Which is harder: to win a championship or to defend one, doing so successfully and going back-to-back?
“We don’t look at it as defending anything, we look at it as going after another one,” Chaminade varsity football head coach Stephen Boyd said when that question was posed to him during a four-way scrimmage between the Flyers and Oceanside, Msgr. Farrell and St. Francis Prep. “I think boxers defend titles, tennis players defend titles, football teams every year it’s a different makeup so the analogy I don’t think can be used.”
“We try to forget about last year,” starting QB Sean Cerrone said “It’s a new team and everything.”
But regardless of the approach, it will still be the question asked of the 2013 season, if Chaminade can repeat or if St. Anthony’s will reclaim their seat atop the CHSFL mountaintop.
“A lot of people are expecting more,” said Cerrone on a personal standpoint of being a senior. “Not really pressure.”
The Flyers have spent years developing their run triple-option approach going from 1-9 in 2010 when first implemented before a reverse to 10-1 and a 2012 championship once the system fully-vested. Boyd sees no reason to make changes or adjustments to what has worked thus far, even while other teams try new approaches.
There they say, is the rub – even when you don’t want to make adjustments, many are made for you, especially with the life of a high school varsity player at two years, three if you’re talented (and lucky).
Chaminade has lost key players in Matt Correa, John McDaid, Dan Fowler, Chris D’Ambrosio and kicker Zane Wasp – who nailed the winning fieldgoal in the championship game – but Cerrone has confidence members of his class will fill the void.
“The seniors this year are definetly going to step up,” the starting QB said. “We’ve been winners for a couple, three years now.”
Members of the new senior class include receiver Matt Isnardi, offensive threat Rob Speranza, LB Aidan Lynch and Kevin Atwell at DB. David Jeskowski will back Cerrone up at QB.
St. Anthony’s uncharacteristically showed just how much that 17-16 loss in the title game affected them and are pulling something drastic with a new spread offensive approach that will emphasize running and aims to put at least 20 additional plays per game on their side.
Also running the spread will be the Flyers’ sister-school Kellenberg, which they will host on Saturday afternoon in the season opener at 1 p.m.
“We just try to stay the same and we adapt to the other teams’ defense and they adapt to our offense,” Cerrone said, shrugging off doubters.
Holy Trinity will field an experienced line this year, but had a mediocre 2012 season with a 3-6 record. New to the AAA division this year is St. John the Baptist, wanting to prove their own worth in a league dominated by their western school rivals after pulling off a dramatic playoff run in the AA division last year.
“I’m not worried,” Boyd said of his fifth season at the helm. “The focus is on us right now; we need to get better for what we do.”