The St. John’s College High School football team and girls soccer team were honored on the MaxPreps Tour of Champions for their accomplishments during the 2017 season.
District of Columbia Army National Guard Specialist Jermaine Bowens presented head football coach Joe Casamento and head soccer coach Allison Diaz, along with their respective teams, with Army National Guard national ranking trophies on Jan. 10 during an assembly. The teams also received a banner for their accomplishment.
“The Army National Guard represents teamwork and a commitment to community and country. Just as your team joins together to defeat adversity and win, the Army National Guard stands vigilant as a team to protect the community and country in which we live,” Master Sergeant Mark Wojciechowski said. “On behalf of the Army National Guard, I am privileged to recognize these nationally ranked championship teams for their dedication, leadership and teamwork.”
The Cadets’ football team finished No. 42 nationally according to the MaxPreps rankings. St. John’s College posted a 9-2 record with its only defeats coming at the hands of nationally-ranked teams from California. The two losses were by a combined eight points to No. 3 St. John Bosco of Bellflower (21-17) and to No. 15 De La Salle of Concord (35-31).
“To be recognized as one of the premier programs is special,” said Casamento, who is in his second year as head coach. “It takes a lot of hard work and commitment to win a championship and to have MaxPreps and the Army National Guard recognize it is a great thing.”
Andy Beal, president and founder of MaxPreps, also released a statement about the football team’s successes.
“Congratulations to the St. John’s College Cadets players, coaches and fans for an amazing year and for earning the Army National Guard’s national ranking trophy,” Beal said. “Each fall, more than 16,000 varsity football teams take the field with the dream of winning a state title. Nationwide, the best-of-the-best qualify for recognition on the MaxPreps Tour of Champions. Together with the Army National Guard, MaxPreps honors the most outstanding teams in the nation for their state championship performances and elite national level rankings.”
Although they did not win a state championship, the Cadets (9-2) came away with the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) title. St. John’s College beat Gonzaga, 30-7, on Nov. 18 to capture its first WCAC title in 28 years.
Meanwhile, the St. John’s College girls soccer team defeated Sidwell Friends, 3-2, in overtime to claim the District of Columbia state championship. On top of that, the team earned MaxPreps’ No. 12 ranking. The Cadets’ (20-1-1) lone loss came in a 4-1 decision to Archbishop Spalding on Sept. 9.
“We are really excited about receiving this award,” Diaz said. “The girls worked really hard and it showed in the final when we came away with the last win.”
The Cadets were one of 10 girls’ soccer teams to be selected to the Tour of Champions.
MaxPreps computer rankings are used to determine team ranks for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher its ranking. However the system also takes into account quality wins, margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.
Maxpreps supplied the information for this article.