West Catholic Athletic League play was a struggle for the Sacred Heart Cathedral football team last season, but as they get set to begin league play this year, there is a confidence that it can turn things around and it starts at Valley Christian on Saturday night.
“We just told our kids ‘Don’t look back,’” SHC coach Ken Peralta said. “That’s where we want to go. I can’t even tell you I watched last year’s tape. I kind of moved on, our kids moved on. We make a point of worrying about us and not necessarily who we’re playing.”
The Fightin’ Irish (2-1) held Valley Christian to eight first-half points, but a big third quarter was the difference as SHC was shutout 43-0 last season.
So far this year, SHC has played well and is only two plays from going into league play undefeated.
“We lost to a real good football team and had a number of chances to beat them with 13 seconds left,” Peralta said. “We’re right there. We were two plays from winning and about five plays from winning by 14 points. I like our team and we’ve been practicing really well. I’m excited to see our team play.”
The Irish have had two weeks to get ready for their league opener after dropping that tight contest against Milpitas 28-21.
SHC has scored 110 points through its first three games and will have to find a way to manufacture some points in league play. Those opportunities are likely to come from a running game that has been decent, according to Peralta, and is led by Brett Rasso and Jamar Williams-Sheppard.
Peralta described Williams-Sheppard as a potential Division I athlete and one that has a lot of room for growth.
“He’s just a young kid and he’s going to be a good one,” he said. They will also have to try to find a way to slow down the two-headed monster Valley Christian has in the backfield with Kirk Johnson and Mark Quinby.
“Our defense has been tackling people,” Peralta said. “They’ve been playing very good run defense and we have to keep that up because Valley is a running football team.”
The duo has rushed for a combined 891 yards and 10 touchdowns in the team’s first three games.
Middle linebacker Steve Hisatake has been the anchor of that defense which has allowed 58 points in three games.