There’s a familiar Baltimore football voice back on the high school sidelines. Long time Gilman head coach Biff Poggi is now leading St. Frances.
“It feels good to be back. Great to be back,” said Poggi. “This team is really good. We have a lot of very good players. But, more importantly, they’ve worked really hard.”
Poggi returns to the area after spending over a year on the University of Michigan football staff.
“I learned more football in 17 months that I was there than I’ve learned in my whole career,” added Poggi.
He inherits a Panthers team coming off a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association “A” conference championship. Poggi is officially a co-head coach alongside Henry Russell. Most of the current coaching staff was with them at Gilman.
“Those guys did an unbelievable job,” said Poggi. “Really I’m walking into a situation where Henry and his staff just really laid out the game plan.”
On defense St. Frances is led by the top-ranked defensive end in the country, 6’5”, 230 lbs. senior Eyabi Anoma.
“My mindset is just get after it,” said Anoma. “I need the other person to feel where I’m coming from. When I leave the game I want the other person to be like ‘Wow, I don’t want to play against him no more.’”
On offense the Panthers are going with a pair of junior quarterbacks, Logan Holgorsen and Jaylon Jones. Their primary weapon will be senior wide receiver Randy Fields, who has committed to West Virginia University.
“We have great pieces. We’re putting them all together. Our offense is about competing. We have hard workers. I feel as though we’re going to be great,” said Fields.
Things get going for real for St. Frances on Saturday at 12 p.m. when they open the season against Canada Football Prep Academy, out of Ontario, at Dunbar High School football field.