It was a special season a year ago for Madonna, capping off an undefeated season with a 27-7 win over Man in the state championship game.
This year, the Blue Dons returned a solid core of players in defensive of that state title a year ago. Still, head coach Bob Kramer said his team doesn’t feel any extra pressure on a possible repeat.
“Our kids just accepted it, they moved on and each team brings its own personality year in and year out,” Kramer said. “You can’t be the team you were last year and this year’s team can’t be next year’s team. As kids graduate and move on and kids develop, each team takes on its own personality.”
And so far this season, the 2010 edition of Madonna football is off to a 7-1 start and number 10 ranking in Class A heading into week number 10.
“So far our season has gone pretty good,” Kramer said. “We lost to an undefeated team from Ohio (Bridgeport) that is a very good football team. So, I’m real pleased with the way things have gone for us this year.”
A big reason for Madonna’s success again on the field this season is thanks to its senior running back Connor Arlia. He made the switch to running back in the offseason after leading the Blue Dons in receiving for the past two seasons.
“Everybody would like to have a Connor Arlia on their football team, believe me,” Kramer said. “He’s such a gentleman and such a student of the game and he works so hard at it – he deserves everything he gets.”
A week ago against Toronto, Ohio, Arlia had a huge game, finishing with 306 rushing yards and five total touchdowns. Those touchdowns came off of runs of 2 yards, 15 yards, 22 yards, 58 yards and 91 yards. After that game against Toronto, Arlia was named the WVMetroNews.com Player of the Week.
“He’s solid, he’s worked on his speed, his quickness – he doesn’t mind taking on tacklers,” Kramer said. “He can run around them, he can put moves on – he’s the complete running back.”
He’s also a big threat on the defensive side of the ball and on special teams for the Blue Dons.
“He’s returned a couple punts for touchdowns so far this year,” Kramer said. “He had a couple interceptions, was all-state defensive linebacker last year and he can do it all.”
For the complete feature on Arlia and the Blue Dons, you can click the link at the top of the page.