The Cathedral Crusaders have a new head coach for the 2019 season in Jason Klinefelter. Klinefelter takes the reins from Mark Chamernick, who stepped down at the end of the 2018 campaign.

“The biggest thing, I think at the high school level, is making sure when they leave here they are better young men for having played football,” Klinefelter said. “We play to win every game, but along the way we try to teach lessons that they can take with them outside of football.”

Klinefelter says the number of players out for football this year has increased, which has produced some position battles.

“ We’ve got 67 kids out, which is 12-15 more than last year,” Klinefelter said. “We have a little bit of inter-squad competition going on at several spots.

“At quarterback we have two very qualified guys to compete for that spot, and we have a couple spots on the line we are two or three-deep in, so we are excited.”

The first-year coach will have 15 seniors on this year’s squad, nearly double the number Chamernick had on the 2018 team, which finished  0-9.

“It’s significant (to have 15 seniors), because last year we played with eight,” Klinefelter said. “So to double the number of guys leading the younger guys is significant.”

As usual, the Crusaders will play a tough schedule which includes rivals such as Foley, Albany and New London-Spicer.  Klinefelter says it’s important to not look too far down the schedule.

“We are looking forward to just getting the season started and taking it one game at a time,” Klinefelter said. “We’ll see if we can knock a couple wins out here right out of the gate.”