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St. Francis football has something to prove in 2013

Football: After 4-7 year, Golden Knights looking to vault back into thick of Mission League.

September 04, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • St. Francis High football's Austin Finton, left, looks to add to a strong offensive line in 2013.
St. Francis High football's Austin Finton, left,… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

A season ago at this time, St. Francis High’s football team was brimming with fresh faces and uncertainty.

With just three returning starters, the inexperienced crop of Golden Knights incurred a rocky season characterized by close losses that culminated in a 4-7 campaign with a one-win Mission League showing that just barely squeezed them into the CIF Southern Section Western Division playoffs.

This time around, there’s plenty more experience, but still some difficult departures to overcome and questions to be answered.

“Honestly, I’ve tried to not bring [last season] up. One of the beautiful things about this profession is every year the makeup of the team is brand new,” St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds said. “As a staff, we’re trying not to harp on the mistakes we made last year, cause they know.

“It’s easy to say we could’ve won or we should’ve, but we didn’t.”

While Bonds and his staff aren’t making last year’s struggles a focal point, it’s clear his Golden Knights are very much concentrated on leaving their own mark while erasing the bitter taste of last season.

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“This is St. Francis football; 4-7 is a disappointing year and I think we have a chip on our shoulder,” senior offensive/defensive lineman Trevor Provencio said, “because last year we know we could’ve done so much better and this year, we know we’ll be better than 4-7.”

Provencio is at the center of an offensive line that might well be the strength of the team, boasting three returning starters and hopeful of keying an offensive rife with potential in the skill positions.

“Just a lot of experience on our line,” said senior running back/cornerback Joe Mudie. “I think that’s the strongest part of our offense. That’s where it all starts.”

St. Francis will open up on the road Friday at Chino in the hopes of starting the season on the right note, a mantra very much at the forefront for the Golden Knights. They had four defeats come via seven points or less in 2012 and dictating the tempo of the game and limiting the times they play from behind might well be keys to those close losses turning into close wins.

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