The St. Thomas More Knights, who have been inching upward through the highest levels of the national high school football rankings over the past month, finally made it to the top Monday morning.
The Knights, who won the Golden Horseshoe Bowl, crushing Welland Notre Dame 57-7 as part of the OFSAA Bowls Festival last week at Tim Hortons Field, moved from No. 4 to No. 1 on canadafootballchat.com, the top football ranking service in the country.
The Knights were 10-0 this year and are 20-1 over the past two years.
“It’s quite an honour for the kids,” said Knights head coach Claudio Silvestri. “This is all about the student athletes who give so much, not only all season but in preparation in the off-season. All their hard work has paid off for them.
“It’s like nothing we’ve ever gone through as a coaching staff, to have virtually every game won by a minimum of 30 points.
“But the team did face a lot of diversity with illnesses, injury and some discipline issues. It wasn’t just sit back every week. Different kids had to step up in different spots, and they did it. It’s a testament to what this team is all about. There was great leadership from these athletes.”
The Knights were ranked No. 1 in the country once before, in 2007.
“I thought it was maybe never going to happen again,” Silvestri said. “We had a special team back then also. We try to deliver the same program year-in and year-out. These kids were just extra special.”
Seminaire Saint-Francois Blizzard, located just outside Quebec City, is ranked second and third went to Harry Ainlay Titans of Edmonton, while Windsor Holy Names Knights who dropped previous No. 1 London South in last week’s Western Bowl at Tim Hortons Field moved up to fourth from ninth.
Cardinal Newman Cardinals, who were edged by Toronto St. Mike’s in last week’s OFSAA Bowls opener, moved up to 26th from 29th.
“It was certainly a memorable year,” Silvestri said.
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