When Larry Muno became the St. Monica football coach this season, he cited an upgrade in talent and believed the Mariners could leave behind their troubles of recent years.
There has been improvement, but several Santa Fe League teams have improved too. An example is St. Monica’s 47-35 loss to Bellarmine-Jefferson Saturday night.
“We’re a good team but so are others in our league,” said Muno after St. Monica’s record became 2-4.
“After the game their coach, said to me:
“Wow, if you didn’t have those turnovers in the second half you would have won.”
St. Monica drove 80 yards to a touchdown shortly before halftime to reduce its deficit to 28-21 but stalled a couple of times after that and then turned the ball over.
Muno said Tommy Murray had a phenomenal game on both offense and defense. He also praised Matthew Partyka, Danny White, Kyle Schwan and Kyle Farber.
The loss followed one to Salesian, the only team St. Monica defeated last season. An example of the league being tough is that Salesian has 600 boys in its school, many more than St. Monica.
Lack of depth is emerging as the Mariners’ biggest problem as many players are being needed on both offense and defense.
“We had 29 players at one point but we’re down to 21 due to injuries and grades,” said Muno. “Most league opponents have more and a few players make a big difference.
“We’re averaging 30 points a game but the lack of numbers of players is a problem. Bell-Jeff ran for about 400 yards.
“Building a program is an ongoing process and we’re getting there but it’s not showing up yet in wins.”
St. Monica will have another challenging game Friday night when it travels to play league leader St. Genevieve at Poly High.