In the News

Fordham’s Argast follows in father’s football footsteps

By Dylan Butler,

Fordham’s Argast follows in father’s football footsteps

BROOKVILLE, L.I. – When Holy Cross faced Fordham Prep on a soggy Saturday night during the regular season at Coffey Field, longtime Knights coach Tom Pugh didn’t notice Charles Argast. The same was true when he went back to review game tape of his team’s 19-0 victory.

But it had nothing to do with Argast’s ability on the football field.

“When we played them, we played in a very bad rainstorm with an hour and a half delay (because of lightning),” Pugh said. “The film I got was one of the hardest films I ever had to look at because half of it was in the driving rain.”

Pugh, the running backs coach for the New York City squad, has gotten a better look at the 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive linesman in the days leading up to the Outback Steakhouse Empire Challenge.

“I’ve been very impressed with him,” Pugh said. “He seems to be beating all the offensive people to the ball. He’s got great anticipation. He’s a smart player and it shows.”

Argast grew up in the game, serving as a jack-of-all-trades for his father Ed, who is the offensive line coach at Columbia University.

“He’s been coaching my whole life,” Charles said of his father, who also coached at Colgate, Canisius, Wagner, Central Connecticut State and Fordham University. “I’ve been growing up on the practice field, being the waterboy and holding the cord for the headsets. There’s four boys in my family. We all chipped in. During practice we were playing around, but during games they put us to work.”

Ed Argast never pushed football on his sons, but the sport was in Charles’ veins from an early age. And by being around his father so much, Charles just soaked in knowledge of the game.

“I think that helps, being around football your whole life,” said Pugh, whose two sons also played football. “They’re listening, they hear it. They listen to the coaches talk, they listen on the way home in the car.”

Charles Argast played on both sides of the ball at Fordham Prep, used more as a blocking tight end on offense and he also did the long snapping.

But playing defense is his passion.

“I feel like I can really get after it, make some tackles and make some plays,” he said.

On a team full of stars from all five boroughs, Argast has stood out among NYC’s defensive linemen.

“He’s got a good personality and a great motor,” said Curtis coach Pete Gambardella, NYC’s defensive coordinator. “He plays very well. He does the long snap, he’s great on ‘D,’ and he knows the game.”

Added Port Richmond coach Lou Vesce, NYC’s head coach: “He might be the most technically sound lineman we have.”

Argast hasn’t just impressed the New York City coaches. He also caught Seamus Kelly’s attention. But that’s nothing new. Xavier’s star running back had to go head-to-head with Argast during the 85th annual Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving Day in front of 5,000 spectators at Coffey Field, a game won by Fordham Prep, 41-28.

“He’s playing great,” Kelly said. “Without a doubt he’s one of the best linemen out here, messing up everything we’re trying to do on offense.”

Argast will head to Worcester (Mass.) Academy next year where he hopes to “get bigger, get faster and get my grades up and hopefully get a scholarship offer.”

But first, Argast has some revenge on his mind for a loss to Long Island in the CHSFL Senior Bowl.

“I’m real pumped, real excited,” Argast said. “I want to get out there and smash some heads.”