NEW YORK PREDATORS: Predator News: Staten Island Advance

Staten Island Advance

Predators ready 1 for another season

New York-based team, with plenty of local flavor, begins quest for Garden State Football League crown


05/10/01

By MICHAEL ANDERSON
ADVANCE STAFF WRITER


Some football players can't let go of the game.

That's where the New York Predators come in.

"We're a semi-pro football team that's been around for three years. We play in the Garden State Football League," said Predators' co-owner Bill Simo. "Everybody does it for the love of the game. This isn't a paying league. Nobody gets paid. We get help by getting sponsors to pay for a lot of the equipment, uniforms and the field."

If you attend a Predators' game and are familiar with Staten Island high school football, odds are you'll recognize some familiar faces.

Simo, a wide receiver, is a 1996 graduate of Susan Wagner HS. Fellow co-owner and wide receiver Rob Miller played at Port Richmond HS. Quarterback Randy Littrell, linebacker Craig Littrell and offensive lineman Tom Groves all excelled at Curtis and cornerback Barry Hodge was a former SW standout. Also, Predators head coach Oscar Zeron is a football coach at New Dorp HS.

"We have players from all over the city," said Simo. "We have guys from as far away as the Bronx. This is a team that represents all of New York."

The team, which plays its home games at New Dorp HS, takes proceeds for preseason games -- including May 12 against the Corrections Dept. of NY -- and gives them to charities.

"It does pretty well," said Simo. "That's why we schedule a lot of our benefit games early. Our regular season starts Aug. 4."

Simo said he started the squad out of necessity.

"Three years ago we basically had no semi-pro football and we wanted to start fresh as a new team," said Simo. "We wanted to get some core players and start fresh. We wanted to do some things for the community, which we do.

"We benefit several charities," Simo added. "We volunteer at the soup kitchens at Project Hospitality. We also help out the Making Headway Foundation as well as the Make a Wish Foundation."

Although the Predators' games are spread out over several months, Simo said it's that way for a reason.

"We spread it out to keep the interest with our team and within the Staten Island community."

To find out more information about the team, check out its Web site at www.eteamz.com/nypredators.

EXHIBITION SEASON May 12, 2 p.m. -- Corrections Dept. of NY @ ND HS

June 17, 2 p.m.-- New York Bandits @ ND HS June 30, 2 p.m.-- Brooklyn Cardinals @ ND HS July 14, 1 p.m.-- TBA @ ND HS REGULAR SEASON Aug. 4, 2 p.m. -- Long Island Seahawks @ ND HS Aug. 11, 4 p.m. -- Lehigh Valley Steelers @ ND HS Aug. 25, 8 p.m. -- Brooklyn Mariners @ Kings Bay Field Sept. 8, 3 p.m. -- New York Panthers @ August Martin Sept. 15, 7 p.m. -- Chester County Lightning @ Wilkes Barr Field Sept. 22, 4 p.m. -- Delco Mustangs @ New Dorp HS Sept. 29, 7 p.m. -- Milford Scorpions @ Wharton HS Oct. 6, 3 p.m. -- New Brunswick Boxers @ ND HS