Culture Change Among the BSM Football Team

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Courtesy of BSM Marketing Department

The three football captains thank Beth, the BSM athletic trainer.

After the Benilde-St. Margaret’s football team struggled last season with a regular season record of 1-7 and a 1-1 record in the section playoffs, the team looks to improve and reinstate the Red Knights as a powerhouse.

The team has high hopes as Head Coach Sean McMenomy enters his second season at BSM. He has done new things with the leaders of the team building connections through competition and doing activities outside of practice over the summer. “It just really has created a really cool close knit family feel with the guys from seventh grade to 12th grade,” McMenomy said.

Throughout the offseason and over the summer McMenomy has been working to put things into place and get the guys together on the field as well that have built up the chemistry. These activities have made the foundation for the team to be really strong for the 2022 season. “Strength and throwing programs and getting the guys together, doing things together, [it] really creates a family feel. As kids get to know each other, they hang out with each other. They get along together, and I think that is what we needed,” McMenomy said.

Compared to the 2021 season, this year McMenomy said the culture has had a more cohesive and supportive feel. Last fall the team was butting heads when things started going downhill. “Everybody kind of started to jump and chip right away. Yeah, pointing fingers blaming each other. You know, class versus class,” McMenomy said.

There’s a lot of new talent…in the future, we’re definitely going to be a super solid team…overall I think our team personnel-wise is for sure looking more talented than last year”

— Frattalone

Junior safety Eddie Wolfe also recognized this disruption of the team chemistry during the 2021 campaign. “It was kind of two teams in one. The offense was one team [and] the defense was one team, as opposed to being one united team. It felt like there was feuding between the coaches and the captains… it was not a great environment,” Wolfe said.

However, with this new culture change the 2022 season is already off to a more positive start amongst the players and coaches. Senior captain and starting safety William Frattalone said that the team has really come together to rally around one common goal. Frattalone has high hopes for this upcoming season because of the mutual understanding between coaches and players. “I think now that this is gonna be our second year with a completely new coaching staff. We already know everything, we understand the coaches and all their ideas a lot better and we’re just more ready,” Frattalone said.

Going along with that positive start, attendance to off season events such as weight lifting, captain’s practices, speed training and seven on seven games has risen. Senior captain Jack Dietz has noticed this trend and believes it will be beneficial for both the team’s record and the overall team camaraderie. “I feel like this year everyone’s a part of everything. Like we’re all just a good group of guys that are getting together,” Dietz said.

Similar to last season, the Red Knights football team have lost their first three games, with two of them being by large margins. After only scoring 40 points and letting up 113 so far, Dietz looks to bounce back after finally being able to play schools in the same class. “We started off like we started last year, where we had a super hard schedule and it’s really easy to get down on yourselves and your teammates…so I think that set the tone where people started to kind of lose hope with the team and not really stick with their brothers,” Dietz said.

While they may have had a winless start, the captains and players of the team are still optimistic. “Game by game, week by week, we plan to get better, stronger and to win more games,” Frattalone said.

The players not only have hope for the rest of the season, but also have aspirations for many seasons to come with a strong group of underclassmen. “There’s a lot of new talent…in the future, we’re definitely going to be a super solid team…overall I think our team personnel-wise is for sure looking more talented than last year,” Frattalone said.

McMenomy wants everyone to know that there are good times ahead. Their goal is to make their fourth State tournament appearance and first since 2015. “It’s a long season. You don’t remember the first three games in the season as long as you end with a good playoff run,” McMenomy said.