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St. James Academy feasts eyes on second state championship title

St. James Academy
Posted at 5:15 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 23:45:39-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This Thanksgiving, St. James Academy is feasting its eyes on another state championship trophy.

This week, the Thunder is gobbling up a few extra practices to come up with a recipe for success.

"Anytime you practice in November, you're going to remember it forever," head football coach Tom Radke said.

The final games of the Kansas High School football season will be served up on Saturday.

"We're going to have to play a good game. We're going up against a great team in Andover Central," quarterback Jackson House said. "They've won a lot of football games but so have we. I trust our guys, I think we've got the guys to get it done and get another one back here."

St. James Academy will head to Topeka, Kansas, to compete for a second straight title.

"It would mean everything really because last year I was a junior and we won that and it was really special. It was all for the alumni, and now this is ours. Coach Radke keeps saying this is your state title, this is for you guys," wide receiver Tyler Claiborne said.

The Thunder went 0-4 to start the season, but turned things around. Eating up eight straight wins, the Thunder earned a seat at the championship table.

"Felt like almost everybody wrote us off, but in that locker room, we knew we had something special, so we just kept working as a team," House said.

House and Claiborne go together like mashed potatoes and gravy. In the teams semifinal win over Bishop Miege, House threw for over 300 yards, feeding many of those passes to Claiborne.

"He knows what I'm going to do, he knows what reads I'm going to make and what the defense is doing, we are just kind of on page with each other. That's the really good thing about us," Claiborne said.

St. James will face Andover Central at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Hummer Sports Complex.