Arcata

SB players not getting caught up in the hype

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Ray Hamill/HumboldtSports.com – St. Bernard’s hosts Arcata on Saturday.

By Ray Hamill — The St. Bernard’s players aren’t worried about who belongs in what conference as they get set for Saturday’s showdown with Arcata. They’re just concerned with trying to win another football game.

The Crusaders have impressed through the opening two weeks of the season, rolling to relatively easy road wins at El Molino and Hoopa.

On Saturday they’ll play a rare game at Crusader Field, with five of their opening six games this season on the road.

The game, however, has taken on added significance.

Before last season St. Bernard’s was moved up to the Big 4 after dominating the Little 4 for years, while Arcata dropped down to the Little 4.

Tigers head coach Jamal Jones is adamant they want to play with the bigger programs again, and says his players have been eying Saturday’s showdown as a chance to prove they belong back in the Big 4.

Some St. Bernard’s fans have also been critical of the switch, which sees the smallest school in the H-DNL in terms of enrollment playing against three of the largest.

None of that, however, appears to be bothering any of the St. Bernard’s players, who are just looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd and approach every game the same way no matter who the opposition is.

“My guys just want to play the best teams we can,” head coach Matt Tomlin said.

Tomlin added that the Tigers had the chance to stay in the Big 4 but that both the school’s principal and Athletic Director opted instead for the switch.

Jones says he has pleaded with Arcata AD Troy Ghisetti to get the Tigers back into the Big 4, where he feels a program the size of Arcata’s belongs.

And the coach and his players have had this Saturday’s game circled on their calendar as a way to back that belief.

“They could have been in the Big 4,” Tomlin said. “It’s easy to say that now to fire up a team for a football game, but it’s false motivation.”

Last season the Crusaders cruised to a 47-14 win over the Tigers.

They have won 29 straight games against Little 4 opposition.

Saturday’s game is set for 1 p.m.

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2 replies »

  1. Tomlin added that the Tigers had the chance to stay in the Big 4 but that both the school’s principal and Athletic Director opted instead for the switch.

    Jones says he has pleaded with Arcata AD Troy Ghisetti to get the Tigers back into the Big 4, where he feels a program the size of Arcata’s belongs.

    Response: Does AD back up principal to keep job… doubt both were on the same page willingly…like soccer, some weird druid schizophrenia going on to make kids feel like winners by playing down in competition… guess the adults become more popular for making a decision…

  2. First off, give a huge high five to SB for fighting through a situation that never should have been allowed to happen or allowed to continue!

    Where to start on this one… so many issues but a couple of key facts are….the HDNL is run by a Board of Directors with 3 members, 2 of which are Lakins, Charley and Jack. Both with strong ties to Ferndale. That should make people, especially sports reporters, take notice and do some digging on why SB is being forced to play in a league based on record and not school size. SB is the smallest school in both the Big 4 and Little 4! Ferndale won the Little 4 for up to or near 10 years in a row, never was forced to play in a bigger league.
    A decision that benefits all but one is best defined as a “punishment”, SB is being punished for being successful. All the AD’s and principals of the other schools that voted for this should be ashamed of themselves, seriously ashamed, this should be about the student athletes but instead is only about aligning their teams for better chance of a win. The age of “everybody gets a trophy” I guess.
    The biggest issue, is team numbers, SB has 28 players on team, half of which are Freshmen and Sophomores (SB has not had a JV team for two years). All the other teams they are now competing with have close to 40 team members all of which are Juniors and Seniors, at this age for males, that is pitting kids against young men. If injury occurs on SB it is a significant hit against the team, where as an injury for the other team is not as significant for their numbers. For playoffs this is huge. For all those behind this decision this is not sustainable, not equitable, and certainly not fair for the student athletes at SB trying to win league and go on into the playoffs.

    HDNL Board should be ashamed, the AD’s and principals behind this should be ashamed for forcing SB to play in a league based on record not school size. Absolutely ridiculous.

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