Camp Confidential: No. 4 Fort Hamilton
MSG Varsity will visit the top teams in New York City during preseason camps and will unveil our preseason power rankings each day leading up to opening kickoff. In today’s edition of Camp Confidential, we take a look at No. 4 Fort Hamilton.
LAST SEASON: 8-3 (Lost to Clinton in PSAL City Championship quarterfinals)
HEAD COACH: Danny Perez (3rd Year)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS:WR Travon Reid Segure, QB Adrian Maldonado, DT Matthew Lloyd, C Armani Garrick
OUTLOOK: A year removed from two critical injuries that crippled its season, Fort Hamilton is looking to round back into championship shape this year.
Losing your two top quarterback options is almost a surefire way to torpedo a season. About the only thing that could make it worse was if both players also happened to be the two best players on the team.
That, in a nutshell is the situation Fort Hamilton faced last season after losing quarterback Marvin Centeno by midseason and wide receiver Travon Reid Segure not too long afterward.
“You never know what could have happened,” said Tigers coach Danny Perez. “When you lose your first string quarterback, you’re in trouble. Then to lose your second, well you’re really in trouble. The quarterback position is the leadership position and they’re expected to run the team. You look at any team that loses their starting quarterback and you’ll notice they most likely won’t be winning much.”
“I really don’t think that we had a complete season last year,” said senior defensive tackle Matthew Lloyd. “I felt that without the injuries, we would have gone way further than we did. This year, we have a lot of returning starters and I have a feeling that we’re going to come out strong.”
While they didn’t make it back to the PSAL championship as they did the year prior when they defeated Lincoln at Yankee Stadium, the Tigers did manage to make the quarterfinals and round out the year with a respectable 8-3 record.
“Even with those injuries, we still had a good record, we still made, the playoffs and we still made it to the quarterfinals,” Perez said.
Unquestionably though, the what-if factor certainly lingered in Perez and his players’ minds as they watched Lincoln take the crown.
“I always think, what if I was in that game or what if Marvin [Centeno] was still at quarterback,” Segure said. “I can’t think like that anymore. It’s time to look to the future now.”
Now in his senior season, the highly recruited Segure, who will line up as a wide receiver, is rounding into playing shape following ACL surgery and figures to be key in Fort Hamilton’s success this season.
“We’re slowly going to work him back in as he gets better and better,” Perez said. “We don’t want to rush it because we know what kind of player he is. If we rush, he might get hurt again and we don’t want that. When we get him back, it takes us to a whole other level.”
Another key to the Tigers attack will be which player will lead from behind center. Junior Adrian Maldonado, who was bumped up from JV to varsity last season following the injuries at quarterback, is positioned to take the reigns from Centeno and lead this team.
“He [Maldonado] is a great kid,” Perez said. “He’s very hardworking and a great leader. He does the right things on and off the field and that’s what we want from him.”
“The game is faster and I don’t have that much time so I have to make quick reads,” said Maldonado on playing varsity. “I’m not Marvin Centeno. It’s important to recognize that we’re different players. I’m going to bring something different to the team but my goal is still for us to win.”
The question marks are still there with Segure’s recovery and Maldonado’s transition, but Perez is confident in the growth of his defense and the continuing maturity of a roster full of juniors.
“We’re young and inexperienced and everyday we got out there we learn more and we’re going to continue to learn and continue to get better,” Perez said.
Sept. 8 vs. Tottenville
Sept. 15 at Curtis
Sept. 22 at Dewitt Clinton
Sept. 29 vs. Brooklyn Tech
Oct. 7 at Sheepshead Bay
Oct. 13 vs. Erasmus Hall
Oct. 20 vs. Boys and Girls
Oct. 27 at Grand Street Campus
Nov. 2 at Lincoln
Check out our No. 3 team Tuesday at 10 a.m.