Staten Island Bulldogs
1990 - 1994
Before the Predators
Before the Predators were ever a thought the SI Bulldogs were Staten Island’s premier semi-pro football team. Many of the core players and some of the old staff helped the form the Preds as we know them today. Some of the players or staff members that have later become a who’s who of SI Football coaching were Greg Rocco, Greg Manos and Jim Munson.
Coached by Paul Barchitta and Bob Campbell the Bulldogs were an independent team and boasted a record of 25 wins 6 losses and 1 tie in four years. Given a national stage in 1992 they were the first minor league football team in the USA ever to host the Russian National Football Team. The Bulldogs won the game 36 - 6. RB John Martello a former Predator coach and player was the Co-MVP of that game. The Bulldogs out hit and hustled the Russian national team all night long while piling up over 300 rushing yards between RB's Martello and Chris LaGrego.
Another Bulldog highlight came the following year when they defeated the national #1 ranked Brooklyn Knights 7 - 0 at Midwood field in Brooklyn. Stars of that game were DT Chris Manos, WR Billy Simo, WR Alfredo Martinez, (Former NFL Pro & NY Jets) QB Walter Briggs, OLB Mike Steavens, MLB Matt Hellman and LB Dave Suarez. With the game tied at zero going into the fourth quarter QB Briggs hit WR Simo with two consecutive completions one for 58 and another for 15 and capped off the drive with a 10 yard pass to WR Alfredo Martinez for the only score. Steavens, Hellman, Suarez and Manos helped shut down the highly touted Knight offense.
In the spring of 1994 the Bulldogs (Coached by John Tabacco Sr.) played their last game which ended up being a loss to the NYPD football team 13 – 8. The game was dedicated to the memory of SI native Fireman John Drennon. Later on former Bulldog players Oscar Zeron, John Martello, Vinny Pucciarelli, Tommy Zirino, Dave Suarez, Greg Rocco, John Tabacco, Derick Tabacco, Anthony Cardona, Anthony Baccale, Vinny Baccale, Tyrone Landrom and Billy Simo all played a part in starting and or the development the NY Predators
Staten Island Jaguars
1994 - 1998
The SI Jaguars (Coached and Owned by Tony Alfano) operated 1994-1998. They played their first season the United Football League and went to the Championship game but lost 13-12 to the Bayside Raiders. They posted a 12 - 4 record for the season and other season highlights included defeating the nationally top ten ranked Plattsburgh North stars of the Empire Football League in Plattsburgh, NY.
The Jaguars played their second and third seasons in Empire Football League in 1995 and made the playoffs in the first year but were eliminated in the first round 7-6 by the Glen Falls Green jackets in a rain soaked field. They defeated those same Green Jackets two weeks prior to their playoff meeting to enter the playoffs 14 to 6. In that contest the Jaguars took the lead on a 60-yard pass from Tommy Zirino to Billy Simo then sealed the game with a 25-yard pass from Zirino to WR Rob Miller. The defense played sensational that game with stars Ed Weigle (Played with the SI Bulldogs), 3 sacks and LB's Green and Lanza had 13 tackles apiece.
The Jaguars stayed in the EFL until the 1998 season when due to high costs switched over to the Garden State Football League. The Jags posted records of 5 - 6 and 4 - 6 during both seasons in the EFL.
Marcus Green, Chris Lanza, Willie Dale, Barry Hodge, Ed Weigle, Harvey Miller led the defense and OLB Lou Panuthos starred for the Jaguars. Tommy Zirino, Lamont Watson, Nicky Vitigliano, John Martello, Paul Lizzotti, Tyrone Landrom, Joe Donnolly, Dave Ross, Neil Falcone, Billy Simo and Rob Miller led the Offense. Overall the Jaguars four year record was 25 - 22. Many of star players of the Jaguars went on to play form the NY Predators.
New York Predators
GM and Team President Billy Simo and former co-owner Rob Miller established the NY Predators in 1999 using the core of the SI Jaguars. The Predators joined the GSFL and named Greg Rocco as Head coach of the team during its inaugural season. Greg and his staff led the team to a 6 - 6 record and a playoff in its inaugural season. The Predators first game was a victory played against the Wilkes-Barre Blaze in PA. During the season the Preds knocked off power house teams like the CT Giants and Orange County Bulldawgs. The Preds were knocked out of the playoffs by the Brooklyn Mariners ending a successful first season. Glen Gustavino was the main start of the team setting all types of records which many of which would not be broken until many years later.
