For the second year in a row, Aristoi Classical Academy celebrated its triumph as Varsity Flag Football State Champions on December 12, 2020. Saturday’s championship game was played against Uplift Peak Preparatory, Dallas. The Griffins (10-0) finalized their season with a solid 46-21 victory, completing their last two consecutive seasons with an undefeated 22-0 record.
Aristoi varsity football coach, BJ Sarver said, “This team wanted to make their own legacy. They wanted their names on the banner. This was a difficult year and we weren’t sure there would be a division. The kids overcame the uncertainty of COVID and still figured out a way to become family on the field. They stepped up in a big way.”
The Griffins trained throughout the year as there was no off-season. Sarver complimented his players graciously, “The team took conditioning to another level. There were no camps this summer or fall. They had to train on their own and get into condition quickly. They are a smart team and they can outrun you.”
Aristoi Athletic Director, Kendrick Davis, knew the team would be victorious, “These kids worked hard on and off the field, throughout the summer and fall. We graduated five seniors from last year’s State Champion team and there were holes they needed to fill. So, they worked on different positions, dedicated themselves to extra practices, and improved their plays. They were determined to repeat as Champions.”
Players and coaches agreed that opening Griffin Athletic field last fall was a significant factor in their victorious season. “Having your own field has a huge impact,” Sarver grinned, “we can walk into our own backyard and have practice. That’s nice.”
This year’s quarterback, Seth Thompson, followed in the footsteps of his older brother Darius, who led Aristoi to its first State Championship last season. According to Sarver, Seth took the reins and led the team in a different way, “This year’s game plan was different. Seth is more of a passer. He learned a lot from Darius and he reads the defense well.”
The Texas Charter School Academic & Athletic League’s football program was comprised of 36 football teams this year. “We’ve been here before,” said Sarver, “The competition is good at this level. We’ve learned that we are definitely a thorn in the sides of some teams because they can’t beat us.”
As a result of their spectacular season and play, five Aristoi players were named to the TCSAAL All-State Football Team. Coach Davis, said, “We give a special congratulations to these five athletes as they have represented Aristoi with class on and off the field.” The five student-athletes include: Jacobey Thompson, Robert McElroy, Seth Thompson, Brandon Stafford, and Michael Perkins.