St. John opened the 2022 9B Football season 0-2 with one score losses to North Star and North Prairie.
“We had a lot of kids in new spots at that time and they were adjusting to what they needed to do out on the field and we had a couple of keys injuries early so, getting a couple of kids back and getting comfortable with their new position,” Head Coach Cory Davis said.
“We remembered each loss and how we lost, so every week in practice we got after it, and we learned a lot from those losses as a team and what our weaknesses are and how we can get better,” Senior Left Guard and Defensive End Caden Belgarde said
But since that less than ideal start, the Woodchucks have rattled off six straight wins to wrap up the regular season, with a veteran group up front leading an offense averaging 60 points per game during the win streak.
“We know that we can control the time of the game and how long we have the ball and that keeps their offense from scoring and we know that if we control the time of possession, we can win a lot of games,” Belgarde said.
“The run game is really good, our offensive lineman create big holes for the runners. They make me look good, that’s all I got to say, they make me look good,” Senior Quarterback and Linebacker Jaydynce McCloud said.
Earning a first round bye in the postseason has helped the team recover from injuries heading into the playoffs.
“We got healed up, rested up good last week and came ready this week to get after it. We worked on a lot of basics and fundamental stuff early last week so we don’t forget the fundamentals of the game,” Belgarde said.
St. John’s first game of the postseason is a rematch with Surrey … who the Woodchucks beat 58-16 back in September
“Surrey’s a real good football team. We played them earlier and they had some injuries at that time, so I expect it to be a really physical game. They’re gonna come out and try to run the ball on us and throw the ball. They have some real good athletes up front and in the backfield so it should be a real good test for us,” Davis said.
“I feel like they’re going to blitz us a lot and they’re going to try stopping our run and so we’ve got to get ready for blitzing and we’ve got to be able to establish the run game still,” Belgarde said.