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Fall Sports Preview: Driver takes over as head coach at St. Albert

Fall Sports Preview: Driver takes over as head coach at St. Albert

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Jake Driver is exactly where he wants to be.

After a 13-year stint as a St. Albert assistant coach, Driver is now leading the program he once suited up for.

“It’s a dream come true,” Driver said. “When I played here, I always had great coaches, and I always want to give back to the St. Albert community. This is always where I wanted to be and I’m excited to be taking over the leadership role of this program.”

Driver, a 1998 St. Albert graduate, previously served as a linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for the Falcons. During his tenure as an assistant, he helped guide St. Albert to five state championship games, winning three (2006, 2007 and 2009). He takes over for Pat Ryan, who went 10-8 in two seasons and stepped down to focus on his position as director of curriculum/principal at St. Albert, but is still involved with the football team in a more limited capacity.

Driver showed the type of mentality he wants for the program right away, accepting a Week 1 game against Lewis Central, which made it to the Class 3-A semifinals in 2019. The Titans needed a game after COVID-19 schedule changes, and Driver accepted the challenge. Although the Falcons lost 28-3, Driver’s mindset on why he agreed to the game holds true.

“I come from the old philosophy of if you want to be the best, you have to play the best,” Driver said. “Right now, they’re the measuring stick in 3-A football, in my opinion.”

Offensively, sophomore Brendan Monahan got the Week 1 nod at QB as the Falcons look to replace last year’s starter Lance Wright, who threw for 809 yards and eight touchdowns and ran for 306 yards and three touchdowns in 2019.

The Falcons have multiple weapons back as well in seniors Sam Rallis (team-high 241 receiving yards in 2019), Cy Patterson (367 rushing yards, 181 receiving yards), Connor Cerny (team-high 443 rushing yards, 153 receiving) and Jeff Miller (134 yards receiving).

Defensively, the Falcons return their top five tacklers from last season – all seniors – led by linebacker Bennett Grontstall, who had a team-high 74.5 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss last year.

St. Albert hopes to bounce back from their Week 1 loss and continue a trend started down the stretch last season. After beginning the year 1-4, the Falcons won their final four games by a combined score of 155-34.

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