Shawn Ritter has become the head football coach at St. Monica, replacing his longtime friend, Chris Caminiti, who has joined the coaching staff of the Cleveland Browns.
“I’ve had previous NFL experience and this opportunity came along, so I’ve moved to Ohio,” said Caminiti.
“It was a pleasure working with the young men at St. Monica, and with the schedule adjusted to playing more schools their size I believe the chances for success have improved.”
Ritter and Caminiti were high school classmates in Connecticut 25 years ago, and Ritter was an assistant coach with the Mariners last season.
St. Monica was 1-19 in the last two years, and Ritter will be the third head coach in three seasons. Caminiti was there one year after replacing Jason Strouse.
As the losses mounted there was talk among football people that St. Monica should consider playing 8-man football. However, the administration didn’t seriously consider that option.
“It isn’t necessary,” said Ritter. “We believe the adjustment in our non-league schedule will make us competitive. But I will say the schools we’ve added, while smaller in enrollment, were playoff-caliber teams last season.”
St. Monica’s series against the much larger Santa Monica High has ended after three years, the last two games resulting in one-sided defeats.
“I agree with that decision,” said Ritter. “Playing each other wasn’t doing either school any good.”
St. Monica’s first six opponents will be St. Anthony, Salesian, Malibu, Chadwick, Villanova Prep and Bishop of La Jolla.
The closest St. Monica came to a victory in a winless 2006 season was a 20-19 loss to Malibu, which scored on the game’s final play. David Aleotti and Anthony Flores, who shared the quarterback position last season, graduated. The competition now is between Chris Lindquist and Dana Soto-Campos.