Paul Costanzo: Top football player still up in the air

Nov 16, 2010 Full story: The Times Herald 21

I have a confession to make. Last year, when I wrote my column about my top five football player of the year candidates, I already had my mind made up.

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Football Fan

Saint Clair, MI

#1 Nov 16, 2010
Anthony Scarcelli. Hands Down. He is the best prospect in the area and he is only a junior.
be real

United States

#2 Nov 16, 2010
Abrams is the best in the area. He may not have had big numbers on offence, but it was all the little things that he had to do to help his team win.
common sence

United States

#3 Nov 16, 2010
I agree with be real. Abrams did all the little things to help his team. It was to the point that his numbers suffered. Example; Jamel playing weak side linebacker because he had greater speed to run after ball carriers on the other side of the field. He blocked so the pass could be thrown, and he was the lead blocker opening holes that you could drive a truck through so the other backs could gain yards. Not to mention coming in on third and fourth downs to pick up the first when everyone was expecting him to get the ball, and still converting.
Nepotism Scarcelli

Saint Clair, MI

#4 Nov 16, 2010
Jamel Abrams was BY FAR the best player on the Marine City football team in 2010!

The fact that Anthony Scarcelli was selected as Marine City's candidate for Best Player was as if Jamel Abrams' and everything he accomplished during his four-year varsity career was being spit on.

Jamel Abrams helped Marine City win a state championship as a freshman in 2007. Jamel Abrams has spoken with scouts and recruits from large schools such as Ohio State that have expressed interest in him. Jamel Abrams was voted as All-State during his junior year of 2009. THERE IS NO DOUBT Jamel Abrams is BY FAR the best player on the 2010 Marine City team!

To say otherwise is further proof of the bias, favoritism, and nepotism that hundreds of people have spoken about at Marine City high school.

On third downs when Marine City needed bigtime players to step up and make bigtime plays, it was Abrams that was given the ball and moved the chains, NOT Scarcelli. THERE IS NO DOUBT Jamel Abrams is BY FAR the best player on the Marine City 2010 football team.

Anthony Scarcelli has never made the big plays the way a bigtime player does -- the way Abrams did in 2007 and onward. Look how Scarcelli's poor play against Williamston actually cost Marine City the game. Every MC Defensive Back had an interception EXCEPT for Scarcelli...How did Scarcelli do? Scarcelli gave up an interception on offense and let it be returned for a TD instead of acting as a defender the way he should have.

Nuff said.

Marine City is full of coaching bias and nepotism.
Football Fan

Saint Clair, MI

#5 Nov 17, 2010
common sence wrote:
I agree with be real. Abrams did all the little things to help his team. It was to the point that his numbers suffered. Example; Jamel playing weak side linebacker because he had greater speed to run after ball carriers on the other side of the field. He blocked so the pass could be thrown, and he was the lead blocker opening holes that you could drive a truck through so the other backs could gain yards. Not to mention coming in on third and fourth downs to pick up the first when everyone was expecting him to get the ball, and still converting.
I will agree that abrams was the best player on MC, but why even bring him up if hes not in the running for player of the year? Out of the candidates i would say there is no doubt that scar is the best player in the area.

