SJU football Tuesday update

It was back to practice for the St. John’s football team Tuesday afternoon at Clemens Stadium as the Johnnies prepare for Saturday’s MIAC matchup at Augsburg at 1 p.m. in Minneapolis.

St. John’s is trying to snap a three-game losing streak and avoid becoming the first team at the school to lose four-straight in a single season since 1930.

There was a new twist as players began meeting by position group after practice concluded – something that sounds likely to become a daily occurence.

“It’s just trying to keep everybody on the same page,” offensive tackle Pete Schwarz said. “Trying to keep guys heads up. Everybody pulling together. We did this as an offensive line every day after practice in the preseason and it really helped everybody focus on the stuff we’d just worked on.”

With tight end Taylor Freetly out likely for the season with a fractured collarbone suffered late in last Saturday’s loss to St. Olaf, offensive coordinator Jim Gagliardi said seniors Wade Powers and Scott Ramey would likely see time at the position against the Auggies.

Freshman Nick Martin will again start at quarterback with classmate Mitch Hendricks a possibility to see time depending on the situation.

Following up on Monday’s lively live chat, I did ask head coach John Gagliardi and several of the assistants about whether instituting a junior varsity program is something that had been discussed, or was a possibility.

Gagliardi said he thought there was a JV team at the school early in his coaching tenure, but that it was discontinued because a benefit wasn’t being seen.

Doesn’t sound like something that has been discussed as a possibility any time lately. The Johnnies do run scout-on-scout drills for 15 to 20 minutes or so after the regular conclusion of practice. And I recall a couple of years ago when the team held a scout-on-scout game – I believe it was the Friday of the team’s bye week.

My guess is something like that would be much more likely to be repeated – maybe with more frequency – than starting an actual JV program is likely to happen.

Did not have a chance today to check around the conference at other places. I will have to follow up on that.

Frank Rajkowski

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