#CFC50 HS team preview (Cardinal Newman Cardinals – ON): Cardinals have big goals and the players to accomplish them

The Cardinal Newman Cardinals are a force to be reckoned with on the field. With 8 starters returning on offence, and 9 on defence, the Cardinals have an established nucleus of core players to lead the way once again this season.

Guided by their fourth year head coach, Anthony Macaluso, the Cardinals boast a balanced offensive attack that will keep opposing teams on their heels, as well as a relentless defence that has some big time talent.




The Cardinals are coming off an impressive 10-1 record from last season, a campaign that was one field goal away from an OFSAA Bowl victory. Heading into this season, the Cardinals had to fill a few offensive holes after graduating some key playmakers who are now playing CIS football. These players included the Cardinals’ quarterback, running back and wide receiver from last season.


The offensive group this year will look to key returnees like quarterback, Jordan Rimac and running back, Nick Petermann to sustain drives and rack up points against the opponent. Petermann will be leaned on to carry much of the load with the departure of running back Justin Connolly.

“Great vision, tough blocker, runs hard,” coach Macaluso said when describing Petermann.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals are blessed to have not one, but several outstanding athletes in their fold. The Cardinals will present an especially tough challenge to any team trying to run the ball, as their defensive front looks to be an immovable force.

“Defence has a great front-seven and athletes in the secondary,” coach Macaluso said.

Leading the way in this formidable front-seven is a player who is quite simply a monster on the field. Playing on both sides of the ball, defensive/offensive lineman Mitchell Thiele is the main anchor of the Cardinals’ stout defensive front. With his strength and relentless effort, Thiele is a priceless asset for the Cardinals.

“One of top DL in the country, very versatile, strong, and tough,” the Cardinals’ head coach said.


When it comes to the athletic versatility of the Cardinals, perhaps no single player exemplifies this than their impact player, Joey DiLabbio. Truly serving the role of x-factor, DiLabbio’s ability to play multiple positions at a high level makes him the ultimate Swiss-army knife when game planning against opposing teams.

“DiLabbio can play any position in the secondary as well as RB and LB,” coach Macaluso said. “His versatility allows us to adapt to team’s strengths.”


Cardinal Newman plays in one of the most competitive leagues in Ontario, and while the season goal is always to win it all, coach Macaluso knows that the road to a championship in the Hamilton Catholic League is never easy.

“The Hamilton Catholic league is one of the toughest in the province with 7 great teams,” the Cardinals’ head coach said. “The biggest rivalry continues to be with St. Thomas More who we’ve played in the last 2.”

The Cardinals have the talent, coaching and balance to find consistent success from week to week this season. The mission for coach Macaluso and his team is plain and simple: to go all the way.

“Hamilton, GHAC, and OFSAA Bowl victories,” coach Macaluso said when listing the Cardinals’ season goals.

Describing his team as “dynamic,” coach Macaluso knows that the sheer versatility his team possesses on both offence and defence allows the Cardinals to have a many different options when lining up on game day.

“We have great athletes at all positions and can do many things offensively and defensively.”

The #CFC50 No. 10 Cardinal Newman Cardinals currently sit at 2-0 after a solid victory against Cathedral last week, and they are currently preparing to take on St. Mary on October 7.




2015 RECORD: 10-1

#CFC50 2016 RANKING: 10

HEAD COACH:  Anthony Macaluso



PLAYERS TO WATCH: Mitchell Thiele (defensive/offensive line), Jordan Rimac (quarterback), Nick Petermann (running back), Tyler Major (receiver),

KEY LOSSES: RB Justin Connolly (McMaster), WR/DB Clark Adams (Carleton), Brandon Eddie (Guelph)

“X” FACTOR: Joey DiLabbio (defensive back, linebacker, running back)



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