Cross country, football off to fast starts

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by Beau Brady
Eagle Staff

St. Thomas has been known for its high standard for academics over the past 110 years and is usually at the top of the charts in athletics, as well.

Football

In recent history, our football team has not performed up to its abilities, but this year the team is going to attempt to change the recent slump and come out with a winning season and a chance to compete for a state title.

Little by little, the football team is getting back on track.

Last year, for the first time in five years, the football team advanced through district and made it to the state playoffs. Coach Donald Hollas has added a key coach in Tim Fitzpatrick, who was a coach at St. Thomas a few years ago.

Fitzpatrick is the defensive coordinator and one of the most influential coaches on the staff. The players have really seemed to take a liking to Fitzpatrick and are beginning to believe in his coaching strategies.

The football team started out with two tough games: rival Strake Jesuit and Episcopal High School, which was one of the top five private schools in Texas.

The scores were not pretty and the team did not perform up to par, but there were things that gave the team hope.

Week three of the football season brought some change to the program and the team got its first win of the season against New Caney. It was a hard fought game that could have gone either way, but the Eagles were determined to get a win and never gave up.

The team started to work as a unit and key players such as Derek Martin, Justin Sebo and Cameron Blackwood came to play.

Martin brought some light to the running game by rushing for over 130 yards. Sebo had an excellent night passing for over 150 yards.

There have been many key injuries holding the Eagles back and the team is finally getting back to full strength. The defense has been missing star player Josh Ibarra who will be back by district. Also, in the New Caney game, freshman Chris Zook went out with a concussion.

Zook had performed well this season, being the only freshman to start on varsity in recent history.

“It was hard sitting out of the first home game, but I’m glad for the team’s first win,” Zook said.

The next football game will be held at St. Pius. This is going to be a test of how the team will be able to perform under pressure.

The Pius games have not gone well in the past few years, but players are really dedicated and have a strong urge to beat St. Pius, especially the seniors since this is their last chance to play St. Pius on their home field.

Martin believes we will be able to hang in there much better this year than in previous years.

“It’s going to be a hard-fought game and we will need to execute on both sides of the ball because St. Pius is a tough team,” Martin said.

Cross Country

The cross country team is performing extremely well after their full summer of training.

Every day, the runners have to be at practice bright and early to get in a morning run. The team has competed very well in the last few meets and has placed first in quite a few events.

The team has three more meets left and coach Nathan Labus is expecting three more wins for the season.

The team will compete in a Houston Christian meet, district meet and then the state meet.

Houston Christian will be a tune up for the Eagles before they make their way to the final district and state meets.

Senior John Cantu has been the star performer for the past couple of years and this year has been no different.

Cantu believes that this is the year that the state title will be theirs.

The top three times this year on the team come from Cantu, sophomore Matthew Flanagan and senior J.T. Gaden.

In the previous meet, St. Thomas was defeated by San Antonio, but Labus believes that there is definitely room for improvement before the state meet and that the team will be able to make the improvements in order to take home the title.

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