2011-09-09 / Sports

New Name Seahorses Seek Return to Cup Playoffs

By Elio Velez

Far Rockaway Educational Campus Seahorses RB Shymeek Harris will try to add a spark to the running game. Far Rockaway Educational Campus Seahorses RB Shymeek Harris will try to add a spark to the running game. It’s the beginning of a new era for the varsity team at Far Rockaway Educational Campus. It’s the brand new name for the four academies inside what is now the closed Far Rockaway High School.

The team colors and the Seahorses nickname haven’t changed though. Coach Walt Wilkerson hasn’t changed as well as he enters his seventh year leading the varsity program. Wilkerson will retain plenty of memories for the old Far Rock High, which he attended and played varsity high school football.

“At the end of the June, the school was closed and they was relining and painting the field. They asked what we should put at the center of the field. I said we should just keep the FR,” Wilkerson said. “It’s going to feel pretty weird starting this year as Far Rockaway Campus.”

Far Rockaway suffered tough losses and injuries in the 2010 season as they fell to a 3-7 campaign in the PSAL Cup Division. Wilkerson sees hope for this year’s squad as they visit Bryant this Saturday at 12 p.m. in the opening game of the season.

Despite losing a few days of practice due to Hurricane Irene, the bulk of the returning players should provide some excitement on both sides of the ball.

“Of course we’re suffering from low numbers, but I like what is coming back for us,” Wilkerson said. “We got some athletic running backs. That’s going to be one of our strengths this year.”

Wilkerson will have a number of options to choose from on offense. Senior RB Shymeek Harris and junior back Romello White return from last year and each will start at linebacker on the defensive side at the ball. Jowell Turner Moore switches from QB to RB and will start at defensive back.

New additions come from the junior varsity squad which went a stellar 6-2 last year and only lost their games via forfeit. Kendel Collis Edwards rushed for 423 yards last season. Left-handed QB Jannick Brown will start on the varsity as the junior provides mobility behind the pocket and a strong throwing arm.There will be decent size according to Wilkerson as players will see bulk of the playing time on offense and defense. Junior linemen Abdullah Zahir and Terrell “Steak” Lucas should help provide protection.

Darin Cuthbert, who was moved to offensive line due to injuries last year and played at nose tackle, will be moving to a new role at middle linebacker.

The Seahorses are looking to return to the playoffs after a two year drought. Far Rockaway will have intriguing matchups against newcomers Cardozo, South Shore and Cup finalist Petrides.

“I told the team our goals. I want to go back to the basics and do that well,” Wilkerson said. “Everybody’s goal is to get to the playoffs and win the championship but we need to do the basics and perform well to back to winning.”

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