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The Gridiron Gazette The Official Publication of the St. John’s Gridiron Boosters Club

February 2014

Issue 5

ST. JOHN’S WELCOMES BRIAN GRIFFIN AS NEW AD New appointee will serve as SJC’s Director of Athletics and Athletic Development

On February 1, Brian Griffin began his job as SJC’s Director of Athletics and Athletic Development. He most recently worked at IMG Performance and IMG Academy, a 450-acre complex in Bradenton, Florida. At IMG he served as Vice President of Performance. He also worked as the President of IMG’s training business and sports camp solutions. During his tenure, IMG Performance accomplished an extensive campus expansion. Prior to arriving at IMG, Griffin was the Senior Director of Performance for Under Armour, working within their sports and brand marketing departments. Griffin is excited to begin working at St. John’s. “The amazing history and diverse community of SJC is what impressed me the the most,” he said. “Everyone is focused on making the student experience and developmental process better every day.” Football Coach Joe Patterson is excited to welcome Griffin. “The

appointment of Brian Griffin is truly invigorating,” said Coach Patterson. Coach Patterson had the opportunity to travel to IMG during the Christmas Break and meet with Griffin. “He brings unparalleled energy and professionalism. He has a compelling vision for St. John’s. I’m truly excited for the football program’s future.” Griffin’s goals are clear. “By combining spiritual, academic, and athletic excellence seamlessly, successfully, and consistently, our athletics program will continue to best represent the unique identity, strong heritage, and core values of St. John’s,” said Griffin. Griffin received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. While at UPenn, he was a two-year defensive captain as a linebacker. He received the Edgar Church Memorial Award, which is presented to the studentathlete rendering the most outstand-

St. John’s 2014 Varsity Schedule

Sat., Aug. 30 Sat., Sept. 6 Fri., Sept. 12 Fri., Sept. 19 Fri., Sept. 26 Sat., Oct. 4 Sat., Oct. 18 Sat., Oct. 25 Sat., Nov. 1 Sat., Nov. 8

8 p.m. 2 p.m. 7:30 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 2 p.m. 2 p.m. 2 p.m. 2:30 3 p.m.

at IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) vs Loyola at West Catholic (Philadelphia) at Archbishop Spalding at DeMatha at O’Connell vs Good Counsel (Homecoming) at McNamara vs Carroll vs Gonzaga

ing contributions to the team. Griffin earned a master’s degree in Sports Leadership from Duquesne University and is a certified performance training coach. His high school education was completed at Georgetown Prep, where he was selected as the James Fegan Award recipient in 1987. In 2012, he was inducted into Prep’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Griffin views athletics as integral to the educational process. “Coaches are truly teachers,” he said, highlighting the role sports plays in fostering “self-confidence, a sense of purpose, and a deep appreciation for lifelong learning and personal development.” He added, “Faith and sports are not obstables to learning but in fact are essential elements of the educational experience that reveal character, life lessons, and teachable moments in terms of self-sacrifice, hard work, teamwork, trust, leadership, persistence, and service.”


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Cadets advance to the WCAC Title Game for the first time in 22 years Few observers would have predicted that the 2013 St. John’s football team would gain a berth in the conference championship. In fact, it had been a full 22 years since the Cadets had played in the title game. “We knew coming into the season that in order to make it to the championship, we had to stick together as a family, and I think that’s what we did,” said first-team all-conference tight end Devante Brooks. “That same mentality will bring us back to the championship.” The Cadets came up short in the end, falling in the title game at Byrd Stadium to the nationally ranked DeMatha Stags. Still, their nine victories in 2013 were the most by a Cadet team since SJC’s 1989 WMAC Championship season (the Cadets had won eight games in 1991, 2006, and 2007). Notable among those nine victories this season were back-to-back wins against archrival Gonzaga. In their longstanding football rivalry, St. John’s had never beaten Gonzaga twice in the same season. The manner in which it was accomplished was truly unique: wins in consecutive weeks by identical scores, 17-10. Going into the first matchup, Gonzaga and St. John’s had identical conference records, having both been perfect in conference play outside of their respective losses to DeMatha. The site of the first matchup was the traditional venue of Blair High School, and again the schools played host to an over-

