Pregame conditioning is key to Saints resurgence

Pregame conditioning is key to Saints resurgence

After a dismal 2010 in which the St. Stephens and St. Agnes High School finished 1-8, new head coach Bernard Joseph is preaching dominance in the pregame. His players need to condition at practice so games come second nature, Joseph said.

And with a roster of around 28 players, this season is about quality, not quantity. The high school has only about 215 boys, so fielding a big team is a luxury the Saints dont have.

We have some talented kids. We dont have a whole lot of kids, but we have some talented ones, Joseph said.

The Saints lost star linebacker Darius Lee to college but Joseph hopes a star by the same name, junior all-Interstate Athletic Conference tailback Darius Manora, shines on the offensive side of the ball this year.

Junior wide receiver and defensive back Kemal Whitaker will step up on both sides of the ball, Joseph said. His natural talent and in-game smarts should help the team notch a few   hopefully several more Ws, according to the head coach.

I dont think too many kids in the area are as good as [Whitaker], Joseph said. I havent had skilled kids quite as polished as this kid.

But someone has to throw it to him, and that honor is up for grabs. The Saints have a three-way quarterback competition on their hands between newcomers Miles Nelson, John Skinner and Will Dyson. Dysons father once quarterbacked the Saints, and his son hopes to continue the legacy, but there is no frontrunner as of yet, Joseph said.

After just one win last season, this year isnt about rebuilding its about winning.

We just need our kids to be good at what they do, Joseph said. We need to make sure that were the best conditioned team on the field and doing the mental things correctly. 

Its all about practice. The game should be the easiest part each week. 

The Saints scrimmage Woodbury Forest August 26 and Flint Hill September 3 before starting the season at home against St. Christophers September 10.