On Saturday, September, 6 the Lehman Lions set out to open what could be a season filled with controversy. Before the season or school could even begin, the head varsity football coach of 32 years, Carmine Colasanto, was released of his coaching duties. This was due to pending investigations following the overpayment of his two assistants, who were ultimately also let go. While Colasanto is in the middle of an appeal, his successor, former JV football head coach Debra Vance, is trying to take the team in the same direction it has gone previously. She has been quoted in saying she would not change Colasanto’s coaching techniques for the first game since it had been working so well. Unfortunately, those techniques were learned mostly by the 22 seniors Lehman lost to graduation.
The first half was dominated Curtis. Curtis, who was last year’s PSAL title winner, had three touchdowns in the first quarter by Xzaviah Stone, James Ponpon, and Naykwan Johnson. In the second quarter it was Shaquan Coles and a second TD for Ponpon. The Warriors of Curtis would go to halftime up 34-0.
The third quarter saw much of the same from Lehman, with the exception of a renewed spirit. Somehow over the short intermission between halves, the team came out and fought harder only allowing one TD, a second for Coles. Still the Lions were determined and would not let a score of 42-0 stop them. Battling two injuries on Julio Velazquez and Victor Velez, the team fought hard and though another TD was scored, this time by Jevon Gardner, the Lions were set on not being shut out. With less than 3 minutes to go in the game, Eric Matos ran 93 yards to complete a TD. Following a successful conversion, the Lions were now on the board 50-8. Unfortunately time was not on their side and the game would end with that score.
“Our lack of experience and poor defense cost us this game,” said Vance, “We will be successful if we are dedicated and we learn from our mistakes.” Vance also said that this game was a stepping stone for both her and her team. She noted that they were all learning together and would take every game one step at a time.
©2008 Community News Group