KENMORE, N.Y.-Expectations never waver at St. Joe’s. The Marauders are always expected to compete for the Monsignor Martin League Championship and this season is no different.
Head coach Dennis Gilbert telling Two On Your Side’s Stu Boyar “We’re always looking for a championship. That’s always our goal is to win a championship. The bar has been set high here at St. Joe’s for a long time. We really go into depth talking to the kids about the tradition and what came before them and respecting that and living up to those expectations. That’s just the way it is around here.”
This year’s team features great speed including a couple of players, Rod Payne and Nigel Davis who return for their senior seasons. Payne told Stu “there’s a lot more speed than last year. We got a lot of young guys which we usually don’t have but we have a lot of young guys that are willing to step up and they’re very fast so we’ll just use their speed and see where they take us. Its very exciting to have all this speed.” Davis said “our philosophy here is to get guys in space and make them move with our speed we can take it to a touchdown anytime.” Gilbert said about the speed “its a nice problem to have.” Gilbert said there are currently three players competing for the starting quarterback spot. That decision should be made by the end of next week.
St. Joe’s arch rival is Canisius and the Crusaders have been all kings of preseason publicity including a number one ranking in New York State. The Marauders are focused on doing what they need to do to get ready for the season. Payne told Stu “Actually I don’t let those things phase me because I know what we’re capable of doing. I know what happened last year. I used it more like a stepping stone. its just a chip on my shoulder that makes me want to be better and when I have that chip the rest of the team has that chip so we’re going even harder this year.” Senior Tyler Hill put it this way for Stu. “I’m not really worried about what they got going on over there. We’re confident in what we can do, stay within ourselves, see what we can do and we’ll see what happens.”
The teams meet at Canisius on November 2nd. The Marauders open the season Saturday September 7th at 1-pm against St. Anthony’s from Melville, New York.