25 Teams in 25 Days: St. Stanislaus Rock-a-Chaws

As Myles Brennan gets ready to take over for Joe Burrow as the guy at LSU, News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days is crashing the party at his old stomping grounds for stop number 15.

Even though the state’s all-time leading passer has already been gone a few years, the Rock-a-Chaws are still very much aware of what the standard is no matter who’s wearing the ‘S’ on their chest.

Head Coach Nate Encrapera said, “We’ve got a really high expectation. We do every year at Stanislaus, and we’re not going to lower the standard. The standard is the standard, as Mike Tomlin always says.”

The standard of back-to-back 4A South State championships in 2014 and 2015 and of course the program’s lone state crown back in 2009 is certainly a lot to live up to by anyone’s standard. Wide Receiver Nour Tayara said, “Yeah, I mean we have to maintain it because the people before us, they set the mark. They set what needs to be done, and we need to hold that up.”

Strong Safety Grant Sides said, “Yeah, I mean it’s a lot of pressure to have that legacy put on you, but whenever you have to step up, you step up.”

The Rock-a-Chaws took a step in the right direction in 2019, bouncing back from the program’s first losing season since 2012 with an overall mark of 6-5, but district losses to Moss Point and Pass Christian still aren’t quite sitting right all these months later. “Yeah, we were doing great and then that game against the Pass where we lost in the end, it was kind of like an esteem dropper because we’re supposed to beat them. I feel like we’re supposed to beat the Pass. I feel like we’re supposed to be on top of the district.”

“I think it’s just the biggest teaching tool for us is to really take every game as seriously as we possibly can, and to not let past reputations of that team affect us anymore.”

That head-to-head loss to the Pirates cost the Rocks a home playoff game and sent them on the road to see red-hot Poplarville. “It was crazy, that 2-3 seed match-up for us last year, we weren’t kind of expecting that. But I told the kids, eventually you’re going to have to beat those guys anyway at some point.”

The eventual South State champion Hornets knocked SSC out of the postseason for the second time in three years also handing Stanislaus its second straight first round exit after winning at least one playoff game in five consecutive seasons. “We just talk together about how in the past we kind of fell short these past couple of years, and we just want to bring it back to where it was.”

“We feel like the last three years we should have been further along and we’ve gotten cut short, so we’ve very ready. And we feel like especially this year, we’re a little more doubted than we have been in the past, so we’re really ready to get out there.”

Heading into the 2020 campaign, Stanislaus is still in the midst of a quarterback battle to replace Max Favre between Alex Fabra and Gage Peterson.

The Rocks also lose close to 90 percent of their wide receiver production, more than 1,200 yards coming from the state’s second leading receiver Dallas Payne. On the bright side, SSC returns nine defensive starters as well as 15 seniors, ready to embrace the standard of legacy and even film study. “We talk about that all the time and we talk about your jersey and all of the names that preceded you that wore that number, and that’s something they understand. Especially with this group, I really don’t have to impress upon them. Like I said, we watch so much film.”

“So I came in as a freshman, so I never actually got to see Myles and them play in person, so watching the film it blows me away every single time looking at how fluid that offense was and then coming in, I really began to understand how good of a legacy Stanislaus has.”

As a result of COVID-19, Stanislaus moved its August 21st road game against St. Joseph Catholic to October 18th which was previously a road game at South Plaquemines.

The Rocks also moved their August 28th road date at Long Beach to their open date on September 18th. They’ll open up the 2020 season on September 4th at home against St. Martin.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports

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