Rebuilding time for the Predators during its second season as many of its core players retired including the departure of their head coach. The Preds expanded recruitment and took on more players from the rest of NYC, LI, Westchester and parts of New Jersey. The Head Coach was Al Quattlebaum, Defensive Coach Oscar Zeron and Offensive Line Coach Paul Lizzotti. The Predators also tried expanding its reach by changing it’s venue from Staten Island to Hoboken, NJ. at JFK Stadium. The Predators record in 2000 was a miserable 1 and 9. During the mid-season both head coach and the Predators agreed to part ways the team named Oscar Zeron as head coach, the team’s third. During the last couple of games the team finally began to gel and each game brought them closer to victory. They finished the season on a high note as they won their last game against the NJ Boxers avoiding going winless for the season.
Stars from the 2000 season were Raheem Ridley, Kendall Blount, Willie Dale, Barry Hodge, Vinny Pucciarelli, Chris Plakas, Lou Panthous, Nick Vitagliano, Terrence Knight, Neil Falcone, Curtis James, Harvey Miller, Ricky Artis, Raymond Rosario, will Massenburg and Bernard McCallum and Sheltin Willis. The coaching staff was young and inexperienced but the team had heart and talent. In the end they were just missing too many pieces to be successful.
The Predators were eager to avenge the 2000 season and the team started in the right direction right from the start. Practicing indoors twice a week was a positive start and playing pre-season games helped get players and staff more experience. The Predators finished a disappointing 4 and 9 but improved every facet of the team. The defense improved the most by allowing over (allowed 12 Points per game) 100 points less than the 2000 season. The defense also caused an incredible amount of havoc against opposing teams causing 48 turnovers and getting a 42 sacks.
A mixture of veterans and rookies led the way in 2001 Captain MLB Craig Litrell led the way along with DT Luke Davis, DT Anthony Polizzi CB Barry Hodge, CB Willie Dale and hard-hitting FS Mike Zerbo all starred on defense. The offensive attack also improved from 2000 and was led by Captain RB Raheem Ridley, QB Danny Cowhig and T Tom Groves. The Head coach was
The Predators started the season by naming Adam Turkel as the Preds fourth head coach and Oscar Zeron concentrated on the defense. Expectations for the Preds ran high as the mixture of new talent, coaching experience and veteran player experience was solid. The Preds unfortunately got hit with the injury bug. They lost 17 starters throughout the season including their starting QB. Although the season didn't turn out the way it could have, a few bright spots emerged from the play of QB Lou Simone WR Russ Granberg, C Chuck Pizollo, DT's Anthony Polizzi and Luke Davis, Joe Romero as well as strong play from SS Rob Miller. On the offensive side of the ball they set a new high in points scored in a game 39. The team finished with a 2 and 2 - 8 and 1 record.
The Preds wanting to get a fresh start decided to leave the GSFL in favor of the UFL. The switch proved to be a healthy for Predators had a successful season and developed a culture of winning which had been missing in during the previous three seasons. The Preds also made it to the second round of the playoffs eliminating the highly touted 2nd seeded CT Giants in Connecticut. (Read about the game in the news archives)
During the 2003 season many records were broken including the most points ever scored by the offense. Team Captain DT Anthony Polizzi set single season marks for Sacks, Forced Fumbles and Fumbles Recovered. Polizzi also took ownership of the all-time records for all those statistics. (See all-time Records) Single season Rushing mark and rushing TD’s were broken by Danny Cowhig and along the way he continued his sea saw battle with Captain FB Nicky Vitagliano which he was tied with in the category of on all time rushing TD’s list with 10. Vitagliano also took over the all-time rushing mark in 2003 and Wide Receiver and Captain Russ Granberg broke the single season reception yardage mark and tied the single season mark with receptions. Granberg also broke All time Reception and Reception yardage records. QB Lou Scala came close to the single season and all time pass marks all in one year. Other team marks which were surpassed included most rushing yards amassed in one season..
