District Play Preview
Reese Armstrong ’16
The Crusader football team is going into this season with a very rough few games behind them. However, things are looking positive for our team once again. Based on what they have seen and experienced in practice, the players are very optimistic heading into the upcoming district series. I interviewed Coach James Clancy, offensive tackle Gunther Spore ‘16, and safety Andrew Dancer ‘16 to get some information as to what we should expect this year.
The overall philosophy of the team this year seems to be building on strengths, correcting weaknesses, and continuously improving. Of course, any kind of improvement has to start in practice. The entire team is working harder both in the weight room and in everyday practice. After coming back from a rough season, the whole outlook has become more positive and ambitious.
“We’ve faced a lot of challenges being in this district,” says Dancer, “but that’s exactly why we’re in it. We’re working hard to rise in the ranks of it, and once we rise above the challenge, we will earn our respect.”
According to Coach Clancy, this year’s team is the best he’s seen since he came to Strake. He recognizes a significant change in the players’ morale and work ethic. They have made a decision that the team will be an important part of their lives.
“I think this a year that we can finally put ourselves in a position to be competitive for a playoff spot….We always talk about wanting to get back into the playoffs, and I think in my three years this is the most well equipped team to make a legitimate run at that.”
The “six-A” district is one of the hardest in the nation, but this team has the potential to make a strong run at the playoffs.
Now the St. Thomas and Dallas Jesuit games were not what we expected for this new and improved team. This isn’t to say there was no good in them, but it’s not what we would like to see in the rest of our season.
As Coach Clancy put it, “we need to be able to put a full game together [on both offense and defense].”
In the Dallas game the SJ offense was stellar and defense lacked vitality and vice versa in the St. Thomas game.
“If both our offense and defense show up to play like we did at the Aldine game, we are a dangerous team,” claims Spore. And if the Aldine game was any indication of our teams potential, he’s absolutely right.
Everyone on the team needs to see the student body representation at every game. It helps them the team tremendously to see the student body in the stands and getting loud.
According to Spore, “The only way we are going to make it to playoffs is with the help of the school. We need the student body to show up to each game, home or away, and get loud.”
Representation makes a big difference. To see the school screaming like we did at the St. Thomas nailbiter can only be an advantage to the players, so let’s make sure to support our team at every corner the rest of this season.