capacity crowd. Two plays stood out in that game as pivotal. The first came in the third quarter with the game tied, 10-10. St. John’s first-team all-conference punter Joe Giglio stood at his own 38 yardline to receive the snap from center. He ripped off a booming punt that the Gonzaga return man mishandled at the Gonzaga seven yardline. Special teams sensation Tucker Strycharz separated the return man from the football and then pounced on the ball in the endzone for the go-ahead score. “This year, I felt like we have been excited about our roles on special teams,” said Strycharz. “With that attitude on special teams all season, it only felt right that we could step up and score the game-winning touchdown in one of the biggest games of the year.” Still, the game was far from over. In the fourth quarter,

QB Will Ulmer

Gonzaga ripped off a 40-yard run to advance the ball to the Cadet 15 yardline, setting up the first of seven consecutive red zone plays for the Eagles. Eventually, Gonzaga earned a first-and-goal at the five yardline. The St. John’s defense stiffened, though, repelling four straight runs, including a fourthdown stop by linebacker Mitch Mona at the one yardline. “I just saw the hole open, and I filled it as hard as I possibly could,” said Mona, whose relatives Cap Mona (Class of 1961), Joe Mona (Class of 1958), Gary Mona (Class of 1966), and Dave Krug (1964) all won football championships at St. John’s. The second Gonzaga-St. John’s matchup was far more important than the first one, given what was at stake: a berth in the WCAC Championship. For the first time in conference history, the semifinal matchups

SJC’s leading rusher for 2012 and 2013


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SJC Defense

Top-ranked defense in the WCAC in 2013

were played at a neutral site; on a beautiful Sunday, the respective school communities converged at Byrd Stadium. Gonzaga jumped out early, scoring on its third play from scrimmage on a long run. They added a field goal in the second quarter, establishing a 10-0 lead. From that point forward, the St. John’s defense proved impenetrable. “Coach [Rashod] Gillespie did a fantastic job all season,” said Coach Patterson, speaking about the St. John’s Defensive Coordinator. “The guys played physically and fundamentally sound all season. The defense set the tone for everything we did this year.” In fact, the Cadets finished the season with the top-ranked defense in the conference, allowing 11 points per game in the regular season conference games and just nine points per game when the four non-conference games were included. First-team allconference defensive lineman Eric Assoua led the team with

11 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss on the season. The defense performed so well this season because “everybody was doing their assignments and trusting one another,” said Assoua. “We got it into our minds that people weren’t going to score on us.” A 62-yard touchdown pass from Billy McCaffrey to Ayron Monroe and a 12-yard touchdown run by Omar Garcia put the Cadets ahead 14-10 before Giglio extended the lead to 17-10 with a field goal. Gonzaga had one final shot: a Hail Mary pass from the 33 yardline on the game’s final play. SJC successfully defended the 6-foot-7 Gonzaga receiver, knocking the ball away to seal the victory. The win marked Coach Patterson’s eighth victory in 10 years versus Gonzaga. The 2013 season had several other memorable moments. The season began with St. John’s defeating Calvert Hall of Baltimore, a