Port Huron, MI

#6 Nov 17, 2010
Anthony Scarcelli isn’t even the best player on the Marine City football team, and certainly not the best football player in the Blue Water Area. The best player on the Marine City football team is Jamel Abrams – a four-year starter that was All-State as a Junior!
Anthony Scarcelli may be the “fastest” player on the Marine City team, but that doesn’t mean anything special. If speed was the most important aspect of a player, Algonac would have the best team every year and the best players every year because they have the best Track team with the fastest players all the time. Anthony Scarcelli isn’t even the best defensive back in the Blue Water Area. Jarret Chapman from the Port Huron High Big Reds is actually a much better Defensive Back than Anthony Scarcelli, as proven by the fact that he had about 800 more votes than Anthony Scarcelli.
During the second half of the season Anthony Scarcelli started to stand out as a player on offense, but that was primarily because Marine City started playing so many of those garbage teams they are known for playing against. The only time Anthony Scarcelli stood out against a good team was Grosse Pointe South, but that really was for the exact reasons listed above. Scarcelli’s numbers in that game were very inflated and deceptive. Gaining 80 yards and scoring a touchdown on the last play of the half is not impressive when it comes against the prevent defense. That’s what inflated statistics are all about.
I believe the reason why coach Tony Scarcelli of Marine City has snubbed Jamel Abrams in favor of his son is because he wants his son to be seen as a “two-time” Player of the Year. This would probably help his son get some form of college scholarship that he doesn’t actually deserve. It wouldn’t surprise me if Tony Scarcelli has paid off fellow Italian Paul Costanzo with money that would be saved by helping reduce college expenses.
The way Costanzo has made excuses for Anthony Scarcelli is awful. The law of sports is that bigtime players make bigtime plays in bigtime games. Former MC coach Bob Staskiewicz taught this to everyone.
Against Marshall last year we saw that Anthony Scarcelli did not make bigtime plays; he played poorly and caused Marine City to be blown out. Against East Detroit Marine City lost because Anthony Scarcelli didn’t make the bigtime plays when he needed to. Against Williamston we saw that Anthony Scarcelli played very poorly; he didn’t make the bigtime plays needed to win the game. In fact, the way Scarcelli allowed Williamston to intercept that pass and run it back for a touchdown cost Marine City the game.
Overall in 2010, Anthony Scarcelli cost the team by making mistakes both on the field and off the field. Remember, Anthony Scarcelli was disciplined for mistakes made off the football field. No player like that should ever be allowed to be a candidate for Player of the Year, especially when the don’t have the stats or the votes to back it up!
um yeah

Port Huron, MI

#7 Nov 17, 2010
I personally believe these are some of the key examples of how Anthony Scarcelli cost the football team and made mistakes off the football field:
* Anthony Scarcelli didn’t do his job as a receiver. A pass thrown to him was intercepted and returned for a TD. I agree with everyone on the radio shows that pointed out how on that play Scarcelli’s responsibility was no longer associated with “completing his pass route” or “catching the football.” Anthony Scarcelli had one job the instant it was clear the ball was in danger of being intercepted. Scarcelli failed to execute that responsibility. The responsibility I’m referring to is “becoming a defender,” just as everyone on the radio shows said!!!
* Anthony Scarcelli was the only one of the four starting MC Defensive Backs to not intercept a pass from Williamston. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Scarcelli didn’t execute his responsibility of “becoming a defender” as a receiver on offense. It really is PATHETIC the way Paul Costanzo of the Times Herald tries making excuses for Anthony Scarcelli saying “he never had a shot at the ball,” and “Williamston’s player made a good break on the ball.” After Costanzo started hearing everyone in agreement that Scarcelli’s poor play cost Marine City the game, that Times Herald editor Costanzo started making other excuses for Scarcelli – saying he was injured on the field. IF HE WAS INJURED HE SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN PLAYING...AND NOW WE SEE WHY! HE COST THE TEAM!
* Anthony Scarcelli was caught TWICE violating rules off the field during the 2010 season. MC players have already said they don’t want him to be captain for 2011. Player of the Year is also supposed to take off-the-field factors such as votes, grades, and leadership abilities into consideration. Every candidate for Player of the Year has done a fine job with grades in school. But Anthony Scarcelli has done an AWFUL job of being a leader off the field! Being a leader is about far more than how loud you can yell the words “Yea!” or “Go Black!”. Scarcelli has been associated with damaging property of other people and drinking alcohol. This was validated and he was penalized. If anyone else would have been the coach, Anthony Scarcelli would have been kicked off the team for violating those rules. Instead, Daddy Scarcelli says his son sets the best example of all MC players and tries to reward him.
In fact, the rules of the MHSAA say that the player is supposed to be ineligible for that entire sports season. Instead, because Anthony’s father is the coach, he was disciplined by sitting out one quarter of one game. Nevertheless, we live in a digital world of 1’s and 0’s, yes or no, all or nothing. That one small quarter of discipline was an acknowledgement that a crime was committed and was 100% confirmation that Anthony Scarcelli is not a leader off the field the way that the other candidates for Player of the Year are...Players such as Ryan Fabbri of Cros-Lex, Jarret Chapman of Port Huron, Kenny Sanders of Port Huron Northern, Nick Taylor of Deckerville, and Shane Dembinski of St. Clair.
* Voting shows the overwhelming majority of people agree that Anthony Scarcelli should not even be a candidate in the Top-5. When the poll voting came to an end, we saw that 25% of the votes had gone to Shane Dembinski of St. Clair. Yet Paul Costanzo of the Times Herald has not even allowed Shane Deminski to be one of his Final-5 candidates!!!!! AWFUL!!!!! BIAS!!!! FAVORITISM!!!!!
Shane Deminski was #1 with 25% of the votes, while Anthony Scarceill was ranked #8 with only 6.8% of the votes. In fact, of Costanzo’s five final candidates, Anthony Scarcelli is the ONLY Junior – the others are Seniors. I just want to know how much Tony Scarcelli paid his fellow Italian Paul Costanzo...And I just want to know why we are even talking about this, because Costanzo has obviously already made up his mind. The winner will be a fellow Italian that paid him off.

