Posted by: Press Democrat Staff Writer Rich Rupprecht
After a 13-1 season, a North Coast Section Div. II championship win over Clayton Valley and its second appearance in a state bowl game in three years, one might think Cardinal Newman would have a difficult time matching its recent success.
And while Newman lost most of its top offensive and defensive weapons, the Cardinals have an innate way of restocking the talent and being better than just competitive.
Newman has attended a Sacramento State football camp and will hold its own camp the first week of August. There is also a six-week football summer school class that Newman players take part in with no pads or contact.
Newman players have also been weight-lifting and condiditioning and skill players have taken part in a summer passing league at SRJC.
Newman’s first official practice will be Aug. 17.
The last two seasons, coach Paul Cronin has gone with quarterbacks who have started at the position only their senior seasons — Max Pond and Randy Wright. This year it will be senior Jack James, a starter last year at strong safety and who also saw time at a wide receiver spot. James, said coach Paul Cronin, may not be as fast as Wright was running, but he’s bigger and a more physical presence. Fitting around James, will be lineman Tucker Maggio-Hueck and running backs Steven Stout, Matt Bowman, Teo Green and Blake Ratto. Newman always seems to find a good stable of receivers.
Neman has the same preseason opponents as last year — Central Catholic of Modesto, Del Oro of Loomis and Palma of Salinas.
Newman defeated all three last year, which helped it tremendously in securing a berth in the state Div. III championship game.
Newman will play Central Catholic Saturday Sept. 12 as part of the Battle of the Capitol. There will four games that day with Newman playing the 5 p.m. game. The site has been changed a couple of times and currently looks like it will be Folsom HIgh north of Sacramento.
Cronin said Newman will probably continue to play Central Catholic and Palma because they’re all in the same state Div. III classification, but Del Oro (Div. II) probably will return to playing Div. II schools. Cronin said Newman is looking into possibly playing Valley Christian or Serra High (Tom Brady’s and Barry Bonds’ old school) from the West Catholic Athletic League.
The Del Oro game will be at Newman and Palma on the road.