Jays Take Stage Thursday for a Dress Rehearsal Against Talented Cougars
It’s only the Bonnabel Jamboree.
That’s what fans of Blue Jay football might be thinking about Thursday evening’s jamboree event pitting Jesuit against Edna Karr at Joe Yenni Stadium. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. (All tickets purchased at the gate are $8 each. Student and faculty IDs, as well as season passes, will not be accepted at the gate.)
And while that is true — it’s only a jamboree — head coach Mark Songy takes a somewhat different view.
“A jamboree is like a dress rehearsal, but we will approach it as a real game,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to match up against a very talented and well-coached team that is used to winning.”
The jamboree that Jesuit traditionally has taken part in at the start of the season is often the first real look at the team for most Blue Jay fans. Last week’s scrimmage against McDonogh at Tad Gormley was sparsely attended and mostly by the families of players. No score was kept at the scrimmage, but at the jamboree, touchdowns go up on the scoreboard.
So what can Jesuit fans expect to see in the 2014 season?
“Exciting football” is the short answer from Coach Songy, who became the chief of Jesuit football only seven weeks ago. “We prepare well in a relaxed mode,” he adds, a smile pursing his lips. “It’s ok for a player to make mistakes as long as he is playing full speed.”
Coach Songy is comfortable delegating and he puts his faith and trust in a staff of assistants, many of whom were brought in by his predecessor. Not a problem. Jesuit’s offense is overseen by Graham Jarrott, Joe Chango, Gino Giambelluca, and Tim Falter ’02. The defense is coached by Troy Baglio, Darryl Roule, Benny Baptiste ’81, and Dan DeVun III ’08. Two alumni also assist the assistants: Anthony Scelfo ’05 works with the quarterbacks and Kurt Werling ’91 supports the kickers and punters.
Last week’s scrimmage only solidified what Coach Songy has been seeing at football practices, that is, the Blue Jays have some razor-sharp offensive weapons, particularly in the nice connections forged among senior quarterback Trey LaForge (11), senior tight end Foster Moreau (82), and junior wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb (17). Junior wide receiver Malachi Hull has also impressed Coach Songy.
When the Blue Jays run, look for seniors Charles Jackson (9), Chris Mills (25), and Malcolm Ben (21) to lead the way. Senior Michael McMahon (41) soon will be back in the mix following an injury that sidelined him for a couple of weeks.
Jesuit’s offensive line will be anchored by senior center Brad Gaudet (65). Lining up on the left are senior guard Emerson Wenzel (79) and tackle Corey Dublin (74), the only sophomore starter on the team. On the right side, seniors Austin Reed (72) and Jeff White (64) together form a massive, almost impenetrable wall.
Jesuit’s leadership on defense is in the strong hands of three seniors: right tackle Hunter Robert (51), middle linebacker Robert Lobrano (55), and safety Dillon Knight (28). Playing defensive end next door to Hunter Robert is his junior brother Zack Robert (92). On the left side, the defensive end position is staked by senior Osman Torres (91) and the tackle is Stephen Brown (88).
Joining Lobrano at linebacker are seniors Jonathan Giardina (43) on the strong side and Mitchell Melito (38) holding down the weak side. If any linebacker runs into trouble, senior Jonathan Legier (58) is ready to step in.
The left cornerback position belongs to senior Justin Helm (14) and the right side is nailed down by junior Jakirai Wiley (4). While junior safety Mark Beebe (22) is on the injury list, senior Harrison Daste (39) will cover.
“Mark Songy inherited talent on a team that could make a run at the Catholic League title,” according to the N.O. Advocate, which ranks the Jays #6 among the Large School Super 10.
How does Coach Songy feel?
He takes a deep breath and says, “I’m happy to be home.”