Bronx Native Signs with the Brooklyn Bolts • Latino Sports


Bronx Native Signs with the Brooklyn Bolts


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Image Credit: Danny Torres

Image Credit: Danny Torres

BROOKLYN – It’s official. After an extremely long hiatus, a professional football league has finally landed back in New York City.

The last time a professional franchise actually played in NYC was on December 10, 1983. The N.Y. Jets lost their final game at Shea Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers 34–7.

And now 31 years later, Erle Ladson Jr. is a part of a storied history as a football player in the FXFL (Fall Experimental Football League) and joins the ranks of phenomenal New York City athletes who have ventured into the world of competitive sports.

The son of a Puerto Rican mother and African-American father, Ladson’s childhood years just so happened to be in the vicinity of another historic ballpark: Yankee Stadium. Although Erle had no interest whatsoever in playing baseball, he would rather be playing video games than putting on a helmet and pads.

His tenderhearted mother, Zunilda Camacho who is an assistant director of nursing at Lincoln Hospital knew the importance of exercise, nutrition and wanting her devoted son to always active. She chose football.

Ladson’s story is rather interesting considering he technically didn’t play football till his junior year at Cardinal Hayes H.S in the Bronx and once he graduated from his alma mater, he was awarded a scholarship to play football at the University of Delaware. And we’ve heard this familiar line before:

“The rest is history…”

Last Friday at MCU Park in Brooklyn, I asked John Bock, Head Coach of the Brooklyn Bolts and a former football player who spent six seasons in the NFL to describe what makes someone like Erle Ladson Jr. so special and has played a huge part in this newly-formed organization?

“He’s a tremendous competitor. We didn’t have him on the roster at first because we had a player that moved up to the NFL. He came in and has done a great job since he arrived.”

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About Danny Torres

Bronx native, Danny Torres is a high school teacher, an avid baseball fan and freelance sports journalist. Besides his work with, he has written for, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y, the N.Y. Mets, the Puerto Rico Daily Sun and Manhattan Times. He was a frequent guest on 'Solamente Pelota', a now-defunct sports program on XM/Sirius satellite radio. In 2010, he contributed to an updated prologue for the re-released book, 'Clemente, the Enduring Legacy' by Kal Wagenheim. In 2011, as part of a series commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month on, he contributed to a five-part series saluting the greatest Latino pitchers in baseball. Finally, in December, 2011, he participated in a panel discussion connected with the Smithsonian exhibition, 'Beyond Baseball, The Life of Roberto Clemente' in Baltimore, Maryland. In December, 2012, he appeared on the front page of 'El Diario/La Prensa', a NY Spanish daily newspaper and was featured in a five-part series dedicated to the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player, Roberto Clemente who tragically died 40 years ago.

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