St. Stanislaus is stop number 18 on News 25’s ’25 Teams in 25 Days.’ Having made the playoffs in each of the last six years, the Rock-A-Chaws are pretty consistently doing all the big things right.
Heading into 2019 it is the little things that have SSC’s attention, all thanks to some summer reading.
Wide receiver Dallas Payne said, “At first we were like come on, Coach! Why we got to read a book? But then afterwards we started reading it (“Extreme Ownership”) and getting into it and learning the real meaning behind it, we actually appreciated why he told us to read the book.”
From the battlefield to the football field, St. Stanislaus doesn’t have to have a roster full of Navy Seals to take extreme ownership over the program’s first losing season since 2012. “I’ve messed up routes and I’ll be like yeah, that’s my fault. Go back to the huddle, say that’s my fault.”
Head Coach Nate Encrapera said, “You’d be hard-pressed to find a team that watches more film than we do. But it’s looking at the film, and getting them to take ownership to the fact that even when it works out right for them, that they’re recognizing when they’re lucky and when they’re good.”
The Rock-A-Chaws were mostly good last season, posting a mark of 4-1 in Region 8 Class 4A. But overall, they were just 5-6 and failed to win at least one playoff game for the first time since 2012.
Tight end/ linebacker Lee Negrotto said, “One of the main things is like don’t worry about the big things because if you do and don’t focus on the little things, you’re not going to get to the big things. If you take care of every little thing like week by week, game by game, you’ll get to where you want to be which is obviously the state championship.”
SSC is now three years removed from its last state title game appearance, having represented the South in 2014 and 2015. For the Rocks, getting back to championship form starts with those little things and attention to detail.
“When you go back and watch the film and it’s that one little thing that keeps from a touchdown to like a 5-yard run, it’s like dang that little thing messed us up from getting that touchdown,” Payne said.
For whatever reason, the Rock-A-Chaws weren’t scoring consistently enough in 2018, going 1-6 in games in which they put up 14 points or less. Conversely, they dropped at least 24 points in their other four wins.
“Every day,” Encrapera said. “We’re reflecting on that every day. So, the biggest thing is – the thing that stood out last year is we weren’t consistent.”
Payne added, “We have our ups and downs, but this year I think we’re going to have more ups. I think we’re not going to have as many downs, so I think that’s the difference between last year and this year.”
The next difference is a much deeper senior class of 2020 with the season marking the 10-year anniversary of SSC’s 2009 state championship run.
From Dylan Favre to Max Favre, maybe it will come full circle with yet another one of Brett Favre’s nephews under center.
“We try to not really compare ourselves to them but be better than them,” Negrotto said. “Try to do as much as we can to be the class to be remembered.”
Encrapera said, “They’ve witnessed those games in Oxford and those games in Starkville, whether they were a younger person on the team or they had an older brother, and so they understand what that’s about and I think that makes them a little more hungry.”