ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — It’s officially the best time of the year: football season. Capital Region high school football teams took to the field Monday for their first week of official practices. With that first week of practice, we’re calling this week “Champions Week” at NEWS10. We’re going to preview the upcoming season for each of last year’s Section 2 champions. We begin with the big guns in Class AA: Christian Brothers Academy.
“We want to make it special to be a CBA football player,” said head coach Bob Burns. “I think it is right now. It’s a special thing a lot of people want to be a part of.”
If you want to be a part of winning, CBA has been the place to be over the past few seasons in Section 2 Class AA. In each of the Brothers’ first two years under head coach Bob Burns, CBA has brought home the Section 2 championship.
Entering year three, Burns has built the program’s culture to his liking. “Just building a relationship and getting to know their family situations and things they like. Being able to talk to them about everything, that’s the kind of culture we want to build,” said Burns. “I tell the parents, too, I want it to be an important part of your life. CBA football needs to be important. You should build your schedule on Friday nights around that to try and get here to experience some of the things that we’re doing.”
The Brothers only have five seniors on their roster this season, but one of them just happens to be one of the best players in the area: quarterback Donald Jones. He’s accounted for 31 touchdowns and over 3,800 hundred yards of offense over the last two seasons.
“When he’s one of your best players and he’s setting the example of like, we don’t do things this way, this is how we do them, and he’s coaching up the younger kids. That’s a great thing too,” said Burns. “He’s basically the face of CBA football, that’s what he’s been for the past three years and we’re expecting big things from him this year.”
“Every day you’ve got to be a leader out there no matter what,” said Jones. “You’re the senior on the team, you just have to play that role and some of these younger kids, they are stepping into these bigger parts, they are fitting into it so I’m happy with what they’re doing.”
Jones isn’t the only top tier quarterback suiting up for the Brothers this season. Jake Iacobaccio, who started at quarterback and safety for Shaker the past two seasons, made the decision to come back to CBA. “I was here in 8th and 9th grade before,” said Iacobaccio. “Just academics, it helped me a lot more. At the end of the day me and my family decided it would be best to come here to help me get into college.”
It doesn’t stop there. The Brothers will also feature Archie Jones, Donald’s younger brother, leading to one talented and dynamic quarterback room. “All three of them are going to play,” said Burns. “How much are all three going to play? I don’t know. Donald and Jake’s skill sets are pretty special. They can play some other positions and do some other things. Our personnel packages are a lot more extensive now than they’ve ever been.”
The Brothers will be taking on Chaminade in a Week 0 scrimmage, in part because they’ve been suspended from playing a regular season game in week 0 after Section 2’s Athletic Council voted unanimously that CBA violated NYSPHSAA’s recruitment and undue influence rule. That has since led to CBA suing Section 2 and the NYSPHSAA.
Burns says there’s no extra motivation, they’re keeping the focus on football. “I let other people that are above my pay grade handle those things,” said Burns. “At the end of the day, we’re going to go out and try to win a championship. All the other stuff off the field, it is what it is because I know the things that we’re doing here are right.”
After two straight section titles, the Brothers have their sights on the ultimate goal. “I just want to get to the dome,” said Jones. “I need the ring. That’s all I’m gunning for right now.”