team that had beaten St. John’s in each of the previous three seasons. That game was followed by a 42-0 win over Bullis (Bullis went undefeated outside of its loss to St. John’s, winning its games by an average margin of 30+ points). St. John’s also had its first out-of-state win since 2007, defeating the highly regarded Roman Catholic program in Philadelphia, 35-0. Conference play began with a bitter 26-21 loss to DeMatha. The team responded by rattling off a six-game win streak that included a 31-6 win over Good Counsel, who had won the previous four WCAC Championships. Another key game was a week seven matchup against the McNamara Mustangs, who came into the game with a 5-1 record. McNamara held a 14-3 lead in the fourth quarter, but St. John’s scored touchdowns on its final two possessions to win. The first touchdown came on a two-yard run by Garcia. On the ensuing drive, the Mustangs advanced the ball all the way to the St. John’s six yarldine but came away without any points. With just two minutes remaining, the Cadets mounted a 14-play scoring drive. Twice on the drive, St. John’s faced fourth down, and twice McCaffrey hooked up with Monroe for spectacular plays. The first was a 43-yard pass to the leaping Monroe on 4th and 13. The second was an 18-yard completion on 4th and nine in which Monroe caught a tipped pass at the one yardline to set up Ulmer’s game-winning quarterback sneak.


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SJC’s defense jumps from the second-worst rated defense in 2012 to the the top-rated defense in 2013



2. DeMatha




4. Good Counsel 15.3 5. O’Connell


6. McNamara


7. Carroll


Coach Rashod Gillespie just completed his 11th season coaching at St. John’s (his 9th season as Defensive Coordinator).

FIELD POSITION BECAUSE OF GIVEAWAY-TAKEAWAY MARGIN * The offense only turned the ball over 0.6 times per game in conference play. SJC had a +1.1 takeaway margin. * SJC intercepted 14 passes while only throwing four picks. * Takeaways were a true team effort; 11 different Cadets had fumble recoveries this season. FIELD POSITION BECAUSE OF SPECIAL TEAMS * Opponents’ average starting point after kickoff: 24 yardline. * SJC’s average starting point after kickoff: 35 yardline. * St. John’s punted the ball 52 times and only gave up 69 return yards. SOLID TACKLING * SJC had 10 or fewer missed tackles in four of the six conference games. DEFENSIVE LINE PRESSURE * St. John’s averaged 3.3 sacks per game, led by junior defensive end Eric Assoua’s 11 sacks. * 31.5 out of 39 sacks came from the defensive line, allowing the Cadets to get presuure on the quarterback without blitzing. * St. John’s was able to routinely drop seven players into pass coverage. AN OFFENSIVE MENTALITY * The St. John’s defense scored six touchdowns on the season.

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Cornerback Denzel Dykes signed with the College of William and Mary. He was a captain and two-year starter for the Cadets.

Kicker Joe Giglio singed with Marist University. He had 56 points this season, including nine field goals. He also had 22 touchbacks on kickoffs.

Linebacker Maurice Harley signed with the University of Delaware. His 85 tackles this season were the most by a Cadet since Rico McCoy had 108 in 2004.

Cornerback Omar Truitt signed with the University of Iowa. He was named a First-Team All-WCAC defensive back in 2013 after being named a First-Team All-WCAC wide receiver in 2011.

Quarterback Will Ulmer signed with the University of Maryland. Ulmer was a captain this season and was named to the Under Armour All-American Team.

Linebacker Devin Williams signed with Columbia University. He currently has a 4.3 cummulative GPA at St. John’s. He registered 233 tackles during his three years on varsity.


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(Players who have started at least seven games prior to this season)




Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 18 (TE) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 17 (DE) Boys Club(s): Rockville Lions Favorite School Subject: Religion Favorite Teacher: Ms. Dehan

Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 15 (WR) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 15 (DB) Boys Club(s): Upper Marlboro Mustangs Favorite School Subject: Math Favorite Teacher: Bro. Mark Brown

Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 19 (RB) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 0 Boys Club(s): Columbia Ravens, Mont. Village, Tacoma Park Rams Favorite School Subject: Math Favorite Teacher: Ms. Melin

(Rising Junior)

(Rising Senior)

(Rising Senior)




Off. Starts Prior to 2014: 0 Def. Starts Prior to 2014: 16 (LB/DB) Boys Club(s): Westlake Bulldogs, La Plata Favorite School Subject: Math Favorite Teacher: Mr. Scalzo

Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 1 (TE) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 12 (DE) Boys Club(s): Tacoma Park Rams Favorite School Subject: Economics Favorite Teacher: Ms. Bruce

Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 11 (OL) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 1 (DL) Boys Club(s): AYFL Falcons, PIFL Panthers Favorite School Subject: History Favorite Teacher: Mr. Camillo

(Rising Senior)

(Rising Senior)

(Rising Junior)

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(Players who have started at least seven games prior to this season)




Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 12 (OL) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 0 Boys Club(s): St. Albans Favorite School Subject: Biology Favorite Teacher: Mr. Scalzo

Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 12 (OL) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 0 Boys Club(s): Silver Spring Saints, Grand Rapids Christian Eagles Favorite School Subject: Math Favorite Teacher: Mr. Cooper

Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 12 (WR) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 0 Boys Club(s): Rockville Lions Favorite School Subject: Science Favorite Teacher: Ms. Bruce

(Rising Senior)

(Rising Senior)

(Rising Senior)




Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 11 (WR) Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 0 Boys Club(s): PG Chargers Favorite School Subject: English Favorite Teacher: Mr. Jones

Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 0 Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 10 (DL) Boys Club(s): None Favorite School Subject: Math Favorite Teacher: Ms. Bruce

Off. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 0 Def. Starts Prior to 2014 Season: 7 (DB) Boys Club(s): Maryland Spartans, New Carrolton Cougars Favorite School Subject: History Favorite Teacher: Ms. Bruce

(Rising Senior)

(Rising Junior)

(Rising Senior)


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Senior Will Ulmer was selected to play in the January 2014 Under Armour All-American Game. The game was broadcast on ESPN and featured some of the best college football prospects in the nation. Ulmer served as SJC’s starting quarterback the past two seasons, earning First-Team All-Conference status both years. During those two seasons, he threw for 1395 yards and ran for 2299 yards. He also accounted for 32 offensive touchdowns during that span. In 2013, he directed the Cadets to their first championship appearance in 22 years. In the spring of 2013, Ulmer verbally committed to the University of Maryland, selecting the Terps ahead of multiple BCS schools that had offered him scholarships. His other top choices at the time were Boston College and Nebraska. Ulmer served as a captain for the Cadets this past season. “Will was a fantastic leader,” said SJC Head Coach Joe Patterson. “He worked incredibly hard all four years.” Ulmer’s appearance in the Under Armour Game was the third time a Cadet played in the game. Peter White, who played this season for Temple University after graduating from Maryland last winter, and Kevin McReynolds, who is playing for UCLA, are the other two. Pat Ward, SJC’s Offensive Line Coach for the past 14 years, was invited to coach the team’s offensive line for the week leading up to the game. Above: Ulmer practices at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida. Below: Ulmer receives his All-American jersey from UA Head Coach Herm Edwards. Right: Ulmer poses after the game with St. John’s Line Coach Pat Ward, who helped coach the athletes all week at practice and at the game.

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THE MUSH DUBOFSKY AWARD THE MICHAEL CROUCH AWARD The Mush Dubofsky Award, named in honor of the legendary St. John’s line coach, is given to the players who have made the largest contributions to the football program during their St. John’s careers. Year Player 1987 Chris Magnolia 1988 Kerry Pearl 1989 Marty Davis 1990 Wayne Holmes 1991 Mike Brown 1992 Darryl Gilliam and Pat Ward 1993 Joe Grimm 1994 Brian Gavagan 1995 Darryl Hodge 1996 Rob Brown 1997 Brandon Johnson 1998 Tommy O’Connor 1999 Reggie Wilkes 2000 Andrew Callahan and Greg Burlin 2001 Mike Taylor 2002 Conrad Bolston 2003 Marcus Lee 2004 Kevin Maroney and Rico McCoy 2005 Drew Luongo and Mike Ward 2006 Josh Johnson and Tony Tucker 2007 Antwon Bailey and Anthony Coleman 2008 Nate Luongo and Peter White 2009 Charles Brown and Andre Monroe 2010 Wayne Burden and Danny Wright 2011 Mitchell Kirsch and Olajuwon Swearinger 2012 Ned Bent and Max Onyenwe 2013 Maurice Harley and Will Ulmer

