During the 2022-2023 season, their first season of existence, the King/Drew Golden Eagles football team had a 9-3 overall record and came in second in the Coliseum League with a 4-1 record. Their efforts got the Golden Eagles in the City Section Division II Quarterfinals.
One student-athlete even received an athletic scholarship for Georgetown. After only playing one year of high school football, Kyler Dale will be playing on the Hoyas football team next fall.
“I’m grateful for everything I have,” Dale said. “That was my main goal when starting football, try to get a scholarship, my mom doesn’t pay.”
King/Drew Principal Reggie Brookens has been advocating for a football team for almost a decade. King/Drew vice principal of athletics Eric Fitzpatrick contacted Joe Torres to be the head coach and assemble a team.
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Torres noted how he has improved football programs in the past.
“I helped start St. Francis Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, which is now a powerhouse across the country,” Torres said. “My head coaching job previous to here was at St. Bernards high school … I had flipped the program within one year and the last two years I was there, we made it to the playoffs.”
Junior linebacker Sadiq Henry is the team co-captain along with Dale. Henry has also received several college offers after his first season of playing football. He also plays for the Golden Eagles basketball team. The effort and skill he put in on the gridiron would earn Henry the All-City Division II Defensive Second Team honors.
Being a leader taught him how to think quickly, have patience and how to be responsible.
“There was a moment where people just kind of looked up to me,” Henry said. “I had to really learn very quickly how to lead 50-plus guys during practice or weight room … and whatever they did, I was responsible for.”
Sophomore Chinedu Onyegoro became the All-City Division II Defensive Line MVP, he committed 19 sacks during the season. Like Henry, Onyegoro is on the boys basketball team. Playing football taught Onyegoro the importance of toughness and not backing down.
“There’s no running on the court, there’s no running on the field,” he said. “I feel like our athleticism and our speed and quickness also helped us in football.”
The efforts Torres put in coaching the Golden Eagles did not go unnoticed, The Los Angeles Chargers nominated Torres for the 2022 Don Shula Award.
Torres noted how enthusiastic King/Drew students are about understanding the fundamentals of football and using their new knowledge to compete.
“The goal for this year was to develop,” Torres said. “These kids were eager to learn the game of football.”