United States

#8 Nov 18, 2010
If you look at the statistics of both Abrams and Scarcelli they compare very favorably. However statistics don't take into account blocks, which Jamel excelled at, and the fact that Anthony's numbers may have been just a wee bit inflated when you consider that he was the intended pass receiver the majority of the time. Both are talented athletes but the nod clearly should have been given to Abrams. As far as the online voting unfortunately it is a skewed popularity contest. Player of the Year is comparable to a leagues MVP many times does the team with a mediocre or losing season produce a MVP winner? Where is it written that two contenders for Player of the Year can't be from the same team? Its shortsighted of the Times Herald to exclude deserving candidates in their faulty effort to be fair by having a nominee from every team. In a past edition of the paper when listing the top football players of the area they allowed that last years Player of the Year, Mike Matyniak, wasn't even on their list of top prep players earlier in the year. Although I was heartened to see that they admitted to that glaring omission it did nothing to establish any credibility as to their selection process of determining honors or awards.
Shane Dembinski Fan

Detroit, MI

#9 Nov 18, 2010
Here are my thoughts.

The Times Herald online poll apparently played a roll of helping the editors select the best candidates. Even if some people say it was a popularity contest, it was still a popularity contest that was completely dominated by Shane Dembinski from St. Clair. Shane received over three and a half times as many votes as Anthony Scarcelli.

The bottom line is that Shane received over 2,000 votes and ranked #1 in the poll! This really wasn't just some popularity contest. Look how Dembinski had all those tackles against Marysville and got all that attention from the Detroit News because of his outstanding performance. I just can't believe a player with that many impressive achievements that drew attention throughout the state would not make it into Paul Costanzo's list of five players, not even as a candidate.

I have no doubt that if Shane Dembinski would have played on that MC team we would have seen Dembinski making a bigger impact to help the team than Anthony Scarcelli. I also have no doubt that if Anthony Scarcelli would have played on the crappy team from St. Clair he wouldn't have looked as good as Shane Dembinski. Even the newspaper article written by The Voice newspaper in Marine City said the key play of the game was when Anthony Scarcelli allowed Williamston’s defensive back to return an interception for a touchdown.

Bottom line is that Shane Dembinski should still be a candidate and Anthony Scarcelli never should have been a candidate. Everyone from Marine City will tell you Jamel Abrams should have been Marine City’s candidate and that Player of the Year is something Anthony Scarcelli does not deserve.

