Written by Joy Robinson, PortWashington@antonnews.com Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00
The Port Washington Vikings of Schreiber High School brought home a remarkable win, scoring 35 to 6 against Long Island Lutheran High School of Old Brookville in their very first game of the season last Thursday, September 12th – a day when the forecast was “touch and go” calling for thunderstorms throughout the day. Thankfully and much to the benefit of the game plan, the downpour didn’t roll in until close to 7:30 p.m. with major lightening and thunderstorms lasting close to an hour. Having begun practice in early July for some, Coach Jamel Ramsay was glowing with pride about the varsity team’s first win.
“Considering the increase in the number of players on board this season, (the highest in 10 years with 42 participants), I think it’s phenomenal to have seen this much interest,” said Coach Ramsay.
The team put in a ton of work during the summer. August 19 was the official date the football camp began and since then, the team has really shaped up. Practices are long and taken very seriously by Ramsay who makes the kids begin at 7 a.m. and finish anywhere from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. “That’s when I let them go home, recover themselves and begin again the very next day,” said Ramsay.
He finds this approach works better for the kids and lessens their stress levels, while recovering their physical and mental states from the previous day’s practice. If there’s anyone who knows how to keep these young athletes in shape, it’s Ramsay. He is not only a dedicated coach with a real passion for teaching, but also a small business owner right here in town. Ramsay is co-owner of Port Fitness at 153 Main Street, and his facility is currently undergoing expansion.
Ramsay explains the rigorous routine these young athletes adhere to daily. The first part of the team’s routine is all about conditioning. “There’s weight lifting inside, then we move to outdoor football skill work, position work, then team work utilizing the offense, defense – just putting everything together,” he said.
Ramsay chooses to break it up day by day. So maybe on Monday, the team focuses on offense, Tuesday can be all about defense. His goal is to keep everyday fresh and new for the players. Most of the key players will focus on offense or defense, while the younger players or those new to football altogether are fit into what Ramsay calls his “special teams.” This ensures that everyone on the team is involved, he said.
Ramsay told Port News the day before the big win: “This game will really tell us what kind of team we are.” There are 10 new players on the Vikings this season, which tells a lot about how the team seems to be building momentum. “Hopefully, the momentum will only continue,” said Ramsay.
Some of the key players are Kyle Granger who unfortunately broke his collar bone during one the scrimmages. Granger, who is a senior, has been playing since his freshman year at Schreiber. Coach Ramsay calls him “Coach Granger.” Michael Gennuisa: running back, Angel and Robert Rayes: both running backs and defensive backs, and James Burnes: quarterback. Come out and show support for the Port Vikings.
The next football game for the Port Vikings is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m. against Friends Academy, away.