Numbers Have Lions Optimistic About SPC Strides

St. Mark’s is making progress, even if upward mobility in the standings is challenging in the SPC’s daunting large-school classification.

The Lions won four of their six non-division games last season but were outscored by their quartet of 4A conference rivals by a combined margin of 190-48.

“We took some major steps forward,” said third-year St. Mark’s head coach Harry Flaherty. “Our schedule was a little tougher, but our players really invested a lot and improved the program.”

More depth and experience could help St. Mark’s close the gap this season, with several starters returning on both sides of scrimmage.

Noah Williams has played five positions for the Lions, while Henry Estes has been a force on the offensive and defensive line. Both are juniors with two years of starting experience.

Jimmy Francis and Lawrence Gardner are battling for the starting quarterback job. Both could see action early in the season.

“We’ve got two guys who can play the position,” Flaherty said. “We feel confident that either of them could get the job done.”

Top receiver Lucas Blumenthal returns after a terrific debut season in which he caught 11 touchdown passes. Fellow receiver Mateu Parker is also back.

Other key returnees include linebacker Nolan Marcus, tight end Baker Long, and linemen Thomas Clancy, Ben Erwin, and Charlie Hill.

“Our goal internally is just to be tougher in terms of our physicality, our effort, and our fundamentals,” Flaherty said. “If we focus on those things, we can continue to be more and more competitive.”

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