Far Rock Seahorses Look To Regain Winning Ways
There are always changes happening inside the campus of Far Rockaway High School. But this year marks the end of an era for the school which was opened with 19 students being admitted in 1897.
The school will graduate the final senior class in June of next year.
One who is sad at the closing of a school is former alumnus and current Seahorses varsity football coach Walt Wilkerson. While he has fond memories of the school, Wilkerson is currently focusing his energies on guiding a core of promising young players in the PSAL Bowl Division. After going 4-6 last season, the Far Rockaway/FDA VI coach is looking for his new talent to step up and contribute.
“It is sad being an alumnus of Far Rock and that there will be no more school,” Wilkerson said. “But the team has got some good players at the skills position and we hope the new players can be big factors this year.”
What will be the deciding factor for the Seahorses to tick on offense will be senior RB Kahsim Teague, who showed plenty of promise in last year’s opening game. The 5-6 speedy back rushed for 172 yards and scored three touchdowns in an opening day 24-14 Seahorses victory over George Washington. Teague didn’t last long though after his first game wonders.
Disciplinary issues in schooldays after the first game forced Teague to miss the rest of the year. His loss affected the offense, but Wilkerson says that Teague is more focused on his discipline and his studies.
“When he played last year, he was a dynamic runner,” Wilkerson said. “He will be one of the captains and a leader on this team. He is a tough runner who can run inside and outside.”
The first signs of the infusion of youth from the junior varsity level are at the varsity offensive positions. Wilkerson is looking to open things up offensively and QB Jowell Turner Moore should play a prominent role. The junior arrives as a starter with a good arm and the ability to throw the ball down field. Shymeek Harris should get time at running back and Darin Cuthbert should open up some holes at fullback.
Senior WR Usaaman Muhammad is academically eligible and his athleticism should boost the wide receiver core. With the team annually suffering from a lack of depth on the roster, players will have to start on both sides of the ball.
The experience will come from seniors Franklin Barrowes, who will see time at TE and linebacker along with OL/DL Charlesworth Browne.
Dennis Dixon played well on both sides of the line last year before suffering a late season injury. Browne and Dixon will have to make up for the loss for former star lineman Chris Rainey.
While offensive lineman is in short supply, Wilkerson thinks that will be rectified once school starts this week.
Far Rockaway will have to jell as a unit, and the first chance of that will come on September 11 in their first game at Evander Childs High School in the Bronx.
“We’re thinking like everyone else that we want to be playing in late November. I don’t know if the league is wide open,” Wilkerson said.
“We’re going to go in there, work hard and take it one game at a time.”