Saturday, August 22, 2009

Training camp report: Catholic Central High School

Catholic Central High School senior quarterback Pat Janssen scrambles while looking for a receiver during the first week of practice. (Photos by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Most teams aren't able to carry the momentum from the season before into a new year, but the Crusaders are looking to do just that in 2009. In their final game of the year in 2008, Catholic Central avoided infamy with a 40-18 victory over Whitehall. It was the Crusaders' first win of the year.

"It definitely got our spirits up," Janssen said. "0-9 would have been terrible and it meant a lot to all of us. As a team, it meant so much. Even though our record wasn’t amazing, we had some good games and some games that we lost by one point or one touchdown and it was just nice to finally get an actual win."

Carm Audino has taken over as head coach and some of his coaching methods are interesting, to say the least. For the full scoop on that, you'll have to pick up a copy of our 48-page high school football preview section set to hit the newsstands on Thursday, September 3.

But the Capital Region pigskin veteran has brought a ton of intensity and a refreshed outlook to a downtrodden program.

"I've been very, very pleased with the attitude and the work ethic so far," Audino said. "We just have the same issue as we’ve had in the past with numbers. We have decent numbers this year, but obviously need to improve on that. The players are very positive and so is the staff."

Audino lauded his senior class, but said he also has high expectations for junior Matt Stanton, who plays guard and linebacker.

Janssen said he is particularly excited about watching senior fullback and middle linebacker Andrew Minich do what he does best on the field - "be an animal," according to Janssen.

The Crusaders signal-caller also admitted that Coach Audino has helped to draw extra players to the program. For such a small school in an ultra-competitive Class C, that was just what the doctor ordered for the Seventh Avenue squad.

"We definitely have a lot of more seniors, at least a lot more seniors than usually do," Janssen said. "We have some kids that didn’t play last year but are excited about trying to make the program better. I think that’s really good and I hope all the kids stick with it so we can have more players and more depth. If injuries happen, we’ll be able to deal with it."

First-year CCHS head coach Carm Audino barks instructions to players during the first week of practice at the school.

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