St. Francis Football Returns 19 Seniors From State Semifinal Team
TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City St. Francis carried an undefeated record into their state semifinal game with Pewamo-Westphalia, losing 28-21 to end the season with a 12-1 record.
This year, 19 seniors are back for the Gladiators, looking to carry the program back to Ford Field for the second time in three years.
St. Francis also has a pair of four-year varsity players back for the team this year with Joey Donahue and Drew Hardy. They lose all-state quarterback Charlie Peterson, but will replace him with another athlete with Wyatt Nausadis.
The Gladiators are also excited for their tough schedule ahead. They won their conference last year with an exciting 38-30 win over Kingsley in the season finale, so they expect another great season in the NMFL-Legends division. They’ve also stacked their non-conference schedules with Jackson Lumen Christi, Flint Beecher and Detroit Country Day.
“I don’t think we’ve had a tougher schedule anywhere near this tough of the schedule at least. So it should prepare us,” St. Francis senior Burke Flowers said.
“It’ll make us have to be more dialed in and more focused so we are more prepared and that’ll help us be more prepared for the playoffs, facing those tougher teams on the road,” St. Francis senior Drew Hardy said.
Jackson Lumen Christi should provide that challenge in the second week of the season. Both the Gladiators and Titans had their seasons end in the state semifinals last year. They previously met in 2020 where St. Francis won, 21-20, at home. This year, it’ll be at Lumen Christi.
“I think it’ll be a quick early season barometer for us. We’ve never played at Lumen Christi, so that road trip will be interesting,” St. Francis head coach Josh Sellers said. “But however the game goes, whether it’s a win or loss, I think it’ll kind of tell us where we are as a program.”
St. Francis has won a district title every year since 2014. They have made five state semifinal appearances during that time. They’ll start their season on Aug. 26 at home against Ogemaw Heights.foot