The Michael Crouch Award, named in honor of a St. John’s alumnus who passed away during his freshman year of college, is given to the Unsung Hero of the St. John’s varsity team. Year Player 1985 Terrence LoJacona 1986 Eric Zamora 1987 Robert Duvall 1988 James Poch 1989 Dave Davis 1990 Michael Zinzi 1991 Paul Dinenna 1992 Iman Tyson 1993 Joseph Patterson 1994 Matthew Tropea 1996 Nathaniel Pollard 1997 Christopher Witcher 1998 Christopher Conlon 1999 Christopher Smith 2000 Thomas McEvoy 2004 Marcus Bolston 2005 Ian Glebes 2006 Danny Toigo 2007 Korey Neal 2008 Dominico McIntosh 2009 Kortlan Jackson 2010 Robert Cadle 2011 Zach Price 2012 Alex Malchow 2013 Denzel Dykes

Maurice Harley

THE MATT DILLON AWARD The Matt Dillon Award is given to the football player who best excels at more than one varsity sport. Year Player 2011 Billy Webb (Football and Baseball) 2012 Zach Zagone (Football, Wrestling, and Lacrosse) 2013 RP Whitty (Football and Lacrosse)

Denzel Dykes

RP Whitty


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Junior Defensive End Eric Assoua

Sophomore Tight End Devante Brooks

Senior OL/DL Sammy Francois

Senior Punter Joe Giglio

Senior Defensive Back Omar Truitt

Senior Quarterback Will Ulmer

ST. JOHN’S GRIDIRON BOOSTERS CLUB Please mail form and donation to:

Ms. Lori Martin

Office of Alumni and Development 202-363-2316

St. John’s College High School Office of Alumni and Development Attn: Gridiron Boosters Club

ONLINE GIFT giveonline?rc=1

2607 Military Road, NW Washington, D.C. 20015

Payment Options

NAME: ______________________________________

__ Full payment enclosed with my check payable to St. John’s College High School (memo: Gridiron Boosters Club)

__ Please charge my total gift of $_________ to my (circle one) Visa Mastercard American Express Card Number _________________________________________ Expiration Date ______________

Signature ______________________________________________ __

I prefer to make a gift of securities. Please contact me at (phone number): _________________

The Matt Dillon Golf Tournament

The THIRD ANNUAL Matt Dillon Golf Tournament will take place at the Ocean City Golf Club on Saturday September 6, 2014. The tournament raises money for the SJC football and baseball programs.

For more information: Mike Boyle 301.346.1919 Mike Cady 571.641.0244 Dan Sherman 301.466.4663

The St. John’s

Football Camps EACH SESSION HAS ITS OWN UNIQUE EMPHASIS For Grades 6 through 9:


June 23 – June 27, 2014

Monday thru Friday -- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Focuses on maximizing running backs, receivers, linebackers and defensive backs

BIG MAN CAMP June 23 – June 27, 2014

Monday thru Friday -- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Focuses on offensive and defensive line play


All Camp Sessions utilize: • • • • •

The Fernandez Field The Quinn Field The Track The Weight Room The Film Room

All Camp Sessions feature: • • •

Instruction from the St. John’s varsity football staff Hands-on demonstrations from top varsity players Camper-to-Coach/Counselor ratio: 5 to 1

For Grades 2 through 5:

JUNIOR STARS CAMP June 23 - June 27, 2014 Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

June 16 - June 19, 2014

Focuses on instructing the campers in all facets of the game at every position


For more information, call Coach Patterson

Monday thru Thursday -- 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Monday thru Thursday -- 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

June 16 - June 19, 2014

202-380-1711 or email him at

For more details about each of the camp sessions or to register on-line, please go to

Gridiron Gazette February 2014  
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