ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — We are just five sleeps away from high school football returning on Friday. This week will be champions week on News10 ABC. Through Thursday, we’ll preview the upcoming season for each of last year’s Section 2 champions. We start in Class AA with the Christian Brothers Academy Brothers.
It’s safe to say Bob Burns’ first season at CBA was a success. The Brothers took down Shenendehowa 28-14 to win the Section 2 Class AA title in Burns’ first year at the helm. With a year under their belts in his system, Burns thinks they’re farther along this year than they were last year heading into the season. “I got here in June last year so I had to try and get everything going in a couple months,” said Burns. “Now that I’ve been with this group for nine months in the offseason, they kind of know what my expectations are now when it comes to every single aspect of practice.”
Though they’re in a better spot as a whole, the Brothers lost one of their biggest pieces. Syracuse commit David Clement will miss the entire season after suffering a non-contact knee injury.
While they’ll be without the 6’7 tight and defensive end, they return one of their most versatile playmakers; quarterback Donald Jones. “Obviously my quarterback is back and he’s a real dynamic player,” said Burns. “He’s real good with the ball in his hands.”
After leading his team to a section title as a sophomore, Jones is even more comfortable heading into his junior year. “I feel like it’s a lot more free moving out there,” said Jones. “I know where I’m going to be out on the field. It’s not like, ‘Oh I have to be here and think about it’, it’s ‘Oh I’m already here and making the play.'”
The biggest thing the Brothers can carry over from last year? A championship mentality. “When you try and preach it to them last year, they had just met me,” said Burns. “They obviously knew what my track record was but they had to live it. There’s some confirmation as to trusting everything that we do. There are certain things that are going to be hard. There are certain things that you might not be ok with, but you’re just going to have to push through it because the higher the prize, the bigger the price.”
The Brothers are aiming for an even bigger prize this season after falling to Carmel 51-7 in the Regional Final. “Winning a section title was a lot of fun but I wanted a bit more than that,” said Jones. “We’re trying to go to the dome.”
The Sabre will be on the line week one, as the Brothers open up their season against rival LaSalle Friday at 7:00 PM. Tune into News10 ABC this and every Friday night during the football season for highlights, reaction, and more on 1st & 10.