The Preds continued its tradition of acquiring new talent. Some of the came to the team in CB's Tom Sessa, Prince Stewart, LB Tom Levoyer on the defensive side and QB Lou Scala on the offensive side. Even though the Predators lost in second round contest to the UFL defending champs Newark Jets they will take plenty of positives with them to the 2004 season. The Predators finished the season with an overall record of 7 – 6.
The Predators changed leagues leaving the UFL and chose to enter what was at the time the largest league in the United States, the NAFL. Injuries mounted throughout the year and due to that the Preds lost several close games. As the season went on injuries continued until there were only 17 healthy players left on the squad.
Many bright stars came to play for the Preds like Former Wagner College Captain MLB Tim Heaney and is brother Bill. Some of the veteran players also made plenty of contributions Polizzi, Simo, Granberg, Scala, Stewart, Hunter, Cowhig. Three were named to the Minor League All Star team and six were named as NAFL honorable mentions. OG John Raimondi, LB Derek Harris and LB Dave India played throughout season. Tom Leveyor stepped up again as well as FB Mike Marietta, Joe Guiliano and the injured Erkon Caygoz.
The Predators came out swinging during the early part of the season romping teams and setting all types of offensive marks. Scores of 51 - 0 and 48 - 0 were just some scores but it all ended abruptly after a 1st round playoff loss.
The additions of standout former college coaches Roy Miller who became the 5th head coach of the Predators and defensive coach Mike Benedetto along with John Fanning and Mark Everett changed the character and core of the Preds but the team managed to do keep up the winning ways.
Clinching and winning its first division title was a huge boost to the organization but losing in the 1st round 12 - 2 was nothing less than a huge disappointment. The Predators acquired several D1 players prior to the season and this along with its coaching staff should have translated into a deeper run into the playoffs.
Several key stars helped along the way. On offense WR Vernon Manuel, RB Eugene Vick and OT Joe Isa were standout performers while on the other side of the ball OLB Chi Chi Momah, DT Phil Rossamondo, DE Ron Jenerette, MLB Jeremy Campbell, FS Orion Sykes and longtime Predator DT Anthony Polizzi helped stifle opponents to a measly 6 points per game which the best defensive effort ever recorded by the Predators.
The Predators again had to start fresh as they named Matt Aiello as Head Coach. Along with losing the coaching staff of the 2005 season they also most of all the new players from that season as well. It took a little while for the team to gel but in the end played an excellent season which started to propel the Predators to a new level of national acclaim.
Key additions to the team were WR's Harrison Tindall and Bruce Dudley, RB's Tim Kelson, Daquan Mitchell and Chi Chi Mansaray, OL Elijah Tucker, Chris Knapp Devin Turner and Mike Peilich. On the Defensive side of the ball DT/MLB Shariff Wiltshire, SS Godfrey Zueletta, OLB Jason Ducrepin, DT Antwan Hill FS Dahsn Mitchell, CB Keith Assanti, and CB Ben Rodrigue. The Predators started the season slowly as they went 1 and 4 but went on a roll after the team meshed losing only to the NJ Lynx.in the second round of the NAFL playoffs. The roster additions seemed to bring a new attitude where the Predators gained confidence each and every week until it's tournament victory. The Predators ended the season at 10 and 5 and a Metro-bowl championship. (See news Archives)
The Predators made another league change it’s 4th and became a charter member of the RAFL. The coaching stability and new attitude of the Predators continued during 2007 as they continued their 3 game winning streak from 2006 all the way up to 17 games. Unortunately they were defeated by the defeated in the RAFL championship game by the Prince William Monarchs from Virginia.
The Preds had a second chance at the Monarchs in the Metrobowl but were once again defeated by VA squad in the Metro-Bowl Championship game but were defeated again by the same team.
During the record breaking 17 and 2 season many offensive and defensive records were shattered as it became the most dominant Predator team ever to step on the field. Key new additions to the team were FS Luis Valmon who led the team in Interceptions, WR Elliot Vasquez, FB Keith Welch, LB Will Coriell, Brian Kearns, Keith O'Quendo, Jamal Payne and Kicker Geoff Wolyliec. The successes of the 2007 campaign have propelled the Preds to one of the more prominent teams on the east coast and in the nation. The Predators ended the season being ranked 17th in the nation.
The Predators started where they left off in 2007 going 12 and 0 before losing to the Brooklyn Mariners in the conference championship game. Earlier in the season the Predators defeated the Mariners for the first time in their history but the veteran club was able to take advantage of a few Predator mistakes early in the game to come out on top over the Preds.
