Football Spring Game Reveals Optimism for Next Season
On Thursday afternoon at Pan American Stadium, the conditions were just right for a great game of Jesuit football. The beautiful weather made for a pleasant afternoon on the turf. The Blue Jay squad had the opportunity to show improvements made during spring workouts. A large crowd was on hand to get a glimpse of the prospects for the 2017-2018 season. The only problem is that it’s not fall yet, and therefore there’s a long way to go before the beginning of another thrilling installment of week-to-week Jesuit football.
The Jays took on the De La Salle Cavaliers in two running-time halves of football that showed what any team would be experiencing at this point in their training. There were many good things happening on the field and many things that need cleaning up before the regular season comes around. “Some players surprised me,” said head coach Mark Songy after the game. “Some surprised me in good ways and others in not so good ways. I was pleased to see our offense convert on third down, but they could have done a better job taking care of the football. On the defensive side, I saw a lot of missed tackles. It’s a young team we’re dealing with, and I’m excited to continue working with these guys to see them develop. The advice I keep giving them – we need to grow up.”
One of the noticeable absences from the field were quarterback prospects taking time to allow injuries to fully heal, including junior Alex Watermeier, who spent time under center last year. Other than Watermeier, the roster for next year is full of players who haven’t spent much time in game situations. “We’re young,” added coach Songy, “but after looking at film, I’m really optimistic for next season. The process of growing up as a football player is one that takes time and is not something you can force or even make plans for. We have many good, young players, and the future is bright for Jesuit football.”
Noticeable additions could also be seen in two new faces on the coaching staff, one familiar and the other less so. Returning to the staff is quarterbacks coach Chris LaMothe, whose expertise guiding the Blue Jay offense in years past included a stint helping to develop current Nebraska standout, Tanner Lee. Also on the sidelines for the Jays is the new offensive coordinator, Scott Bairnsfather. Bairnsfather comes to the Jesuit coaching staff from Archbishop Shaw, where he lead the Eagles to three Class 4A state titles as head coach. He brings 19 years of experience as head coach of both Shaw and Holy Cross.
The spring game gave Blue Jay fans an opportunity to preview the new style of offense under the leadership of these skilled coaches. “I’m absolutely elated with our coaching staff,” remarked coach Songy. “If you add up the experience of all our coaches, we have 194 years of experience coaching prep football on our sideline. As a head coach who takes the formation of our student-athletes as seriously as I do, how could you ask for anything more?”
And so, with the conditions being right on Thursday afternoon for a big football game, the conditions for summer training seem excellent for a big start to the next football season for Jesuit High School.