Houston, TX

#10 Nov 18, 2010
My bad, Steve Churan was last years Player of the Year....the rest of the comment still stands. Furthermore, I am not saying Deminski isn't worthy of recognition. However online voting is easily skewed, and worthy candidates were overlooked.
MSU Rules

Detroit, MI

#11 Nov 19, 2010
To: AuntieM

I believe each team in the Blue Water Area should get one candidate for Player of the Year.

I realize teams that are good have a lot of good players. I remember in 1997 Michigan had a whole team of NFL players. I'm sure we all remember how a few years ago USC had two players competing for the Heisman. That's the sort of stuff that can really cause it to get to be a popularity contest. In the end it will just be people wanting their school to have more Heisman's than the other schools, and that's never a good thing.

Player of the Year from the Times Herald is not the same as the Heisman in terms of what its requirements are. The Heisman doesn't care about who actually is the best player; it just wants to know who is the most outstanding player. Usually the word outstanding is associated with leading a team to success in terms of a championship, but sometimes the inflated stats against garbage teams can get in the way and cause a player to stand out from the crowd in an unfair way.

Player of the Year from the Times Herald is not interested in success of a team. It's interested in other issues, even issues off the field. Player of the Year cares about how good you are on the field as a player, how good you are in school as a student with good grades, and how good of a leader you are off the field. Each team should responsibly select one candidate because each school has the most familiarity with each of its own players.

A great example is the two players from USC. The one that was a worthless leader off the field shouldn't have been a candidate. Leinhart should have been the candidate if they were competing for Player of the Year from the Times Herald.

You might reply by saying that Reggie Bush didn’t admit he had broken the rules back then. My response would be that there were too people that knew Reggie Bush had broken the rules. USC just wanted one of their players to win, just like coach Tony Scarcelli wants his son to win, even if it is at the expense of a better MC player.

But even if there wasn’t proof with Reggie Bush at USC when he was competing, with the Marine City issue there are in fact people that know Anthony Scarcelli has violated rules and misdemeanor crimes. This was proven when he was officially disciplined during the season. If that would have been Reggie Bush, he wouldn’t have been eligible for the Heisman. In that same way, Anthony Scarcelli should not be eligible to be Player of the Year.

My friends and I really believe it dishonors all other former Players of the Year and everyone who worked hard in the classroom and off the field just so they could be eligible for that award. Let's just hope the Times Herald realizes this and shows at least some respect and some justice to Jamel Abrams by not giving the award to Anthony Scarcelli.

Seriously, of these five players listed, nobody has a complaint with the other four players being candidates. The only one that doesn't deserve to be a candidate is Anthony Scarcelli...and not just because MC has a better player on the field, but also because of Scarcelli's legal crimes off the field. Anthony Scarcelli just isn't a good leader.
Lansing Sexton Player

Detroit, MI

#12 Nov 20, 2010
My friends and I went to watch Farmington Hills Harrison versus Grosse Pointe South today. We thought maybe Grosse Pointe South was having one of those Cinderella seasons where they thought it was all over at 5 and 4 so they were always going to find a way to win from that point on.

Not this time!

Getting blown out 51-0 by Farmington Hills Harrison and being held to less than 100 yards of total offense really does show that Grosse Pointe South and the teams they beat weren't anything special. Even the articles in the Detroit News talk about how weak those Detroit leagues always are, meaning it isn't impressive Grosse Pointe South remained alive in the playoffs against them. Marine City's football fans should be ashamed of being afraid to join the league Grosse Pointe South is a part of.

