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SP6: James St. Hill
SP6: James St. Hill
In partnership with the Newsplex, we're bringing you the second annual edition of the Scrimmage Play Six, a series that highlights six of the area's top prep quarterbacks. We continue with Monticello quarterback James St. Hill.
Since Monticello launched its football program in 1998 its stability and quality of play at quarterback has been exceptional. In just the last five years two of its last three starters have signed deals to play for William and Mary (Mike Graham, class of 2009, Jhalil Mosley, class of 2013). With a first year coach Jeff Woody taking over and installing the offense that led him to a pair of state titles at Brookeville the last two years, all eyes are on James St. Hill.
Following big shoes has become a right of passage for QBs at Monticello and St. Hill takes over for Mosley, a 3-year starter who thrived on his dual-threat ablity. Monticello has another opportunity to churn out a top-end starter with St. Hill as he begins his senior season suddenly front stage center for a team that won a pair of Region II playoff games last year.
Of course in keeping with the theme, St. Hill and Woody aren’t alone in being the new additions for the Mustangs. Graduation, injuries and players simply moving around have this roster almost completely turned over in all areas with a notable exception being standout running back and safety T.J. Tillery. So there’s an awful lot going on for this newest crop of Monticello athletes, and the executioner of Woody’s new scheme is only concerned with what he can control, a good sign of maturity already.
“I haven’t been thinking about any of that, the pressure or anything,” St. Hill said. “I’m just coming out and trying to play the game, do whatever it is I can to help my team and teammates win games. I’m not thinking about the pressure, I’m thinking about what I need to for the coaches and the players.”
And for a quarterback equipped with outstanding athleticism, St. Hill brings the ability to extend plays down field, evade defenders and rack up a whole lot of yardage with his legs. Of course, St. Hill knows that’s all a moot point if he doesn’t perfect the finer details of playing quarterback. He doesn’t plan on being a running back.
“I’m working on technique right now, looking to get everything right so that hopefully it will carry into the season,” St. Hill said. “If I don’t have the proper technique it’s going to mess me up in the games, so I’ve got to get it down right so I can keep getting better as the season goes on.”
In his tenure at Brookville, Woody’s offensive schemes featured a ton of different formations, lots of motion and incredible balance. With St. Hill’s skill set the possibilities seem limitless. Woody’s previous quarterbacks at Brookville include Kendall BeCraft who went 46-4 to lead the way to back-to-back Group AA Division 3 championships and before that, current Virginia Tech starting quarterback Logan Thomas. Learning the system that launched those quarterbacking careers has St. Hill obviously excited.
“It’s pretty fun but it is a way different system than before,” St. Hill said. “I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by what we’re running because they’re not used to it. But it is a lot of fun.”
There’s a lot of intrigue surrounding this Mustangs football team with so many new faces in the mix. Expect St. Hill to be one of the newcomers that has a dramatic effect on how a revamped Jefferson District will play out this fall. One of the hardest things for opposing coaches to do is design up defenses on new quarterbacks thrown in prominent roles. The only person who knows what to expect of St. Hill right now is Woody, and that’s not a bad place to be if you’re Monticello.