How ‘bout them Saders?
The Concordia Lutheran Crusaders have a drastic new culture of? Toughness.
“It’s a renewable resource,” first-year head coach Willie Amendola said. “You can make kids tough and confident by coaching them up. You might not make them the fastest or most athletic, but they can always be tough.”
The Crusaders are 4-0 for the first time since 2017 as they head into district play in two weeks.
Willie Amendola took over in the spring after a lengthy career all over the city of Houston from HISD to Spring ISD. He won a State Title as the head coach of the Dekaney Wildcats in 2011.
“Going back to the beginning of when I got here, we were always going to be physical, run the ball and play good defense,” he said. “They bought into it. These are some smart kids eager to win and they see it. Now, we have a culture of being more physical and tougher. We have little freshman running around here with that same mindset – being tough.”
The Crusaders have knocked off St. John 23, Liberty, Beaumont Kelly and Lutheran South so far and even mixed in a wild, game-winning pass by QB Louden Sebree to beat the Pioneers with 20 seconds left.
“The crazy thing is that we play three sophomore quarterbacks. It was just Louden’s turn in the rotation,” Amendola said. “They all have their own skill sets and we are going to continue to rotate. We threw to seven receivers last week, so we are getting everyone involved. Our guys up front have done a great job too.”
Leading rusher Ayden Dominy is a little banged up and will be back in a few weeks.
On the defensive side of the ball, Lou Lamar and Isaac Keiper are patrolling the secondary. Junior LB Alex Kissamis has been all over the field and DL Gianluca Decillo has been wrecking opposing offense’s game plans.
“Decillo had like 13 tackles and a blocked punt the other night,” Amendola said. “Our defense is really playing well and getting a lot of takeaways. They are just more physical and run to the football.”
Amendola hasn’t cracked the football code or anything but his experience over several decades is turning heads in the private school world so far.
“Just look at the power programs over the years – North Shore, Katy, Westfield,” he said. “That is how they win – being physical. Toughness doesn’t graduate, it’s ingrained.”
Next up for Concordia Lutheran is Homecoming against The Woodlands Christian Academy.