By the way, we miss playing you guys at MC. Sad that your coach only wanted to keep us on the schedule for one game. Just one close game and that was enough to get us off the schedule even though our coach wanted to keep playing you. Shame on you Marine City!
Lions Suck

Port Huron, MI

#13 Nov 23, 2010
AuntieM and Shane Dembinski Fan are right that Shane Dembinski from St. Clair deserved to be recognized as one of the last candidates for Player of the Year. Everyone from Marine City is also right that Jamel Abrams was the MC player that deserved to be recognized as a candidate for Player of the Year, since he was the best MC player on the team. Everyone from Marine City is also right that Anthony Scarcelli does not deserve to be recognized as a candidate for Player of the Year, since he was not the best MC player on the team and also because he is a very poor leader off the field and only a junior underclassman.

The way the person named Football Fan says that people from Marine City should just vote for Anthony Scarcelli because he ended up as the MC candidate is completely immoral. This literally turns the Player of the Year award into nothing more than a popularity contest – something that we have already seen Scarcelli lose in the poll voting. Anthony Scarcelli isn’t even the best player on the Marine City team, let alone the best player in the Blue Water Area. The best player in the Blue Water area is definitely one of the players that finished in the top five or six in the votes…and that wasn’t Scarcelli; he finished only eighth.

Port Huron, MI

#14 Nov 23, 2010
I remember when Marysville’s legendary coach Walt Braun had the best class of athletes the Blue Water Area has ever seen in the early 80’s. A player by the name of Steve Palmateer could have been the Player of the Year three years in a row. But Coach Braun had a policy that he would never nominate an underclassman for the Player of the Year award. Coach Braun believed grades and leadership were also key elements of an honorable award such as Player of the Year – key elements that only a senior with a proven record of four-year success was capable of genuinely offering to his peers in a faithful way that could be trusted at all times.
football dude

Port Huron, MI

#15 Nov 23, 2010
I really am disgusted the way Marine City’s coaching staff deliberately schedules weak teams to play against in the regular season, just to try and build up inflated statistics for players. MC coach Scarcelli has tried to turn the Player of the Year award into the Heisman, and he is showing favoritism towards his son. At this point most people now believe that Scarcelli deliberately kept Abrams out of the equation on first and second down just to keep his stats lower, in order to keep attention on the stats of his son, Anthony. Heaven knows Jamel Abrams provided blocks for Anthony that helped Anthony’s rushing yards. This was a favor Anthony didn’t return for Jamel. Everybody saw Jamel get all of his own yards for himself the hard way up the middle.

I’m just glad Tony Scarcelli’s selfish behavior with his son, at the expensive of Jamel Abrams, has revealed to a lot more people what the Scarcelli family is all about.

If Tony Scarcelli was a man, he would have stepped forward and told the Times Herald that his son should not be the MC candidate. The same thing goes for Anthony Scarcelli. Anthony Scarcelli should have got the Times Herald on the phone and told them Jamel Abrams was a better candidate. But the fact is the Scarcelli family lacks that type of leadership because they are too selfish…and now people are seeing it for themselves.

Long Time Mariner

United States

#16 Nov 24, 2010
I agree that Jamel Abrams is the best player in the area. I would put him up against anyone in the area. The problem is that he was not nominated by his coach Tony Scarcelli. If he would have nominated him, his son he knows would not have been in the running for player of the year. I think that this is the lowest that a Coach can go. A senior that has helped the team in every way possible is screwed because of nepotism. Abrams is the one who deserves to be up for player of the year not Scarcelli. As for Dembinski from St Clair, Popular vote does not mean he is the best. It means he is popular and has friends. I know that Scarcelli for a fact did not nominate Abrams. In fact he told Jamel's mom that another coach could have nominated him. I know this is a fact. I hope in the future that future players understand how being loyal to Scarcelli is not something that he will return if it means that his little boy could lose.
Fans for Jamel

