Surging Saints Set Sights on Postseason

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

With Halloween just around the corner, the St. Anne's-Belfield football team might be one of the hottest in central Virginia.

A month ago that statement seemed more suitable for April Fool's Day.

But after three straight victories, the Saints stand at 3-4 overall and control their own destiny for a playoff berth.

"High school athletics is all about confidence and our guys, once we realized we can win a game, I think we've gone out and taken care of the last two," head coach John Blake said Thursday.

That first win came on October 4th at home against North Cross and snapped a 14-game losing streak, spanning two seasons.

The Saints followed that with a road win at Isle of Wight Academy and then beat rival Covenant to make it three in a row.

"Everybody's more happy to come to practice now, they're ready to play football," junior Jalen Harrison said. "We have a lot more confidence now because of the wins and everybody knows what each other's going to do during the game and we just have confidence in each other."

"I know our effort in practice each day just gets better and better as the season goes on," fellow junior Brodie Phillips added. "At practice and in the games everybody's working hard, spirits are up. Yeah, I'd say it's definitely apparent."

If the Saints keep winning they'll qualify for the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season which saw Blake and company raise the state championship.

A month ago that seemed like a longshot, but now STAB is just outside the playoff picture but knocking on the door.

"The kids here, I think they're all 'Wow, can we really do this?' and 'Is this really going on?'" Blake said. "I don't think it's really sunk in yet and we haven't really made a big deal out of it but I think in the back of their minds they do understand that hey, if we can keep winning we can have another week or two."

STAB has a long history and tradition of state title winners and given recent history, this current Saints team would love to be the team to get the school back in the postseason.

"To have a team like this make it to the playoffs would be very great for the school and the community because now everybody is like rooting for us," Harrison said.

"Oh I mean it would mean everything to us," Phillips added. "Going from 0-10 last year, starting off this season a little rough and then ending this season would be great."

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