The Rich Holzer era at Mount St. Joseph began with a bang and it never really slowed down, as the Gaels turned in one of their best football seasons in years, posting an 8-3 mark and finishing in a three-way tie for second in the MIAA A Conference.

Is more of the same on tap for 2016?

The great start included a 53-12 season-opening win over Cardinal Mooney (OH) at Youngstown State University and victories in four of the Gaels’ first five games, including a sensational 36-33 victory over perennial league power McDonogh.

One of St. Joe’s strengths last fall was its defense and returning to lead that unit is All-MIAA, and Honorable Mention All-State senior defensive end BJ Morgan. Morgan, who is also a Super 22 selection, had 15 quarterback sacks in 2015.

Senior Aaron Johnson, a two-year team captain, is also back at linebacker, while seniors Ahmad McCullough and Darren Dunmoodie and junior Bradon Savage anchor one of top secondaries in the MIAA A.

Seniors Anthony Ruffin (6-3, 335) and Kyle Hunter (6-3, 305) will man the offensive tackle slots, protecting senior quarterback Christian Carter (6-2, 215) who takes over the starter’s role. In addition, junior running back Sam James (5-11, 225) and junior wide receivers Keyshawn Hailey (6-2, 205) and Matt McDonald (6-4, 185) will be counted on to make plays on the offensive side of the football.

2016 MOUNT ST. JOSEPH GAELS

Head Coach: Rich Holzer

Seasons/Record: 2/8-3 (Overall 8/50-32)

Top Players:
BJ Morgan – Sr., DE, 6-2, 225 (15 Sacks, All MIAA, Super 22, HM All-State)
Anthony Ruffin – Sr., OT, 6-3, 335 (All-MIAA, HM All-State, Captain)
Aaron Johnson – Sr., LB, 6-2, 205 (2 Year Team Captain)
Ahmad McCullough Sr., SS, 6-3, 195
Brandon Savage – Jr., CB, 5-9, 170
Darren Dunmoodie – Sr., FS, 5-10, 170
Christian Carter – Sr., QB, 6-1, 215
Sam James – Jr., RB, 5-11, 225
Keyshawn Hailey – Jr., WR, 6-2, 205
Kyle Hunter – Sr., OT, 6-2, 305
Matt McDonald – Jr., WR, 6-4, 185