Pick up your copy of The Greenville News on Friday, Aug. 23 for our complete high school football preview of area football teams, including 2019 schedules and returning starters.
Last season’s St. Joseph’s team was very young as it clawed its way to a 5-5 record and a first round loss in the playoffs.
This year the Knights are a year older and is chalked full of returning players.
One of the more versatile of the 18 returning starters is Josh Masters, who did it all last season.
When Masters began playing football he was a quarterback, but last season he spent time at defensive end, tight end, offensive tackle and even tried his hand – or foot – at punter.
“His commitment to his teammates is second to none and I don’t know what kind of team we would have had if it weren’t for Josh Masters’ last year,” St. Joseph’s coach Jon Wheeler said.
For Masters it was all about putting his ego aside and helping the Knights wherever he could.
“It was a little weird,” Masters conceded. “Quarterback was a position I loved playing, but this was something new that I learned to like too. I just had to put my ego aside and do it for the team.”
High school football begins: Here is the Upstate’s week-by-week high school football schedule for the 2019 season
In time, the prospect of never coming off the field actually became appealing to Masters.
“Throughout the season I was always on the field and it was tiring, but I thought it was really fun and I think I helped my team out a lot,” he said.
Wherever he plays, Masters and the Knights will be reliant on the run this season.
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St. Joseph’s runs a triple option offense and has many of the key components of that offense coming back, including running backs Rashad Luckey, K.D. Boyd and Harrison Scott.
The Knights will also have all the starters back from an offensive line that paved the way for 29 points and 295 yards on the ground per game.
The offense is designed to run similar to the Wofford College football team where Wheeler was an assistant coach before taking over the Knights in 2018.
Masters said the goal for St. Joseph’s is to win a playoff game, something it wasn’t able to do last season.
The goal is all in the details for Wheeler, who came from a world where success was always measured in the final score. He is more concerned with how his team reaches its goal.
“We always say ‘What if you guys turn this thing around? What if you guys could compete for the region, or win a playoff game and make a run?’ We always keep that in the back of their head,” he said. “We focus on the process because it gives you the chance to do those things that would be fun and really good for the school and athletic program, which is potentially compete for championships.”
The players seem to be starting to buy in.
“We have record attendance this year and I think we’re looking really good in the weight room and workouts,” Wheeler said. “We’re looking faster and stronger.”
- Dominick Berning, Sr., OL
- K.D. Boyd, So., RB
- Nick Crews, Sr., LB
- Matt Floyd, Sr., OL
- Andrew Kruk, Sr., OL
- Kyle Lonergan, Jr., WR
- Rashad Luckey, Sr., RB
- Mark Lyons, Jr., LB
- Josh Masters, Sr., DL
- Mike Mcleer, Sr., OL
- Alec Miller, Sr., LB
- Joseph Poole, Sr., DB
- Adam Rodgers, Sr. WR
- Marcos Salgado, Sr., DB
- Harrison Scott, So., RB
- Nathan Turcotte, Sr., DL
- Matthew Utecht, Jr., DB
- Alex Wimberly, Jr., OL
- 8/23 at Carolina
- 8/30 NINETY SIX
- 9/6 ANDERSON
- 9/13 LIBERTY
- 9/20 at West-Oak
- 10/4 at Southside Christian*
- 10/11 LANDRUM*
- 10/18 MCCORMICK
- 10/25 at Christ Church*
- 11/1 BLACKSBURG*
- * denotes region game