Center Steven Fletcher knows every play starts with him. And it was no surprise that the big man was right in the thick of St. Anthony's game-changing third quarter.
Fletcher, a 6-2, 255-pounder, anchored an offensive line that paved the way for St. Anthony's to score 21 unanswered third-quarter points and amass 485 yards of total offense in a 35-0 win over Chaminade in the CHSFL title game Saturday at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Hempstead.
"We came together as a line this year," said Fletcher, as the Friars earned their 11th CHSFL crown in the past 13 years.
Fletcher knows a lot about St. Anthony's tradition. He was the last of three brothers to win a CHSFL title for the school. His brother Alex won three titles from 2001-2003. And Austen earned two crowns from 2006-2007 before going on to become an all-conference player at Dartmouth.
"It is a family thing and we all play center," Steven said. "Now we've all had the opportunity to experience winning a title."
St. Anthony's coach Rich Reichert, who won his 231st game, the most of any Suffolk coach in county history, was more than pleased with his offensive line, especially the guy in the middle of it all.
"We're going to miss Steven," Reichert said. "He never missed a game in three years and he played hurt at times. He's a brilliant student and a scholar athlete. And as the youngest, he's always lived in the shadow of his older brothers."
Steven Fletcher will attend Princeton next fall and follow in the footsteps of his father, a Princeton graduate.
"I'm proud of him," said Alex, who played for Stanford University from 2004-2008 and signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 2009. "Steven worked so hard to become a great player and we look forward to seeing him play at the next level for Princeton."