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ESTABLISHING ISLANDERS FOOTBALL

It has been quite a while since the JFK Islanders have been a dominant force in football. Head coach Mike Pangelinan stepped in during the 2013 season and has had a mindset of wanting to establish a stable football program for JFK for years to come.

By Robert Balajadia

It has been quite a while since the JFK Islanders have been a dominant force in football. Head coach Mike Pangelinan stepped in during the 2013 season and has had a mindset of wanting to establish a stable football program for JFK for years to come.

As simple as the idea has been, actually establishing the program has been a tough task that Pangelinan and the coaching staff are still working towards. The Islanders are putting their record from 2013 behind them and are ready to turn a new leaf.

“The coaching staff just needed to eliminate what happened last year. We are trying to establish a football program and not a ‘one-season’ shin dig. We wanted to bring in the veterans and new guys and have them learn how to play united and with confidence.”

Pangelinan’s toughest position to build has been the offensive line with many of the lineman from 2013 playing the position, and the game for that matter, for the very first time.

2014 is a fresh start for the JFK Islanders. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

2014 is a fresh start for the JFK Islanders. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

JFK will also be playing without Jarred Hernden and Jeremy Gogue who key players on offense and defense for the Islanders.

Quarterback Quinton Iriarte is back under center for JFK and with defensive leaders like Mike Pangelinan Jr. and all purpose players like Sage Garcia 2014 could be a bright year for the young squad.

“We do have a balanced influx of talent. We don’t want to get too fancy and we’re just going basic,” added Pangelinan of the talent of his roster.

Key Players in 2014

Quinton Iriarte (All Island honorable mention quarterback)

Mike Pangelinan Jr. (linebacker)

Sage Garcia (running back/linebacker)

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Defensive Captain Mike Pangelinan Jr.

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Key Offensive & Defensive player Sage Garcia

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Quarterback Quinton Iriarte

 

Key Losses

Jarred Hernden

Jeremy Gogue

Austin Pernet

Teams around the IIAAG have given a lot of credit to the GNYFF program that has helped entry level high schoolers better transition into the different animal that is high school football. Not many teams proves that more than the JFK Islanders as Pangelinan admitted nearly 80% of his roster his made up of GNYFF players.

JFK plays host on opening night to the FD Friars and Pangelinan has been steadily working to get the team ready to face off against the Friars despite the big struggle of not being able to run full contact practices for the early parts of training.

“It’s been hard because of the issues with GDOE on purchasing equipment and gear. We fell behind with the contact portion of football, though it hasn’t hurt the heart of our guys because they’re here practicing hard every night. Our preparation right now is to just get the boys game ready and letting them understand the difference between practice and game time,” said Pangelinan.

High school football is full of established coaches like the GW’s Ryan Rios, Sanchez’ Jimmy Nahalowaa, and FD’s Bruce Meno. Pangelinan aims to join the ranks of established coaches in the league having committed long-term goals for the Islanders and the future is already looking bright.

“We’re not very big in the high school scene, but we are very experienced in the youth leagues,” said Pangelinan on being recognized as a coach. “We are trying to bring the consistency and continuity back to JFK.”

The Islanders break the huddle to begin practice. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The Islanders break the huddle to begin practice. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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