The last time St. John’s won a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship was back in 1989. A time when the “Simpsons” started and Indiana Jones rode into the sunset in his last crusade.
Now the Cadets have made an appearance in the title game. In fact, the last time St. John’s was in the championship was in 2013 when the team lost to DeMatha.
In 2014, the Cadets missed out on the playoffs as they supported a 2-4 conference record. St. John’s bounced back in 2015 by earning a playoff berth, but fell to DeMatha in the WCAC semifinals.
St. John’s is entering this season with a lot of confidence that things are going to be difference from years past.
“It feels like a new era,” junior lineman Kameron Goode told Washington Post’s Mark Giannotto. “We were missing a piece in the puzzle and we just got that new piece, Kasim Hill. That’s all we needed, for real.”
Goode was right about one thing; former Gilman quarterback Kasim Hill is a big piece to the Cadets team this year. The four-star Maryland commit is one of the top players in the Washington, D.C. area. Hill is the No. 2 player in D.C. and the No. 11 pro-style quarterback in the country, according to 247sports.
Besides Hill, St. John’s brought in another Terps commit in defensive/offensive lineman Cam Spence. The four-star recruit, who is originally from the area, transferred from IMG Academy (FL.). Spence and sophomore linebacker Shane Lee from Gilman are a great replacements for Terrell Hall and Aaron Hansford, who moved on to the collegiate level.
Five-star Auburn commit Calvin Ashley continues the list of blue-chip recruits that will wear the Cadets uniform for the first time. Not to mention that St. John’s are returning nine starters-four on offense and five on defense-which includes wide receiver Ed Lee, defensive lineman/ running back Tyree Johnson and running back Keilan Robinson.
Add all of that together and St. John’s has a pretty good roster for first year head coach Joe Casamento. However, this heavily talented team will be put to the test early in the season. Two of the five out of conference teams the Cadets will face are in the top 10 of the USA Today Preseason Rankings. IMG Academy, who St. John’s plays on Sep. 17, is ranked No. 4 in the nation. American Heritage is the sixth best school in the country. Then they will have to deal with their tough conference schedule that features No. 9 DeMatha, Gonzaga and Good Counsel.
This new look St. John’s team is built to a threat to DeMatha’s chances at winning its fourth straight conference title.