Coach Ron St. George departed BC High for Cardinal Spellman this fall. (Globe File Photo)
After spending the last three years coaching at BC High, Ron St. George decided it was time to make another change. This fall, the legendary coach will be pacing the sidelines at Cardinal Spellman. After posting a record of 27-7 in three years with the Eagles, it was not a move he made easily.
“I really enjoyed my brief tenure at BC High,” said St. George. “I left with mixed emotions. The kids that are seniors this year were freshmen my first year there. It was a real difficult thing to leave. The quality of the kids there was tremendous.”
That’s not to say that St. George has any regrets. Early on, he already likes what he has seen in his new surroundings in Brockton.
“We’ve got good kids here,” said St. George. “They have been very receptive to what we’re trying to do. It’s tough, because they’re learning an entirely new system. They have to learn the terminology. They’re accustomed to doing things a certain way. The change has been radical for them.”
Making the transition easier is the fact that St. George has most of his staff from his time at both East Bridgewater and BC High making the move with him. In addition, the administration at Spellman has made St. George feel right at home.
“We’ve been received with open arms,” said St. George. “From the president, to some of the teachers I’ve gotten to know. It’s been a huge commitment for them. I’ve known (athletic director) Mike Gerrish for years. I couldn’t be working for a better guy.”
Still, with a young, inexperienced squad, St. George may have some tough times ahead. The Cardinals went just 1-9 last season, and have faced lean times in recent years.
“We’ve got a lot of young people,” said St. George. “We’re pretty green, but they’re working hard. It’s all going to pay off.”
So why leave BC High and take on a rebuilding project at Spellman?
“When Spellman opened up, I thought about it,” said St. George. “It just made economic sense, and it made common sense.”
Indeed, the biggest adjustment St. George had to made when he went to BC High three years ago was the commute from the South Shore. Traveling to Brockton has meant less time on the road, and has been easier on his wallet.
“I think the price of gas doubled while I was there,” joked St. George.
The Cardinals will open the 2008 season Friday night at Medway. The extra week gave Spellman some more time to prepare for what looks to be a challenging schedule. The Cardinals will be playing some of the top teams from the South Shore, programs St. George is more than a little familiar with after coaching in East Bridgewater for 22 years. In particular, there's a home game against the Vikings on Oct. 17th.
“That’s going to be tough,” admits George. “I’m not sure how I’ll be. The choice was either play East Bridgewater, or not have a game, so we’re playing. We’ll be playing against of a lot of good coaches.
Wave of emotion
One team St. George is definitely not looking forward to facing is Abington. The Green Wave rolled to a 29-14 win over Rockland in Week 1, and it wasn’t even that close, as Abington led 29-0 at the half. Defensive end Kalonji Kabongo wreaked havoc on the pass rush and anchored a defense that allowed just one first down in the first half, while running backs Kristian LaPointe, Pat Iacobucci, Keith Faxon and Pat Gabrielle led a relentless ground game.
Abington was effective through the air as well as quarterback Steve Perakslis connected with receiver Chris Dion several times, including a 39-yard bomb at the end of the half. The Green Wave still looks to be the class of the South Shore, and appears poised for a return trip to the postseason.