young Cyclones.

And if the Nets are thinking about moving from Jersey, why try to squeeze a new building into a few parcels of land between Atlantic and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. There seems to be a lot of empty land right near the beach in Rockaway. Like somewhere near Arverne perhaps? Just wild thinking on my part. Peace.


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