By Bonta Hill
The 2010 football season for St. Ignatius was a tumultuous one for the program, to say the least.
After going winless at home on their way to a 2-7-1 record, the Wildcats were rocked by a midseason coaching change — one that saw longtime head coach Steve Bluford relieved of his duties.
But the Wildcats have convinced themselves that 2010 is fully out of their minds, and that it won’t have any effect on this year’s team.
John Regalia, who is entering his 14th season with the program, took over coaching duties for Bluford last October and continues to focus on the future.
“We have a great team this year, great coaches and we’re 100 percent looking forward to 2011,” Regalia said. “We’ve been working since January moving forward. We have a great schedule, and that’s where our focus and attention has been as a program.”
Regalia and his team will be moving forward with the same run-heavy offensive system they deployed last season, but they’ll have to do it without standout running backs Zac Schuller and Jacob Brisbane, who both graduated.
Looking to fill those shoes and compete for carries will be seniors Kerry Crowley and Dominic Truoccolo, as well as junior Albert Waters.
“We have a lot of guys who got game experience last year and we’re confident they can deliver at their positions,” Crowley said. “We’re really confident with the way things are looking right now.”
The Wildcats will also be replacing graduated quarterbacks Jeff Farlow and Luke Pappas with either senior Travis McDow or junior Jack Stinn. Regalia hasn’t named a starter, but the Wildcats surely would like to avoid the season-long quarterback controversy they faced in 2010.
St. Ignatius is also expecting big contributions out of defensive back Will McKee and tight end/defensive end Charlie Goldensohns.
All wasn’t cloudy for the Wildcats in 2010, as they handed crosstown rival Sacred Heart Cathedral a 31-21 loss and won the first leg of the Bruce-Mahoney series, which St. Ignatius owns coming into the school year.
“We relish the opportunity to play at historic Kezar Stadium, run through the tunnel and represent our school,” Crowley said. “The [game] means a lot to the school, but we take it week-by-week, and every game is just as important as the next.”
While playing in the daunting West Catholic Athletic League, schedule wise, nothing will be given to the Wildcats as they host Marin County Athletic League champion Marin Catholic, which highlights the non-league schedule.
After losing to Riordan last season, the Wildcats host the Crusaders in what will be the second night game ever at J.B. Murphy Field.
“It’s a rare occurrence and the exciting thing is the school has a game on campus — at night, regardless who we’re playing,” Regalia said.
Expectations at St. Ignatius this season are to improve weekly and work hard. Regalia noted that if his team did that, the team goals will come to fruition.
“What I expect out of our guys is to improve each week, as football players and young men, and that’s always been the goal for this program,” Regalia said. “We’re taking it week by week, and if we do that, everything else will take care of itself.”
2011 Schedule – WCAL games in bold
Scrimmage: Sat. 8/27 – vs. Galileo, 1 p.m.
Week 0: Sat. 9/3 – vs. Marin Catholic (Kentfield), 1 p.m.
Week 1: Sat. 9/10 – vs. Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland), 1 p.m.
Week 2: Fri. 9/16 – @ Menlo-Atherton (Atherton), 7 p.m.
Week 3: Bye
Week 4: Fri. 9/30 – @ Mitty (San Jose) @ Foothill College (Los Altos Hills), 7 p.m.
Week 5: Sat. 10/8 – vs. Serra (San Mateo), 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sat. 10/15 – vs. Valley Christian (San Jose), 1 p.m.
Week 7: Fri. 10/21 – vs. Sacred Heart Cathedral @ Kezar Stadium, 7 p.m.
Week 8: Sat. 10/29 – vs. St. Francis (Mountain View), 1 p.m.
Week 9: Sat. 11/4 – vs. Riordan, 7 p.m.
Week 10: Fri. 11/11 – @ Bellarmine (San Jose) @ San Jose City College, 7 p.m.