By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Quarterback Chapman Parker was a relative unknown before Kingston’s game against Washingtonville last Friday.
By the end of the night, Parker was a star, the author of one of the greatest offensive performances in Section 9 history. Parker set Section 9 records by throwing for 552 yards and eight touchdowns in Kingston’s come-from-behind 62-59 win.
Parker’s emergence made a deep list of talented Section 9 quarterbacks even more impressive. In fact, the area has likely never seen such depth under center in Section 9’s history.
“In the past, it’s always been one good quarterback in every class,” Valley Central coach Ron Introini said. “Now it seems like there is two or three in every class. It’s as deep as I think I’ve seen it and you are seeing a lot of quarterbacks who are good athletes. There are a lot of good quarterbacks out there right now.”
In Section 9, 2013 was dubbed as The Year of the Quarterback with a lineup that included Cornwall’s Mike White, Kevin Carr of Monroe-Woodbury, Chester’s Vinny Aloi, Donovan Fields of Newburgh, Kingston’s Pat Dorrian, Warwick’s Brad Garcia and Ryan Cary of Marlboro. This season, may serve as The Year of the Quarterback, Part II.
This year’s group may not possess as much star power as the 2013 class, but it could have more depth, and is dotted with up-and-coming underclassmen. The lineup includes:
Red Hook junior Dylan Bayliss
Chester junior Joe Battiato
Saugerties senior Matt Bucci
Monroe-Woodbury senior Steven Campione
Marlboro junior Christian Diorio
Goshen junior Matt Giordano
Burke Catholic sophomore Jackson Hoovler
Middletown sophomore Dalton Howell
Minisink Valley senior Ryan Johanson
Washingtonville senior Vincent Martello
Pine Bush senior Haakon Meland
Marlboro senior Sam Mongelli
Kingston junior Chapman Parker
Cornwall freshman Aidan Semo
Valley Central senior Chandler Toth
“I honestly feel honored to be mentioned with some of these other quarterbacks.” Parker said. “Last year, I was much younger, I felt like a weak link. Coming into this year and especially after last week, I feel like I can play at the same level as any quarterback. I think it’s awesome that we have so many great quarterbacks in Section 9. There are so many good athletes around here and if you teach them the right things, I think there can be even more great quarterbacks.”
The depth and talent of Section 9’s quarterbacks were on full display during Washingtonville vs. Kingston last Friday. Parker, who rallied the Tigers from 26 points, down wasn’t the only quarterback who put on a show. Martello is known for his cannon arm, but did most of his damage on the ground, rushing for 344 yards and four touchdowns. He passed for 139 yards and a touchdown.
Martello said he and his quarterback counterparts in Section 9 are aware of all of the talent around them, which pushes them to be better.
“Just about every team in Section 9 has a good quarterback,” Martello said. “It’s great for Section 9 because it makes the game better to watch. It makes for more interesting games and a great atmosphere. This offseason I worked with a trainer and put together my goals in a notebook. I wrote ‘Beast Mode’ at the top of every page. You have to have that mentality and want to be the best.”
Section 9 coaches offered several reasons for the rise in depth of quarterbacks and why they are often emerging so young. These days, signal callers train year round in the gym with personal trainers and strength coaches, attend a variety of summer camps, work with quarterback coaches and play in 7-on7’s and other scrimmages.
“There are a lot more opportunities for quarterbacks than there were 10 or 15 years ago,” Burke Catholic coach Aaron Hasbrouck said. “I don’t think all of the offseason stuff was a thing back then. You are now seeing teams going with younger quarterbacks now because they are more prepared. In the past, you might have gone with a senior, even if he wasn’t as good as the underclassman, because he has more experience. But not anymore. Quarterbacks are getting younger and younger.”
The introduction of the spread offense to Section 9 by former Monroe-Woodbury coach Pat D’Aliso and defensive coordinator Bernie Connolly more than a decade ago may have also played a part in the development of local quarterbacks. The spread offense, of course, “spreads” the entire field with, usually, a shotgun quarterback, and as many as five wide receivers. It’s a run-first scheme and the quarterback running the offense must be proficient carrying the ball.
Translation: You need an athlete under center to run the spread effectively.
“You pretty much want your best athlete at quarterback and you want him to have the football,” Introini said. “Monroe-Woodbury went with the spread and everyone saw them develop like 10 great quarterbacks in a row. You want an athlete who can run and throw the ball all over the place, and you look for them when they are young.”
Sometimes the development of the next potential Section 9 stars begins in youth football.
“I think quarterbacks are now specializing more in youth football,” Goshen coach Ed Killenberger said. “I also think a lot of kids want to be the leader. The way I look at it, the quarterback touches the ball every play. The quarterback and my center have to be good athletes and we are seeing more and more good quarterbacks out there.”
It’s no wonder that 2018 is evolving into The Year of the Quarterback, Part II.
Follow Justin Rodriguez on Twitter @jrods9insider; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org