Other notable victories included one over the highly touted NEPA Miners at their home field. Several new stars came to the team in 2008 MLB Damian McCaig, WR Kareen Moon, TE/RB Constance Richardson, LB Michael Huertas, G/T Babatunde Adedapo, DB Shameek Champagne all contributed to the team in their first season. The Preds ended the season with a record of 12 and 1
The Predators started off a bit slow this season opening up with a loss to the Brooklyn Blue Devils and also taking a few more losses during the season at home but turned it up a notch during the rest of the season to finish a strong but disapointing 8 - 4. The Preds were eliminated again by the eventual league champion in the second round. This marked the third year in the row that the Preds were eliminated by the eventual league champion and second time they were eliminated to the eventual national champions. After leading for much of the game the Preds fumbled the ball with 2:00 remaining giving the NJ Bucs the opportunity to score and take the lead from the Preds. During the year there were many bright spots including FS Mike Dudley, WR Walter Carter, LB GlenRoy Watkins, LB Charlie Peligrino, G/T Isaac Brockman, G Elvin Suarez and DE Palmer Reale
If great teams can be defined by their accomplishments then the 2010 Predators will go down as one of the greatest semi-pro teams of all time. In 2010 the Predators earned the number one ranking in the nation by soundly defeating the NJ Buccaneers 20 – 0 in Florida who were the 2009 defending national champions. Along the way the Predators defeated the Brooklyn Blue Devils in the first round of the playoffs then the undefeated NJ Buc’s in conference championship game. They then went on to defeat the undefeated VA Vipers for their first league championship and RAFL championship then defeated the then undefeated and champions of the IFL Claymont Buccaneers for the Metro-Bowl championship before winning the National title. During the season the Preds also knocked off the NY Rebels 2-time champions of the UFL.
While a few veterans retired many veterans have continued to play with the core of the team the Preds added a few more stars in 2010. QB Kasey Nunez turned out to be just what the doctor ordered has he steadily guided the Preds through its championship season. RB Andre Cirino gave a big lift to the running game early on but broke his ankle during the middle of season. DT Corey Henderson, OT Ryan Luke, C Justin Marzilano OT’s Mike Gainey and James Finlay alon with Jon Diaz, Vin Mevo and Maurico Valmon and Brandon contributed greatly to success of the team during their first season.
The Predators finished the season 15 and 2 earning a number one national ranking, In the 2010 season the Predators were the National Championship game champions, Metro-Bowl Champions and RAFL Champions. Team MVP was Kareen Moon
Started just where the 2010 season left off as the Predators continued to win all the way up to the RAFL Championship. Rattling off 20 games in a row starting from the 2010 season the Preds looked as dominant as ever but lost in the final minute of the championship 18 – 16 to the EC Chargers game. The Preds licked their wounds and took the first two rounds of the Metro bowl tournament and exacted a measure of revenge against the Chargers by defeating them for the Metro Bowl Championship and the bid to Florida by a score of 13 – 12. The Preds then went out to Florida to defend their USFA Championship but lost again in the waning moments 34 – 31. The Predators ended the season 15 and 2 and were again ranked in the top ten in the country.
2011’s rookie class included RB Adeboy Akingba, RB Cam King, CB Joe Orlick as well as several other rookie contributors. In the Season. Team MVP was once again Kareen Moon, Offensive MVP was Tim Kelson and Defensive MVP was Shameek Champagne.
The Predators continues their fine play during the 2012 season winning RAFL and MEtrobowl championships to go with their third straight national bowl appearance. They ended up losing the National Chip game for the second year in a row and finished 19 and 1, their best overall record since their inception. The Predators went undefeated during the RAFL season defeating the Philly Gators in the championship game then beat the undefeated MLF champion NJ Wolves to advance to play the W. Mass Warriors in the National Chip game.
The 2012 rookies were led by the hard hitting Demetrius Wilson CB . Stars of the season were Kareen Moon as Team MVP, Mauriceo Valmon as Offensive MVP and Charlie Pellegrino winning the Defensive MVP.
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Look for Roster moves soon! Preds rookies open eyes at first full team practice! Over 50 rookies look to be added to the 2010 roster.
As the new players make the team they will be added to the current roster with numbers