ST. LOUIS – There will be new beginnings for the Cardinal Ritter College Prep football team after they were disqualified from the postseason and fired their former head football coach.
On Thursday evening, the school announced the new athletic director and head coach.
In a closed meeting, the school allowed the new athletic director and head coach to get acquainted with the students and parents.
Brennan Spain, a former assistant coach with the East Saint Louis Flyers, soared as the team went all the way to a state championship.
“They’re really good with their team, so I thought that was really neat,” said Marilyn Toomb, a parent.
Spain will now roar with the Cardinals Ritter Lions and lead the pack as the head coach as they bounce back from a penalty.
Spain said he foresees no challenges despite what the school has gone through and he plans for them to hit the field chasing perfection.
“I’m looking to bring myself, high energy, and high character,” he said. “Me, knowing how to build a successful program, I’m just excited to transfer what I’ve learned.”
The school also announced a new athletic director, Robert Wallace, coming from Riverview Gardens High School with 21 years of experience in secondary education.
“I think they have some really good, qualified people,” Toomb said.
It was a fall from grace when the once top-ranked team for small schools in the country was forced to forfeit games, the athletic director retired, and the head coach was fired for playing ineligible athletes.
Now, the school is hoping to gain back yards as well as trust. Spain said building relationships with both the athletes and parents will be his first play.
“The first thing I want to do is to really get to know them off the field the success on this field comes with a success off the field,” Spain said.
“It’s a team effort it takes all of us,” Toomb said.
“As long as we are chasing perfection, you can be the best scholar-athlete that you can be,” Spain said.
Parents, meanwhile, are pushing for good examples after this season’s fumble.
“First off, our kids are looking up to these people, so in order to mentor them and guide them in the right way they have to be right themselves,” said Toomb.
“I really hope that they get their reputation back because I’ve always heard good things about the school that’s why I chose the school for my son.”
Archbishop Robert Carlson of the school released a tweet in response to the announcement saying:
I support the work that Tamiko Armstead and the leadership team at Cardinal Ritter College Prep have done to ensure commitment to the school’s mission. Rooted in the teachings of our #Catholic faith, Cardinal Ritter has a long history of academic excellence supported by its athletic programs. I look forward to the work that Athletic Director Rob Wallace and Football Coach Brennan Spain will do to carry on that legacy.