It is game week as all the metro area fall sports teams will start their seasons Friday. In today’s Monday Morning Wrap-Up, we preview the Vianney and Hazelwood East football teams as they open their 2022 season this Friday.

Vianney welcomes first-year head coach Chris Starkey to the sidelines as he will look to point the Golden Griffins in the right direction. Starkey has a solid core group of upperclassmen returning to help Vianney compete in the extremely tough Metro Catholic Conference.

Bobby Cole returns for his second year at the helm at Hazelwood East as the Spartans will attempt to improve on their .500 record from a year ago. Cole also has an outstanding group of returners coming back to aid Hazelwood East in competing for the Suburban title.

Vianney Golden Griffins

  • Head Coach – Chris Starkey
  • Record at school – 0-0 in first year
  • Conference – Metro Catholic Conference
  • 2021 record – 1-9
  • Returning players: Senior Jack Burke – ATH, Senior Kel Battle – WR/DB, Senior Bryan Gerwel – OL/NG, Junior Sam Berger – OT/DE, Junior Chase Bresler – RB/DE/LB, Junior Turner Hunsaker – TE/MLB, Junior Phineas Wilson – RB/LB, Sophomore Nick Miller – ATH, Sophomore Adam Bay – OL/DL.
  • Players to Watch: Sophomore Cole Adair – WR/DB, Sophomore Gus Eiler – OL/DL, Junior Pepe Greco – OL/DL/LB, Sophomore Taylor Hartman – OL/LB, Junior Garrett Hauck – WR/DB, Junior Cole Ludwig – QB/ATH/DB, Sophomore Grant Monheiser – OL/DL, Sophomore Brayden Schafer – ATH, Freshman Kayden Wood – QB, Freshman Sam Smith – WR/DB, Freshman Drew Keller -TE/LB, Freshman Landon Lambert – OL/DL.
  • Season Outlook: “The Griffins will be young but will have significant experience due to many underclassmen having to play last year,” stated Starkey. “We hope to build off that while establishing a hard nose, blue-collar way of doing things. We will pride ourselves on never backing down and playing solid fast football for the entire game. We saw major growth all summer in all phases of the game and hope that will translate into getting a fast start this season even though we have only been together for two months. We spent the summer figuring out what we are good at and what we still need to work on. This helps us prepare for early season practices and game plans. After a few tough seasons these young men have been committed, eager to learn, and want to get out there and compete daily. This and the offensive and defensive schemes we will roll out accompanied by a core group of returning starters we hope to see improvement immediately and then see that continue week in and week out. Seniors Jack Burke and Kel Battle will light the fire for us on both sides of the ball. Both are the key returners in terms of offensive yards from last season. Juniors Chase Bresler, Sam Berger, and Turner Hunsaker will look to anchor the defense up front while Junior Garrett Hauck and Sophomore Nick Miller will join Battle in the secondary. Sophomores Adam Bay, Gus Eiler, and Taylor Hartman have looked solid on the offensive line this summer and are starting to gel together well. Bresler and Wilson are competing for reps at the starting RB spot and have each shown a lot of promise. Turner Hunasker will also be a wildcard on offense this year with key supporting cast members Cole Adair, and Brayden Schafer hoping for breakout years. Junior Cole Ludwig and Freshman Kayden Wood have been splitting reps all summer and will continue to do so until someone separates themselves which will likely happen the first week of official practice. Both do a lot of great things but are still learning a new system and its ins and outs. It will be a fun exciting season for the Griffins as we head into this new era of Vianney Football.”

Key Games:

  • Friday, August 26 vs Parkway West
  • Friday, September 16 at De Smet
  • Friday, September 23 at SLUH

 

Hazelwood East Spartans

  • Head Coach – Bobby Cole
  • Record at school – 6-6 in second year
  • Conference – Suburban Conference
  • 2021 record – 3-7
  • Returning players: Ladarius Williams, Jamorri Reid, Quitin Kirby, Andrew Flowers, and Jaquez Everette.
  • Players to Watch: Semaj Flowers, Arif Shakoor, Melvin Sledge, CaShawn Love, and Amon Cole.
  • Season Outlook: “The Spartans will be a young, scrappy football team with great potential,” stated Cole. “We will be led by a core group of upperclassmen who have dedicated themselves to maximize the team’s potential.”

Key Games:

  • Friday, August 26 at Parkway North
  • Friday, September 2 at St. Mary’s
  • Saturday, October 8 at University City

 

Jim Powers
Jim Powers

Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at japowers2421@yahoo.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan