Its first two games couldn’t have been more different, but Sacred Heart Cathedral is on the path to clearing its first hurdle — sweeping its nonleague schedule.
Before the brutal West Catholic Athletic League season begins, a nonleague sweep is almost essential for entrance in the Central Coast Section playoffs.
But the final leg of that schedule, Jefferson High School, is no pushover.
The Indians went 8-2 in the regular season last year, before falling to eventual CCS champion Terra Nova 21-19 in the playoffs.
“This Jefferson team has some athletes and some ballplayers that can flat-out run,” Sacred Heart coach John Lee said. “When we watched the film [of Jefferson’s game against Milpitas], they were down, but they fought back.”
Sacred Heart may be coming into the game hot, but Jefferson is entering the game on one of the lowest notes any team can.
After a fight late in the Milpitas game in the first week of the season, so many Jefferson players were suspended that the Indians were forced to forfeit their game against Pittsburg last week.
“Last week was pretty weird. It was nice to get back on track and back on schedule in practice on Monday,” Jefferson coach Ako Poti said. “The kids are excited and know the consequences we’ve laid out, so that won’t happen again.”
A few players will still be missing due to what Poti calls “in-house trouble,” but not for consequences over the fight.
“The kids can’t wait to get out on the field and get that melee out of our system,” Poti said.
The Irish are well aware of what happened to Jefferson in the opening week and have no intention of giving into the temptations of the trash talk that is often overheard on the field.
“We addressed that with our players,” Lee said. “Just don’t fall into the trap of chirping.”
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