The St. Thomas Aquinas High School (STA) football team is proud of the hard work and dedication of its student-athletes this season. The mission of the football team is to instill values of not only the game but also STA’s Catholic faith and traditions.
This year, money was raised by generous donors to invest in new uniforms, helmets, and shoulder pads for the team. Participation has increased by 50 percent, and the team has the largest freshman class in years. Sirpilla Stadium had a facelift, with stadium wrap and lights renovations. On game days, you will see the players in collared shirts and ties, a new policy put in place by Coach Troy Burick. Another policy put in place by Coach Burick is that all football players are required to attend study tables to maintain the STA tradition of academic excellence.
Coach Burick, says this is a building year, and he sees a great future for the program, on and off the field. He is excited for the team to be on the field for weeks nine and ten, and has been providing a magnitude of ways the players can see that the game is more than just football; it is about family, faith, and service to others. The coaching team at STA is dedicated to building a stronger program and even better athletes, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
The team has been active not only in practicing and lifting weights but also serving as mentors and big brothers to the undefeated St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School football team. High school players support the middle school team by attending their games, assisting in coaching, and having opportunities to build one-on-one relationships with their younger peers. The high school athletes have also taken leadership coaching roles during STA’s PowderPuff game. The boys have taken the junior and senior girls under their wing to play the PowderPuff game on Friday, October 7. They assisted in teaching the girls the fundamentals, history, and value of the game, and led the senior girls to victory. The varsity, middle school, and PowderPuff teams, along with coaches and parents, hold ‘team feeds’ together, which are provided by the players' parents, solidifying the family-like atmosphere at STA.
Volunteering and service projects are a standard at STA, and the football team has taken this head-on. They’ve volunteered at the Hall of Fame’s Playmakers camp, spending time running stations and working one-on-one with special needs children. Over the summer, the team hosted a youth camp for elementary students. The team has helped around the school by moving (and removing) desks, chairs and furniture. They also do a “stadium walk” after home games to ensure it is clean and ready for the next Knights' games.
“We have talented, and determined young players,” says Burick. “Despite the challenges, they have remained dedicated to the game, their peers, and to others in our community. We look forward to welcoming our upcoming freshman class, and growing the program even more for next season.”