Photos by Mason McCart
Saint Mary’s prepares to exceed the 8-3 record they posted last season and make it past the first round of the playoffs. The Tigers began the year in the usual fashion with the 48th annual steak supper Friday, Aug. 19. East Beauregard was the opponent this year it and it was the first time the Tigers got to see live action.
While it is hard to judge what the outcome would have been in a regular contest, the Tigers had success on both sides of the ball. Coach Aaron York got an idea of his offensive starters execution and saw some of his substitutes get live action reps. It was also a chance for backup QB Mixon Bankston to take some snaps from under center. Coach Stephen Wren was able to evaluate his defense. He also got a look at the younger members of the team to see where he can plug them in on defense.
Missing was any special teams play, but kicker Payne Williams returns and should be as solid as ever with PAT’s and field goals.
Fast forward a week and the Tigers will face off against cross town opponent Lakeview in preseason abbreviated action in the jamboree at NSU. The regular season has the tigers travelling to Abbeville and Buckeye. Then the Tigers host Holy Savior Menard in the second Bishop’s Bowl between the two Diocese schools. Last year’s contest at the Eagles’ home turf was a great contest. Menard will be looking avenge the loss and take the trophy back to Alexandria.
DeQuincy follows that and then the Tigers have a bye week before opening district on the road at Lasalle. It’s then home for two games against Peabody and Montgomery. Saint Mary’s only has four home games this season and two of those might take place on campus.
Arguably the game to watch will be the Oct. 26 contest against rival Logansport on their turf. This game has been the deciding contest for the outright district title for several years. The following week the Tigers end the regular season at home for Senior night against Northwood Lena.
Fifth year head coach York has challenged his players to avenge the three losses last season. His QB/WR group has been challenged to putting in 100 catches a day to reach that goal. You could say the group is hoping that will translate into 100 percent success on the field. He has several seasoned players on the squad including third year starting QB Adam Parker, WR Ethan Busby, WR/LB Ben Bienvenue, LB Logan Watson and RB/DL Drake Griffin. All those men and the rest of the team are looking to improve from last year’s good to this year’s great.
Coach York commented on the steak supper scrimmage. “I thought it was good for our young guys and back-up to see live reps against someone else. You can never replicate game speed in practice, and this was a good way for us to see the speed. I thought we did some things well with our first group and starters on both sides of the ball. There are definitely things we need to clean up. We had some young guys that caught the coaches’ eyes with their effort on Friday. All in all, it was a good scrimmage. I thought we had a lot of folks come to support our boys Friday. This was a great start to the 2022 football season.”