Families camped out under the trees. Little boys and girls are running around playing tag. Teenagers are in another area socializing. The smell of BBQ Tri-tip, chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers on a beautiful Saturday afternoon can not be missed. This sounds like another day at "Any Park U.S.A." if it were not for the sound of clashing helmets and pads in the background.
Yes we're talking football, and not just any football game. This is Jesuit football in Carmichael, California. This is the home of the Marauders. Jesuit is a Catholic High School in the Delta River League of the Sac Joaquin Section of the CIF. The Jesuit High School Marauders have a sword wielding pirate as a mascot. That alone should tell you that these aren't your average everyday catholic school boys that you'll be going up against.
Dominic Carmazzi, Jesuit QB – picture below, wins 2007 season opener against Cody Vaz, St. Mary's of Stockton QB – picture above, 24-13.
That was my experience last season as I watched Jesuit in their 1st pre-season game against the power house St. Mary's of Stockton. That was a great game to watch as Jesuit battled St. Mary's of Stockton in a well deserved victory. St. Mary's went on to play against Napa High School in the section championship that year.
Jesuit is rich in tradition, both academically and athletically. This is where you will find the kids of privilege learning and playing next to the average kid whose parents have the means to send them there. Again, be forewarned, the Marauders will shake your hands out of respect, I think condolences, as they prepare to begin their assault on your team.
Fast forward 1 year and I'm now at the 2008 Jesuit vs. Sheldon game. It's cold and the rain is coming down hard on the Jesuit field. It's the way football was meant to be played – old school, in a field that's muddy with rain coming down hard. Travis Snider was the work horse for Jesuit. He rushed of 150 yards on 30 carries and scored the only two TD's of the game. The Marauders took advantage of a string of Sheldon penalties in a game that seemed to be driven more by the weather conditions, then anything else.
Who's on the Jesuit team this season, well let's take a look.
At QB #16 Christopher Piwinski, a pro style QB with, as his rushing yards would indicate, has 866 yds passing @ 123.7 yds. Per game.
At WR/DB #21 Dominic Ferri, has 7 receptions @ 27 yds per reception.
At RB/CB #32 Travis Snider, has 76 carries for 795 yds., averaging 10.46 yds per carry with 12 touch downs.
At TE/LB #8 Patrict Beers, has 49 tackles, averaging 7 tackles per game.
At FB/LB #35 Jackson Welch, has 44 tackles, averaging 2.8 tackles per game.
At LB/OG #52 Jose Quinonez, has 51 tackles, averaging 7.3 tackles per game.
At OT/DT # 71 Scott Hodges, as an Offensive tackle there's no stats. His name appears in many media outlets as an outstanding player and after watching him play this past weekend I can see why. Check out his video in his profile on scout.com. Definitely a player that has potential for the next level.
The Marauders went on to shut out Sheldon High School this past weekend 14-0. They are 5 and 3 overall, and 2 and 1 in league. They have two regular season games left. They have to go up against Monterey Trail and Pleasant Grove High Schools.
They may not be the Pirates of The Caribbean (POC). But they are Marauders. They may not take your life, but they will take your teams spirit as they do what Marauders are suppose to do – win. A school filled with tradition. A school filled with talent. Are they the true POC ? Maybe, the initials are the same, they are the Pirates of Carmichael (POC). Instead of riding the high seas, they're roaming the greater Sacramento area, battling on the planes of the grid iron.
Welcome to Jesuit Football !