Serra Catholic making improvements
On the surface, Serra Catholic's 3-6 record last season does not inspire much hope for forward progress, but coach Tony St. Angelo knows hope is there when looking a little deeper.
The Eagles were a team of two halves last season. If each game had ended at halftime, they would have finished 6-3.
With that in mind, St. Angelo tailored the offseason program to teaching endurance, often running a scrimmage after a session of speed training.
“We're teaching them what it's like to play when they're tired,” St. Angelo said. “They have to learn to push through it. We don't have 80 kids. We're going to have 25 to 30 kids. They have to learn to play four quarters, both mentally and physically.”
St. Angelo said he is excited about finally getting to the point of having his whole team participate in an offseason together.
“When I first took over the job four years ago, my big thing was that it has to be an offseason program,” he said. “You have to want to be here. That obviously will show in us winning some games. I'm hoping that increases as the kids keep being involved in the offseason.”
Serra Catholic will have the luxury of starting all seniors on the offensive line, which St. Angelo hopes will be a strength.
“When I look at that, I expect them to produce,” he said. “When you look at our skill guys, you're going to see a junior at quarterback and a sophomore at running back, so our senior linemen have to take over.”
Junior quarterback Evan Honick will be the full-time starter this year after filling in for three games for last year's starter, Jason Cerniglia, while he was injured.
Honick completed 19 of 40 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore running back Khalil Smith will continue in his featured role after leading the team in carries, yards and points.
St. Angelo expects big things from his starting receivers: senior Jordan Pulkownik and junior Jaquae Jackson, who led the team in receptions and yards last year.
The Eagles were a young team last season, with several underclassmen as starters. That has allowed St. Angelo to place an emphasis on staying the course and building a scheme.
“I'm going to do things that make our team better, so obviously we make some changes, but we're going to keep doing the same scheme on defense and offense,” St. Angelo said. “I talk to a lot of other coaches, and if I find things that can make us better, I'm going to do it.”