The Dewitt Clinton Governors enter the 2012 season as the reigning Bronx champions and a team that made a serious run at last year’s city title.
The Kennedy Knights are coming off a 2011 season during which they made the playoffs for the first time in more than three years.
What will 2012 hold for the Bronx’s biggest rivals? Below, the team’s coaches share some pre-season musings.
Dewitt Clinton Governors
Head coach: Howard Langley
Last season’s record: 6-3
2-1 in playoffs
The Governors are coming off a steller season, finishing 6-3 in the regular season and defeating tough Port Richmond 34-18 and Fort Hamilton 16-8 on the road in the playoffs.
Notably, Clinton did not go on the biggest winning streak of its season until a narrow 14-13 win against rival Kennedy in late October. A mediocre 3-3 going into the game, the Govs finished the season at 5-1.
With the departure of several key players, Clinton is left with a lot of holes to fill as it prepares for the new season. There are a lot of questions surrounding this season’s team.
Far and away the biggest loss for Clinton is All-City running back and linebacker Ashton McKenzie.
“Not only was he All-City on both offense and defense, but if they gave it for punting, he would have won that too,” said Langley regarding McKenzie. “The kid could do everything.”
Plucky quarterback Ryan Camilo has gradudated. Also gone are Jerimiah Obeng-Agyapong and Rudje Beckford, both of whom where staples in the Governors’ offensive and defensive backfields.
While he admits to having question marks at quarterback and in his backfields, Langley will have a good crop of players from which to build his team this year. Nearly 60 players showed up to training camp for the 2012 season compared to 42 on the roster last season.
Langley, who is never thrilled to point to individual players to watch, reluctantly mentioned a few.
Look for senior Diego Waters to replace Camilo at quarterback for Clinton this season.