St. Anthony is playing a trio of local teams during its nonleague schedule and that starts tonight with the regular season home opener against Valley Christian. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Clark Field.
These two small private schools didn’t play each other last year, but had played for five straight years from 2013-2017. The Saints won the first three matchups, and Valley Christian won the last two.
“Some of our guys know some of their guys, and visa versa,” St. Anthony coach Mario Morales said while noting former Long Beach coaches Kirk Diego and Kevin McCarthy who are both at Valley Christian.
“We’ll see them on the street or at the local Target or whatever,” he said. “That’s a big part of it. You’re going to get a good draw as far as fans because they’re from the community. It’s exciting for the kids and it puts a lot of people in the stands… I just want our guys to have a good showing, as do they. So we’re looking forward to those games.”
St. Anthony will also play Wilson and Warren this year.
The Saints are in a rebuilding year with underclassman starting for a new coaching staff, and senior defensive end DeVante’ Pollard said it’s time for other guys to step up.
“We’re looking for leaders,” Pollard said. “We have a lot more people talking so that’s good. It made me mad last year being injured (and missing the season) so I’m trying to make the most of this senior year.”