CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- This season the Saints take the field missing some key players.
"We lost some big guys but the thing is we have people that are willing to step up for them. While they are not going to be the next Jalen or the next Kareem they're here to make their own legacy,” said Saint Anne’s-Belfield senior linebacker/running back, Juwan Woodson.
Jalen Harrison threw for more than a thousand yards while Kareem Johnson had 41 catches for 793 yards last season.
"It’s been hard. We still talk to them all the time. They ask us how the team is doing. This year I have a feeling the team is just going to be great,” said senior defensive end/tight end, Isaiah Kilby-Sharp.
"It's hard to replace kids like Jalen and Kareem and Campbell Miller and I could go on and on. We've done it in the past and we have kids who can do this,” said STAB football coach, John Blake.
Last year’s team helped turn the Saints’ program from winless in 2012 to appearing in back-to-back state title games (2014,2015).
"”The reason is that we had awesome players last year that trained the lower classmen and even us coming up. Now we know what to do to get back to winning,” said Kilby-Sharp.
"When we can put enough points on the board in a game to let those other kids play that's a huge way to get those kids experience other than what they're just doing in practice,” Blake said.
Blake says some of the new kids on their roster have never played football before.
"They are more athletic than I thought they would be. They are bigger they are stronger than I thought they would be. They also are being sponges. They are really being great about coming out here and learning,” he said.
"We teach them that don't stand back and wait for someone else to do something. Show by example getting balls hustling during practice. 110 percent effort really that's the key,” said Kilby-Sharp.
"You just lead by example so every drill you give it all you've got. Everybody is out here to work and I’m just showing the guys that this is the passion that I have, so share that with me. They channel my energy and we get stuff done,” Woodson said.
STAB begins their regular season on Friday, September 2 when they host Hargrave Military Academy.