By Grant Anhorn
Coming off back-to-back victories against
archrival Strake Jesuit, the St. Thomas football
team is primed to win once again.
An experienced St. Thomas team will be ready
to play under the lights at Strake Jesuit’s home
stadium tonight. Twelve of last season’s
starters will be back in addition to some new
Michael Keating will be starting once again against the Jebbies.
“It is old news to [Keating], since it is not his first time lining up against the Crusaders,” said head
football coach Tim Fitzpatrick. Keating led the team to a whopping 34-17 victory last season, where
the St. Thomas Eagles were the undisputed winners of the match.
The Eagles will have to replace two St. Thomas standouts, Joe Lowery and Chris Zook. The players
will not be easily replaced, and Fitzpatrick knows this.
“It is the returning starters time to step up and be a bellcow or the dude.” The team is not short of
high level players that have the ability to shine. The team will continue to play with swagger and
confidence that will earn them respect.
The Eagles will not be allowed to rest on their laurels, because both teams are evenly matched.
Fitzpatrick reiterated that.
“It comes down to who executes and who capitalizes on the other team’s mistakes,” Fitzpatrick said.
“It will be a battle of will.”
The target is on the Eagles’ back, and Strake is not going to hand them the win. Expect to have a back
and forth game consisting of high quality football.
Fitzpatrick hopes for a “3-0 defensive battle victory,” but the high powered Eagle offense hopes to
score more than 3 points.
The Eagles do not have any extra stress coming into the big game.
“The pressure is not on us, it is on Strake,” Fitzpatrick said. “All our games are big games, and the
most important game is the next.”
Although many Eagles know Crusaders, they say the will treat the game the same.
“For us, Strake is just another game on the schedule,” junior kicker Santi Gonzalez said. “Sure for the
student fans it has some meaning based off of tradition and keeping the streak alive, but for the team
it is just another game on the road to state.”
The Eagles will be ready to play no matter what, and Fitzpatrick likes the team’s chance of winning.
“We just line-up and play,” Fitzpatrick said. “It doesn’t matter if it is home, away, Canada, Timbuktu
or out in a field somewhere, as long as there a 100-yard field we will have a chance to compete and
The team will never be shorted on effort.
Fitzpatrick expects stiff competition all year long.
“Everyone will give us his best game, and we will give them our best game,” Fitzpatrick said.
The Eagles will have to make sure to play a solid game in order to win. If the Eagles play as they are
capable, then St. Thomas will surely have a third consecutive victory against Strake.