Kiernen Hamilton a repeat Duel winner
When he was playing for St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, N.J., last season, Kiernen Hamilton established himself as one of the top freshman quarterbacks in the country.
Hamilton led the Green Knights to the state title game, but a late hit knocked him out early with a concussion in an eventual 16-14 loss to powerhouse Don Bosco Prep.
Hamilton enjoyed his time at St. Joseph, but he lives in New York and that caused some travel headaches. “The commute was really tough,” he said. “I would have to get up at 4 a.m. to make it to morning workouts, and I was getting home at 7 at night.”
The problem has been solved, and Hamilton is now attending Burke Catholic High School in Goshen, N.Y., which is only 15 minutes away from home. “I’m very excited about it,” he said. “I’ve been studying the new playbook and I’m really looking forward to the season.”
Hamilton, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound sophomore, is expected to immediately step in as the starting varsity QB, and the Eagles are positioned to make a strong run at the New York Class C state championship after going 9-2 last season.
“Being the varsity starter is definitely one of my goals, and it’s something I think I can achieve,” Hamilton said. “In addition to learning the new playbook, I’ve been working really hard to get ready for the season and the new challenges. The team goal is to win as many games as we can and contend for the state championship.”
At St. Joseph last season, Hamilton led the Green Knights to a 9-0 record and No. 1 state ranking heading into the freshman showdown against Don Bosco. He passed for nearly 1,300 yards and 19 touchdowns.
At Burke Catholic, Hamilton is back playing with his older brother Eddy, who is a junior wide receiver and defensive back. “It’s very exciting,” Kiernen said. “We played together in youth football and had a lot of fun, so I’m really looking forward to playing with him again. He’s one of the best receivers on the team.”
Hamilton added an extra boost of confidence last month by winning his second straight Duel at NFA’s showcase gathering in Massillon, Ohio. “Being able to win twice in a row, it’s very humbling,” Hamilton said. “Doing well at the Duel just helps with the pressure situations you are always facing. It helps on Friday night, because you’re used to having pressure on you and you’re not going to be nervous throughout the whole game.”
Hamilton has been attending NFA camps since he was in fifth grade, and the high-level training has helped him blossom into an asset on and off the field. “Besides mechanics, they’ve definitely helped me learn how to become a man, believing it’s not about you and worrying about others first and treating others the way you want to be treated,” he said.
Even though he hasn’t played one down of varsity football yet, Hamilton is already on the radar of many college programs who are excited about his standout skills and size. “When the season is over, I’ll probably start taking a closer look at that,” Hamilton said.