Saturday, February 26, 2011

National High School Football Powers De La Salle and St. Thomas Aquinas to Square-off in September

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

They've been two of the best high school football programs in their respective states for a long De La Salle (Concord, CA) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) will square-off on the field for bragging rights.  And, ESPN will be there to capture the action and give a national audience a look at the California/Florida bragging rights battle.

ESPN officials have announced they will televise the September 23rd match-up live on one of their networks.  Last year STA won Florida's 5A championship; De La Salle, which is riding a 25-game win streak, won California's Open Division title.

Of course that 25-game win streak doesn't hold a candle to the Spartans' national record 151-game win streak that was set between 1992-2003.

Maybe the only disappointment about the game is that long-time Raider head coach George Smith won't be guiding his team.  Smith announced earlier this year that he had decided to retire.  If the legendary Smith, who led Aquinas to six state titles, hadn't stepped-down, the game would have matched two of high school football's best.  De La Salle's Bob Ladouceur owns a 372-23-3 record since he took over in Concord in 1979.

"Playing a great program like St. Thomas Aquinas is a positive opportunity. Win or lose, they'll make us a better team. It should be an exciting game," said Ladouceur in a news release.

Former defensive coordinator Rocco Casullo will take over for Smith, but it was the former coach who spoke about the match-up in the ESPN news release saying "To have the chance to play a program like De La Salle is a great challenge for our program and to us a great thing for high school football in both states. It should be an outstanding game for both schools, both states and fans of high school football nationwide."

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