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Field a dream: E-Hall persevering despite lack of practice space

Erasmus Hall is one of the PSAL’s elite football teams. Yet its practice field situation has to be one of the league’s worst.

While construction is being done on their field, the Dutchmen have either been getting booted out of parks, working out inside the gym or practicing on a small, muddy courtyard outside the school building.

“It’s been impossible,” E-Hall coach Danny Landberg said. “For a lineman not to have a sled and block? To be inside a gym twice a week? We can’t practice passing. It’s been awful.”

Landberg doesn’t want to use the frustrating scenario as an excuse. And really, Erasmus Hall has had a fine season – the Dutchmen beat Brooklyn Tech, 20-6, in PSAL City Championship football Sunday to finish 7-2.

The coach is worried about the playoffs, which start next week. He’s not sure if his squad can make another run to the semifinals like it did last year.

“It’s gonna be tough with our practice situation,” Landberg said. “You gotta be getting better this time of year and it’s been hard for us to get better.”

It’s hard to argue with the results against Brooklyn Tech (6-3). After beating Curtis in Week 1, this was probably the Dutchmen’s most impressive win of the season – especially on defense, which wasn’t necessarily a strength last year.

“I was happy with this win,” Landberg said. “We shut them down. I’m glad the way the defense stayed up today and I’m glad the way the offense came out in the second half.”

Running back Shaquell Jackson had 88 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown and Wayne Morgan ran for 65 yards and a touchdown and also hit Cyrus Greene for a score. Greene, a junior like Morgan and Jackson, has emerged. But Erasmus is still smarting from the losses of its best lineman Kevin Bond, tight end/linebacker Luder Jean Loui and linebacker/running back Tyquan Irons, all for the season.

“We didn’t have any real good depth this year,” Landberg said. “We still have a youth thing going on. … I wish we didn’t have these injuries. We’re not the same team that played Curtis that day.”

There are only four senior starters and almost everyone of significance returns. Next year, Erasmus will have its brand new, state-of-the-art field. Maybe the Dutchmen won’t make it back to the semis. They still have the talent with gamebreakers like Morgan and Jackson to do it. The field situation has been arduous, but Landberg doesn’t want to point to it.

“I think we could still be doing better regardless of the excuses,” he said.

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