United States

#17 Nov 26, 2010
It is sickening to know that Anthony Scarcelli even had a chance to play his senior year. The spring of 2010 Anthony was participated in an incident on Meisner rd that involved some well liked families by smashing their mail boxes. Another one of the kids involved in this incident was the athletic director for marine city high school son. This incident resulted with a suspension of participation of the track team Anthony was on. According to the Marine City High School student hand book of 2010 any athlete involved with this behavior involving police or not should forfeit one third of the season. This last summer Anthony was involved in an incident along with Abrams and Nickerson that resulted with police contact. Fortunately Anthony was not charged with anything but still had police contact. Anthony was not charged with anything because coach Scarcelli took it upon his self to take Abrams to his lawyer Bob Beaton to write a deposition to clear Anthony of any further charges along with Nickerson. Nickerson was only used as escape goat at this time so Coach Scarcelli wouldn’t get the heat. Abrams parents had no notification or gave no permission for this sneaky, low dirty act. It’s so ironic that he gets honorable mention coach of the year. What a dirty self centered ass. With Anthony Scarcelli having his second encounter according to the student conduct hand book he should have been sitting out a whole six games of his junior football career. As it looks to me, Abrams with his first offense paid more punishment than the student hand book said to implement for the punishment. Abrams punishment was one- third of the season when Anthony Scarcelli's was one quarter of the Marysville game along with Nickerson. This punishment was arranged by coach Scarcelli and approved by Scott Westerhof and told to be ok from Green the Superintendant of East China. Hey Paul Constanzo when you wrote your article about the Marine City vs. Marysville game the incident that you stated about Anthony Scarcelli and Nickerson not playing because of poor leadership that was the same incident Abrams was involved in. They all got caught doing the same thing. By the way Nickerson was suspended from the Marine City Boys baseball last spring 2010 because of involvement of marijuana. So get your story straight and quite sucking Coach Scarcellis ass. Nickerson shouldn't been playing either. East China School District web page will exhibit the code of conduct. Jamel I hope you learn from this. Coach Scarcelli is a low down dirty scum for what he did to you and to think he couldn't even nominate you. You were too much competition for his son. You are way better than his son and have more class than Coach Scarcelli could ever have. Be proud, keep your head high ,Jamel shine!
Fans for Jamel

United States

#18 Nov 26, 2010
I apologize its not the athletic directors son its his nephew.
Lansing Sexton Player

Detroit, MI

#19 Nov 27, 2010
That Tony Scarcelli coach of Marine City is a real piece a shlt.

A coach should never show bias and nepotism like that. Each player should have to earn his place on and off the field. But this Tony Scarcelli guy hands everything to his son for free.

My friends and I have been talking to our coaches about this over the last week a lot. We saw a lot of our friends and teachers at the state finals yesterday and we were talking about this a lot. Our coaches really think the people of Marine City should step up and make sure the coaches kid receives the penalty he deserves.

Don't let the coaches lawyer put the blame on someone else to save his kid. The way coach Scarcelli brought kids on the team to see a lawyer like that without parents permission is enough to get a coach fired. That is what you MC people should do for yourselves, get that selfish coach fired. You MC fans have lots of proof and evidence that can't be denied. You should do to coach Scarcelli what he did to Abrams. Do what is best for yourself by getting him fired and bringing in someone honest that you can trust.

Just so people know, particularly Fans for Jamel, there are other websites where MC fans have been complaining for years about how biased Scarcelli and the MC coaches are. I found three of them, but it won't let me copy those websites here. The one from topix will let me so here is that address.

You should take a visit and see how many hundreds of your friends are standing with you about what a piece a shlt this Scarcelli guy is. Now that this happened with Jamel it looks like everyone that used to stick up for Scarcelli now admits he's a piece a shlt.
Lansing Sexton Player

Detroit, MI

#20 Nov 27, 2010
Here's that website again.

Take a visit to make your comments on that focused subject about Scarcelli and the bias at Marine City high school. Working together as a team you guys can give him what he deserves for being so selfish and biased.

What that MC coach did against Jamel Abrams is bad. It's all the proof you MC fans could ever ask for. Shafting a player like Abrams and selling him out for your own kid is a big turn off. If that was my family we wouldn't talk to that coach or play for him anymore.

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