St. John awaits preseason test against Springfield in preseason scrimmage

Staff Report

The St. John Eagles are ready for a long road trip that could tell them plenty about the upcoming season.

St. John landed one of its two wins last year in action against Belaire. The Eagles hope to improve on that record this season.

SJHS ventures down I-55 Friday for scrimmage action against Springfield as the Eagles get set for the 2022 season.

Returning head coach Koby Minton sees their Livingston Parish foe as a good measuring stick for the upcoming season.

SHS lost five seniors but returned a strong crop of starters.

“They have their running back returning, and he’s a versatile player they can use in a lot of ways, so I expect them to be tough in the scrimmage,” he said. “Besides, we didn’t play in a scrimmage, while they did.”

The Eagles will be led by senior quarterback Maddox Bennett, who may also work on the other side of the ball this season.

Senior wide receiver Andrew Kleinpeter, meanwhile, may also see time as a strong safety.

The Eagles “shuffled a few guys” as they shifted to the 3-4 defense. 

Leaders on the SJHS defense include Jack Marcantel, Peyton Dardenne and Maddox Ourso.

“They’re very experienced, and Maddox is very talented on the inside as linebacker,” Minton said.

St. John bid farewell to three formidable seniors at last year’s graduation – Joseph Schlatre, Josh Daigle and John Merritt Bueche.

“Those were high IQ guys who got players lined up,” Minton said. “We’re a lot younger on the back end defensively, but we’re talented.”

The Eagles will dress out 30 players for the season, which begins on the road in Franklin against Hanson Memorial.

In the meantime, SJHS will look to mend injuries from the summer training.

“It’s nothing serious... just those bumps and bruises from camp, and fighting weather,” Minton said. “But the good thing is that everyone is fighting that this time of year.”