Football team making history, looking for first state playoff berth

Chargers 5-1 after Homecoming win over DePaul Prep

The Chargers defense gets ready for a goal-line stand.

The Chargers defense gets ready for a goal-line stand.

The St. Joseph Chargers football team is making history this year. The team is doing something that no other team in football at St. Joseph has ever done. There is a big turnaround that has happened, and it’s shocking everyone.

The Chargers started the season off to a great, opening with a 4-1 mark heading into their Homecoming game Sept. 30 against DePaul Prep. The wins came against Elmwood Park, Kelvyn Park, East Moline United Township and Lake Forest Academy, with their lone loss coming at the hands of St. Ignatius.

This season, after a 21-7 win over DePaul Prep, the Chargers offense are accounted for 182 points, and the defense only giving up 79 points.

“It was kind of scary, but we were determined,” said senior Guylon Moore. “I wouldn’t trade this team for the world. We still have about 10 of the same people we won our first conference championship as freshmen. I will fight for and with these guys until we won’t have to fight anymore.”

With 14 seniors on the team, they know about the football history.

As a freshmen class, the seniors won the 2013 Red Division Catholic Conference on the JV team. This year as seniors, they are trying to make the playoffs for the first time and win the Red Conference.

“I’m glad we got the same team and I will do anything to help my teammates out,” said Senior Donovan Lee. “We’ve known that we would be special and I’m glad we started to see our potential.”

The most recent team to almost make it to five wins, was the 4-5 team of 2001. That team had a promising season, but just fell short to qualify for the IHSA playoffs. The players from 2001 football team and others, are liking what they see so far.

“I think this 2016 has been and will be the greatest season in St. Joseph history,” said Matt Culps, member of 2001 Charger football team. “These guys have brought us out of the dark and into the light. The culture is changing and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

This year’s team has betting a lot of buzz around the Chicagoland and higher people. The Bears got the attention of St. Joe’s for Coach Petroski. The Chicago Bears named him Coach of the Week 3 in Illinois, which is a prestigious honor.

“It’s a great honor,” said Coach Petroski. “Only nine coaches get the prestige honor of coach of the week and from that it shows the hard work and dedication that we put in and it will continue into the second half of the season which is the IHSA playoffs.”

With their win over DePaul Prep, the Chargers sit at 5-1 and are now playoff eligible for the first time in school history. The Chargers will most likely need one more win to guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs, but depending on how things shake out, that ticket could be punched already.