The St. Mary’s Saints are making the leap to the 11AA level, harkening back to a time when they were in the top division in North Dakota football.

The move up is all due to the success that the Saints have had over the last few years, accruing a point total based on finishes over the last few years. While the move will be a challenge, the Saints are definitely prepared for the new competition.

“If you look at it, we’ve played Shanley, we’ve played Mandan,” says head coach Dan Smrekar. “And I think what’s helped us also, is that in our sub-varsity over all the years that we’ve been down, we’ve still played the Bismarcks, the Centurys, the Mandans, the Legacys, and the Minots in our sub-varsity. So we’ve competed against them and our sub-varsity has held its own and played very well, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

The Saints face Minot to start the year on the road. The Magi hitting the field Monday, and here’s what they had to say about the newest members of 11AA.

“It’s going to be an awesome barometer for us to see where we’re at coming into this fall camp as well,” says HC Chauncy Hendershot. “Our guys are excited to get to play such a quality opponent on week one here at home.”

“I think they made pretty far last year,” says QB Jayden Speraw “And they got some physical guys and they are speedy just like we are this year. And I think no matter what team, whether it’s Century or Sheyenne or St. Mary’s, we’re going to play it like it’s our last game.”