The St. John’s College Green Eagles don’t want to be runners-up.
The senior Green Eagles will continue their tradition of having a strong running game under coach Dave Millette in this year’s Brant high school football campaign, but Millette believes the rest of the talent is there to clear the final hurdle this season.
“Being second place is not what we are here for,” Millette said. “We are here to be the top of the hill and that’s what we will try to get out of these boys.”
St. John’s has finished in second place, losing to the Assumption College Lions, for two consecutive seasons.
Millette believes he has the personnel to play football in November again this season.
“That’s playoff time and it means you are gearing up for the city championship,” he said. “We have a lot of talent, a lot of speed and a lot of kids that are sport savvy. We know we are going to get a lot out of them.”
The Green Eagles will look to run the ball this season.
“We’ve always had real awesome running backs coming through our system, from Dexter Balicki to Graham McKelvey and most recently Tyler Hind,” Millette said. “That will continue with Mitch Santilli returning for us. He had a broken thumb last season, but he’s back and I’m pretty sure (all the other teams) know Mitch and know we will be running the ball.”
The Green Eagles are trying out several players as they search for a new quarterback, but Millette said he is not concerned because he knows he can rely on the athletes who have moved up from the junior program to fill out the starting roster.
While confident about playing for the top prize again this season, Millette said the Green Eagles won’t be looking past anybody.
He said the Assumption College Lions have a bolstered senior team with some great junior graduates coming up and the Pauline Johnson Collegiate Thunderbirds will be a tough team with their offence returning from last season.
“But we have some pretty great athletes and if they keep putting dedication in this season we will be a pretty darn good team,” Millette said.
The Green Eagles will open Week 1 of the season on Friday, Sept. 14, against the North Park Collegiate Trojans at the Gretzky centre field. The juniors play at 6 p.m. and the seniors at 8 p.m.