But, St. Paul’s football coach Paul Bernstorf is quick to point out that the lower MIAA B Conference has some pretty good football teams, too.
This includes St. Paul’s which went 9-1 last season and captured its second straight MIAA B Conference crown. In the process, the Crusaders became the first team in the league to accomplish this goal since Archbishop Spalding – now in the A Conference – did the same in 2009 and 2010.
Bernstorf said that along with winning two straight varsity titles, many of St. Paul’s seniors also captured a junior varsity championship three years ago as freshmen.
“This group has done nothing but win,” said Bernstorf, citing St. Paul’s 25 wins the past three seasons. “But this is a new season with new opportunities to both succeed and fail. It’s exciting to see where this season will take us.”
Bernstorf said the team’s schedule reflects the desire to challenge themselves prior to entering league play. The challenge includes games vs. MIAA A Conference foe Loyola on Aug. 29 and vs. Baltimore County power Hereford on Sept. 5. The Crusaders are also concerned about the Oct. 24 vs. St. Mary’s, which handed St. Paul’s its lone defeat –36-34 – in 2013.
St. Paul’s quarterback Anthony Pino said he is ready for the challenge.
“We want to play teams out of conference that will make us better,” Pino said. “You don’t gain anything by beating a team 60-0.”
Senior linebacker Josh Pollard, who said he is heading to Navy to play lacrosse in 2015, wants to ensure he ends his career as a winner. He knows how easily St. Paul’s could have lost last season after the Crusaders rallied from 21-0 to win 28-21 over Archbishop Curley in the B Conference finals.
“We have never accepted a loss,” Pollard said. “The conference is deep this season and we know winning a third straight title won’t be easy.”
- Aug. 29 vs. Loyola Blakefield, 4 p.m.
- Sept. 5 vs. Hereford, 4 p.m.
- Sept. 12 at Delone Catholic, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 26 at Landon, 4:30 p.m.
- Oct. 3 vs. John Carroll School, 3 p.m.
- Oct. 10 vs. Archbishop Curley, 4 p.m.
- Oct. 17 at Severn School, 4 p.m.
- Oct. 24 vs. St. Mary's, 3: 30 p.m.
- Oct. 31 at Boys' Latin, 2:30 p.m.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Anthony Pino (QB, 6-0, 185, Sr.)
- Garrett Mullin (C, 6-2, 285, Sr.)
- Tyler Rockhill (WR, 6-0, 180, Jr.)
- Zach Kobokovich (OT/G, 5-11, 225, Sr.)
- Jack Pollard (LB, 6-1, 190, Sr.)
- Allan Koikoi (DB, 6-1, 180, Sr.)
- Darius Johnson (DB, 6-1, 175, Sr.)
- Jake Sebastion (DE, 6-2 , 200, Jr.)