Flyers healthy, ready for district
Sept. 25, 2012 at 4:25 a.m.
Friday night holds a lot of importance for St. Joseph.
Its homecoming night and the beginning of district play for the Flyers, who will also be looking for their first win of the season at Patti Welder Stadium.
"We're starting a brand new season," first year head coach Kevin Auten said. "It's very important because every game from here on out matters."
St. Joseph opens district play with Austin St. Dominic Savio on Friday night and will need to start producing wins if the Flyers hope to be competing in the postseason. The first three games of the season didn't go St. Joseph's way. The Flyers opened the season with a 34-10 loss to Goliad and followed that up with a closer than it appeared 30-15 setback to Schulenburg. Two weeks ago, St. Joseph was defeated by Weimar, 22-14.
"They (the players) are willing to do whatever it takes to win," Auten said. "I fully expect us to see a lot of improvement in our play as we get everybody back and build confidence."
FLYERS BACK TO FULL STRENGTH
One thing that has held St. Joseph back were the injuries and illnesses suffered over the first four weeks of the season.
In the most recent game, the Flyers suffered the biggest setback to date when quarterback Jerry Vasquez missed the entire game.
That forced Eric Alvarez to move under center. Linemen Robby Medrano and Michael Lows missed time with different injuries and running back Cameron Zafereo missed two games with a knee injury.
"Cameron is rolling," Auten said.
All three are back in the lineup for this week's district opener, making Auten one happy coach.
"We're excited," Auten said. "We got a lot of those guys back who were injured. We're happy to have everyone back on the field."
OPEN WEEK A WEEK FULL OF RECUPERATION
One role that played in bringing back everybody healthy for this week was last week's open date.
"It was a lot of recuperation. Last week we had a lot of guys out sick," Auten said. "Everyday last week I had somebody going home sick. There was something going around the school, a stomach bug that has been all around the schools in the area. It hit us last week and thankfully it was our open week."
The open week also gave the numerous injuries the Flyers have suffered over the season an extra couple of days to heal. St. Joseph did use some of the days to practice, but the main goal was to get healthy.
"We did practice and I felt like our play has been better, especially defensively," Auten said. "We've been tackling better. I didn't want to beat up on ourselves in our open week. We were pretty beat up with guys out and other guys picking up the slack."
The week off, however, didn't give St. Joseph any advantages heading into its first district game, according to Auten.
"I don't know about an advantage. I think our kids and ourselves have had an opportunity to talk about some things and make adjustments," he said. "Hopefully, us being healthy gives us an advantage compared to where we've been."