Pigskin Preview: St. Pat’s Irish

The Irish come in to 2020 following a 6-3 record in 2019.
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 8:58 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The St. Pat’s Irish football team finished with a 6-3 record in 2019, winning their last six regular season games. However, the Irish lost a considerable number of starters to graduation, and will have to fill those positions before the season starts.

“There are a lot of holes to fill from last year’s class,” said Irish head coach Kevin Dodson. “We had a good group of boys there that had a lot of varsity experience. You look at our team, we’re kind of scattered as the numbers go, as far as experience.”

One group Dodson will look to to step up is this year’s seniors.

“Our seniors are exhibiting some good leadership, so right now we’re happy with where we are and we hope to make improvements as the year goes on,” Dodson said.

Two of those seniors are running back Alex Davies, and wide receiver/corner back Joseph Heirigs. The two seniors know their class is expected to step up, and are working on being good leaders for their teammates.

“We’re working on stepping up into the roles that have been left, and we’re working on being good leaders in the classroom as well, and being vocal,” Davies said. “We’re really trying to emphasize being focused and really enthusiastic in these starting practices.”

“We lost a lot of kids last year, so we’re definitely trying to develop the younger kids, and step into the roles that we lost last year,” Heirigs said.

One big question mark for the Irish is who will start under center, with the departure of last year’s starting quarterback, Dolan Branch. However, Branch started just his senior year for the Irish, so Dodson is not unfamiliar with replacing his starting quarterback.

“We’ve got a couple boys, they’re working hard for that position, we’ll have our pop scrimmage this Friday, and after that we’ll know a lot more,” Dodson said.

Through the first week of practice, Dodson said the players are working hard and having fun.

“As a coach, that’s all you can ask for,” Dodson said.

With uncertainty surrounding the season due to COVID-19, the players are taking things day by day, and are thankful for the football they are able to play.

“We’ve had kind of a sense of urgency, I think, because we don’t know what’s going to happen, so we’re just trying to do as much work as we can each day,” Heirigs said.

The Irish open their season on Aug. 28 with a road contest at Doniphan-Trumbull.

2020 Irish schedule

8/28 @ Doniphan-Trumbull

9/04 Hastings St. Cecilia

9/11 @ Centura

9/18 Grand Island Central Catholic

9/25 @ Bridgeport

10/02 Chase County

10/09 Gordon-Rushville

10/16 @Hershey

10/23 Valentine

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