Football Preview: The road to 12

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By Patrick Sweet ‘19

Many heads hung low on the ride back home from The Horseshoe late on December 2, 2016. The Saint Ignatius football team was stopped just inches short of what could have been the school’s 12th state title.

Regardless, the Football Cats will bounce back. With several returning starting seniors, the team brings both talent and experience, including legendary Coach Chuck Kyle ‘69 who is now entering his 35th year as head coach of the football program.

“‘Hopefully, we won’t waste a failure.’ Kyle quoted Alabama Coach Nick Saban. “The offseason was motivated for hard work,” he remarked. The coaching staff, as well as Lifting Coach Rubino, have put in countless hours over the summer working towards perfection.

Veteran kicker Matthew Trickett ‘18 elaborated on the team’s excellent chemistry this season, “We have plenty of great athletes who will achieve amazing things, but what really makes us strong is the bond that we have built as brothers. That will carry our team this year.”

Although the team took several out-of-state trips in previous years, they will play all their games in-state, with just one distant road game at Cincinnati Elder on September 23rd.

“We have plenty of great athletes who will achieve amazing things, but what really makes us strong is the bond that we have built as brothers. That will carry our team this year.”

-Matthew Trickett ‘18

Mark Bobinski ‘18, a team captain, has awaited the student section. “There’s nothing like getting the chills when you score in front of them and they all go nuts!”

About the schedule, Coach Kyle says “Our schedule is one of the most difficult in the country. We have a daunting challenge, and the games will be intense.”

“We’re facing a very tough schedule this year. Each week will be a challenge,” stated Connor Kennedy ‘18, team captain and Holy Cross College commit.

The team is in good hands on both sides of the ball, under renowned offensive coordinator Nick Restifo as well as the disciplined defensive coordinator Ryan Franzinger ‘02. The experienced coaching staff includes two new varsity additions this season—Jack Hyland ‘14 and Chad Aerni ‘12, two veterans of the football program.

Kyle says that the strongest point of the Wildcat’s lineup this year is the dominant and experienced offensive line, including Darian Kinnard ‘18 and captain Jack Jamieson ‘18.

“The line will be key to a successful running and passing game,” says Kyle. He is also confident in the team’s kicker, Matthew Trickett ‘18, who is able to drill in even 50-yard attempts—a rare feat in high school football. Additionally, the team’s several veteran receivers, including 4×100 meter dash speedster Connor Kennedy ‘18, will play a major role offensively.

Defensively, several major seniors may have graduated, but this gives several potential starters the chance to prove themselves at both the linebacker and
D-Line positions.

Tickets are cheaper than ever, and admission to home games are free to all wild-card carrying students and faculty. So get out there and enjoy a classic Wildcat football game while cheering on your fellow classmates as they chase the school’s 12th state title.