Hudson Valley Football Season Preview – 2009

CONTACT: R. Sean Coffey, (518) 629-7898,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Vikings are looking to improve on their disappointing 3-6 (1-4 NFC) record of a year ago. There is a lot of excitement around this season’s camp and there is a feeling of redemption in the air, and for good reason. Head Coach Oji Fagan is returning one the most prolific passing quarterbacks in Hudson Valley History. Andreas Hudson (Frankford/Philadelphia, PA) threw for 1,748 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2008. Hudson has lost some of his favorite targets from his breakout freshman season but wide receiver Akeem Jordan (Carroll/Washington D.C.) does return along with his 17.6 yard per catch average. Jordan will be expected to step into one of the top receiver roles in 2009. Ednut Egberongbe (Far Rockaway/Far Rockaway) is another gifted athlete that will be given opportunity to contribute to Viking’s high powered passing attack. The running game will be solidified by Owusu “Chief” AnAne (Boys and Girls/Brooklyn) who is forecasted to get the majority of the carries this season.

Fagan said, “last year we lived and died by our passing game. This year we are looking forward to putting a well rounded product on the field. The tone in the 2009 preseason camp has been set everyday by a very fast and physical defense.”

Fagan is extremely excited about this year’s defensive unit which is being led by inside linebacker Brandon Harvey (Laurel/Laurel, MD) and the outside line backing pair of Gavin Nelson (Somerville/Boston, MA) and John Gilliard (Westlake/Waldorf, MD). This returning trio combined for 53.5 tackles in 2008 and will be depended upon to defend the opposition’s running game. Dexter Geohagan (Far Rockaway/Far Rockaway) is the key returner in the Viking’s defensive secondary at free safety.

“I think we have a great group of returners led by returning starting quarterback Andreas Hudson who was an All-Conference football player in 2008, and leading tackler Brandon Harvey who will anchor our defense,” Coach Fagan stated.

The Vikings also have some key additions to this year’s team. Local standout Marcus Brandon (Schenectady/Schenectady) will be looked at to make an immediate impact as a freshman. Brandon’s classmates, running back Ishmael Jordan (Watertown/Watertown), and offensive linemen Mathew Delosh (Henninger/Syracuse) and Jeremy Gatson (East/Rochester), will all be expected to grow quickly as freshmen into contributors on the offensive side of the ball.

Hudson Valley has excellent transfers as well for 2009 headlined by defensive backs Akeem Cunnigham (East Orange/East Orange, NJ) and Andrew Cannon (Orange Park/Orange Park, FL) coming from North Carolina State University and the University of Central Florida, respectively. Former University of North Carolina signee, strong safety Albert Craddock (Southwest Guilford/High Point, NC), transfers to Hudson Valley from East Mississippi Community College. Suring up the defensive front is Concordia University transfer, defensive end Sasha Palatnikov (St. Patrick’s/Australia) and University at Albany transfer, defensive lineman Sir Lance Cooley (Decatur/Decatur, GA). Hudson Valley will also add some speed at wide receiver with Erie Community College transfer Darryl Thompson (John Marshall/Rochester).

“We are very excited about our new additions,” said Coach Fagan. “Marcus Brandon from Schenectady will be a tremendous weapon at tight end. Andrew Cannon and Akeem Cunnigham will help bolster out secondary while Lance Cooley and Sasha Palatnikov will lead a very strong defensive line unit.”

Hudson Valley begins their season on Saturday, Sept. 5 at home versus ASA at 2 p.m.