“It’s a really exciting time at St. Francis,” said first-year head football coach Brennen Booth, who takes over for previous head coach Lawrence Smith after serving for two years as defensive coordinator.
“We’ve talked about it all summer and the kids are excited about it. There are no more JV games on the schedule and we know we’re going to be in for a battle.”
A year ago the Knights went 4-4-1 overall and 1-2-1 against varsity competition — scoring the first varsity win in school history against North Cobb Christian in a double-overtime thriller.
Booth said the taste of that 40-37 triumph has gone a long way towards motivating his team through the summer.
“It was one of those games where we were up 21 and let them come back before pulling it out at the end. It was a really special victory and it propelled the kids coming back to understand what it is going to take this season.”
Returning to the field in 2012 are 12 total starters (many that play both ways) and a host of juniors and seniors now in their third year as starters.
Junior quarterback Joey Roche is among those seasoned veterans, now in his third year as signal-caller in the Knights’ triple option.
“Joey and the offense took big steps towards getting better in the spring. We still need to be a little more consistent, but [in the spring] we were able to build on what we’ve done in the first two years,” said Booth before comparing their offensive strategy to Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern.
“Ball control is a key for us. We want to run the ball, control the clock and give ourselves a chance to win some games in the fourth quarter.”
St. Francis will look to win those games against a non-region schedule this fall — a decision made to allow the program to continue to progress before playing region games in 2014.
Their 10-game slate is highlighted by a home tilt against cross-town rival King’s Ridge Sept. 7 and a rematch with North Cobb Christian in their season finale.
“We got a taste of winning last fall, now its time to build on that and build some pride in St. Francis Football,” said Booth.
8-24 Prince Avenue
8-31 @Mt. Vernon
9-7 King’s Ridge
9-21 @Hebron Christian
10-5 Cross Keys
10-26 @Towns County