Brooklyn high schools again produced some of the best teams in New York City. Abraham Lincoln won another football city championship and South Shore finally took home an elusive girls’ basketball crown. Fort Hamilton and Fontbonne Hall both snared their first-ever girls’ volleyball titles at the highest classification.
Who were the top clubs in Kings County regardless of sport, and the best of them all? Sports editor Joseph Staszewski gives you his picks for the best of the best for the 2014-15 school year.
The squads were selected keeping in mind their level of dominance in their sport, the level and difficulty of any title won, the historic nature of its season and quality of their overall year. Here is how the teams stacked up:
1. Abraham Lincoln football (11–2)
For the second-straight year Railsplitters football earns this honor after taking another Public School Athletic League football title. It the first time Lincoln has won consecutive crowns. It did so by dominating the league’s best clubs along the way. The Coney Island school and star Luis Rodriguez beat Grand Street 27–0 in the semifinals and bested rival Erasmus 13–6 in the title game.
2. South Shore girls’ basketball (23–5)
The Vikings squad was certainly in the running for the top spot on this list. South Shore finally got the monkey off its back this year by winning the program’s first Public School Athletic League Class AA city title. It was again the top seed and saw McDonald’s All-American Brianna Fraser become an unstoppable force in the postseason. It nearly knocked off Catholic league power Christ the King in the state semis.
3. Fontbonne Hall girls’ volleyball (16–2)
Fontbonne Hall didn’t just end St. Francis Prep’s seven-year reign atop Brooklyn-Queens, it dominated the Terriers this season. The Bonnies beat St. Francis three times after dropping the first meeting on its way to the program’s first regular-season and diocesan crowns behind stars Emily Greenstein and Francesca Castellano.
4. Fort Hamilton girls’ volleyball (13–1)
The Tigers squad finally put itself where it belonged — and at its first opportunity. Fort Hamilton, after two-straight Class B crowns, took home the school’s first Public School Athletic League Class A crown this season in convincing fashion. Fort Hamilton sent three players to Division I colleges, including star Marlena Budna.
5. Nazareth girls’ basketball (11–19)
It wasn’t the title the Lady Kingsmen were hoping for when the season began, but players such as Niya Johnson and Erkyah Russell made the most of the situation after a tough regular season. It took a few wild comebacks along the way to allow Nazareth to bring home the Catholic and state Federation Class A crowns. It the second Federation crown in school history.
6. Xaverian boys’ basketball (22–7)
Xaverian didn’t bring home a title this year, but did produce one of the best seasons in program history. The Clippers tied a school record with 22 wins. Xaverian reached its first diocesan final since 2010 and were in the Catholic Class AA Intersectional title game for the first time since 2005. It lost hard fought games to two-time defending champion Christ the King in both.
7. Poly Prep football (9–1)
There wasn’t a title for independent Poly Prep to win, but the Blue Devils still deserve to be on this list after going 9–1 for the second-straight year behind a dynamic running game. Poly won games by an average of 23.7 points per contest, including a 34–7 drubbing of the Hun School. Its only loss came when starting quarterback Chris Parker missed time with an injury.
8. St. Edmund girls’ basketball (17–4)
The crown was four years in the making for this senior group, gradually making its way to the top. St. Edmund won the Brooklyn-Queens Division II regular season title. It then beat two-time defending champion Bishop Kearney for it first diocesan crown since 2002. Alexandra Jacques and Company were better than St. Edmund’s Class B label.
9. Franklin D. Roosevelt football (11–2)
Losing the first two games of the season didn’t discourage the Cougars. The team went on to win 11-straight games on its way to securing the program’s first Public School Athletic League Bowl championship. Franklin Roosevelt and running back Tristin Thomas avenged one of those losses by beating McKee-Staten Island Tech in the final.
10. Leon Goldstein flag football (11–2)
Goldstein made it perfectly clear that this was its year. The Dolphins, who lost in last season’s final, campaigned undefeated in the regular season and remained dominant in the title game against two-time defending champion Tottenville. Goldstein cruised to a 32–13 win for its first crown behind Nancy Palumbo and Emily Ourzdine.
Poly Prep wrestling, James Madison baseball, Eagle Academy II football, Thomas Jefferson boys’ basketball, St. Edmund softball, James Madison softball, Poly Prep softball.