In 2010, Jamie Young took over a Saint Mary’s football program that was coming off an 0-7 season. As Young worked to repair a broken system he was joined in the process by five young men, Glenn Alvarez, Calvin Roberts, Dan Seus, Jake Isola and Dan Leavens.
“You care about all your kids that play for you, but this particular group that has been there the whole time, they’re a special group to me,” said Young. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Now, those five players are seniors and they are starting to reap the benefits of their hard work.
“We all wanted to turn this program around and show that even though we might not win a state championship that we have a legacy behind us,” said Isola.
“We talked about how St. Mary’s wasn’t a very good team, but then we decided that we’d go in as freshmen and do our best over the next four years to turn the program around,” said Roberts”
“There were a lot of games this season that 2-3 years ago, even last year, we would have just gotten dominated and we did get dominated, and this year to be able to come back and compete and also win against these teams,” said Seus. “It shows how much the program’s improved just in the past couple years.”
From 0-7 in 2009 to a 4-0 start this season and outscoring their opponents by over a hundred point, you could say the Crusaders turned things around.
“I still have that image looking back. It’s like, ok, it’s an incredible feeling. Now we’re up 60-0, 40-0, 30-10, and it’s like, wow, what a huge difference compared to freshmen year and this year,” said Alvarez.
“I don’t know if any of us expected that it would be this much this fast,” said Seus. “It’s been a huge change,”
A change that started with a simple chat the five leaders had in middle school.
“Let’s go to St. Mary’s and make a difference and see if we can turn the program around,” said Leavens. “We’ve got nothing to lose.”
These days, they’re not losing much of anything.