Veteran St. Luke’s football team has eyes on FAA crown
Experience is in abundance with 12 seniors and 12 juniors while losing just seven seniors from the Storm’s 7-2 overall, 4-1 FAA squad that ended its season with a satisfying 27-16 win over rival King to clinch the league title.
“The way we do things is simple. We believe in the three H’s,” Thomas Sr. said. “Hard work. Humility. Hunger. If we follow that formula, we’ll be tough. Our other motto is ‘One line. No Gaps. No excuses’. The bond these kids share from hard work is the best part of the program.”
Thomas Sr.’s biggest decision will be at quarterback where sophomore Will Pond and junior Greg Goldstein are battling for the starting job.
“I like competition at positions. Competition is especially good at quarterback,” Thomas Sr. said. “Everybody fights hard. You get the best each guy has to offer each day at practice. It helps the evaluation process.”
St. Luke’s will open its 2015 season at home on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. against St. Anthony of Jersey City, N.J. By opening its season that weekend, St. Luke’s creates two bye weeks in its schedule and will have a game film to work off to correct first-week mistakes.
St. Luke’s Football
Head Coach: Noel Thomas Sr. (4th season)
2014 record: 7-2 overall, 4-1 Fairchester Athletic Association
Key Graduation Losses: QB Alex Libman, WR/DB Kyle Andersen, OL/DE TJ Simpson, RB/SS Noah Daniel.
Top Returnees: Junior RB Justin Brown, Senior WR/SS Jacob Morganstern, Senior captain middle linebacker Andrew Frattaroli, Senior captain offensive tackle, defensive lineman Dolan Gregorich.
Season Opener: Saturday, Sept. 12, home, 3 p.m., St. Anthony of Jersey City, N.J.
The overall roster numbers for St. Luke’s should be around 35 players once late-summer vacationers return and school begins.
The good news for private school teams like St. Luke’s and archrival King is since they are middle schools as well, giving coachesthe time and ability to identify and work with seventh and eighth graders who can develop and grow into better players.
Senior middle linebacker Andrew Frattaroli and senior offensive tackle/defensive lineman Dolan Gregorich have been named captains, and the Storm will be voting for two more captains in the near future.
The athleticism on offense will likely begin with 5-foot-10, 205-pound junior running back Justin Brown, who has verbally committed to Temple. He will be joined 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior WR/H-back Jacob Morganstern (who is committed to Duke next fall).
According to MaxPreps, Brown had 1,160 yards rushing on 120 carries last season. Morganstern had 23 receptions for 682 yards plus 382 yards rushing along with five interceptions and 49 solo tackles at safety.
The wide receiver corps is deep with freshman Shamond Moore of Stamford as a player St. Luke’s hopes will make an impact. Senior BJ Buckle will see time at fullback.
The St. Luke’s assistant coaching staff returns for another season including former Michigan State 6-foot-7 offensive tackle Ulish Booker, who won a World Bowl ring with the Amsterdam Admirals and a Super Bowl ring with the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Our coaching staff has been together for three years so we have great continuity. I’m happy with our line play. I see a lot of potential on offense,” Thomas Sr. said. “And I know this senior class wants to be the best it can be.”