Marauders gear up for unconventional football season
After a heartbreaking loss denied them a chance to play in the Section Championship last season, the Jesuit High School Sacramento football team was eager to return and prove themselves in 2020.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the start of the season until 2021, the team didn’t get their chance right away. Instead, Jesuit’s first game of its six-game schedule will be on March 13 when the Marauders travel to Rocklin High School to play the Thunder.
Along with the season being shortened, there will be no playoffs for any sports in the Sac-Joaquin Section during the 2020-2021 school year according to the Sacramento Bee.
Despite having an unconventional season, Wide Receiver and Defensive Back Jake Hall ’21 is excited for the opportunity to play.
“My expectations for the year are to compete and have fun,” Jake said. “We have no idea what to expect and things will constantly change so we have to be ready for anything. We are just grateful to be playing so we’re just going to play as hard as we can.”
Jesuit Running Back/Linebacker Coach and Scout and Film Coordinator Jonathan Isaac is also thankful to have a season, but expects his team to play hard and make the most of their chance to play.
“Through all the solidarity of California football coaches and lawyers, with the collaboration of other states, we are getting a football season,” Coach Isaac said. “Our kids have been asking for a season, so I expect them to prepare and play like they missed, asked, and recovered [for] the game of football.”
One player who’s taken advantage of the longer offseason is Lineman Jack Hemmert ’22, who used the extra time off to improve himself in multiple ways.
“Since the end of last season I started working on my diet and trained hard during the offseason,” Jack said. “When we did not know if we would have a season because of COVID-19, I did not let it deter me from staying on my grind. I have worked on my football IQ over the offseason in order to become a better player. I was working on being a student of the game.”
When examining the strengths of this year’s team, Coach Isaac focused on the offensive line.
“Our O-line is pretty good,” Coach Isaac said. “We have Senior lineman that had a lot of in-game experience last season, and our Junior class has a group of guys that have been gelling for a few years through JJM, our Frosh, and JV levels.”
Coach Isaac also pointed out some players who’ve impressed him so far in practice.
“Standouts for me have been Cash Taylor and Jake Hall,” Coach said. “They have been solid leaders throughout this roller-coaster year, and I could not be more proud of them as young men.”
While the team has a good group of players on both sides of the ball returning, the biggest question seems to be the quarterback. With former quarterback Daniel Susac ’20 now off playing baseball at the University of Arizona, someone new will have to step up.
The Marauders learned the importance of having a good quarterback last year when the team dropped its first three games by a combined score of 106-39 while Daniel was recovering from an injury.
The difficulty of the Jesuit’s schedule won’t help either. The school’s first opponent, Rocklin, is ranked No. 10 in Northern California by SportsStars Magazine. Jesuit will also face No. 1 ranked De La Salle High School on April 1.
With expectations running high and the team excited for a new season, the Marauders will get their first shot to prove themselves when they go on the road to play Rocklin on March 13, at 7 p.m.
Due to health and safety guidelines, capacity at games will be limited to players’ immediate household. Jesuit will provide updates on sporting events through the Jesuit Sac Sports App. Games will also be live-streamed via the NFHS Network.