High School Sports

St. Stanislaus doesn't go far to find next football coach

When St. Stanislaus hits the field to open the 2018 season, the Rockachaws will be led by their third coach in as many seasons.

The school announced Monday that assistant Nate Encrapera has been elevated to head coach. He replaces Jeff Jordan, who stepped down earlier this month to pursue a business opportunity on the Coast. Jordan was 6-6 in his lone season leading the Rockachaws and helped SSC advance to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Jordan replaced Bill Conides, who left after the 2016 season to take over as coach and athletic director at Denham Springs, Louisiana.

"Nate is a great teacher of young men both in and out of the classroom and I have every confidence he will do an outstanding job in this new role," SSC principal Gary Blackburn told the Sea Coast Echo.

Encrapera started at SSC as a para-professional in 2010, acting as assistant coach on the baseball and football teams while also stationed at Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport. He later joined SSC full-time in 2015 and moved up to defensive coordinator, which is where he has spent the last three seasons.

"Once Jeff stepped down, I felt like it was the right time for both me and my family," Encrapera told the Sun Herald. "I know there were a lot of highly qualified candidates for this job and I'm just humbled that they would entrust me with such as an important position as this."

Encrapera's first job was actually during Forrest Williams' tenure at SSC. He remained on the staff through Gabe Fertitta and Conide's runs with the program. Although he expects to play a lot of underclassmen, Encrapera said that won't change expectations in the SSC community.

"They all set really high expectations here," Encrapera said of his predecessors. "The expectation here is always the same. Academically and athletically, we hold our kids to a high standard. It's our job as coaches to put them in positions to be successful and we'll adapt.

"We don't do rebuilding modes here."

SSC Athletic Director Stace McRaney said having a guy who has been at the school and knows its traditions will help moving forward.

"He has been a valuable member of our faculty and coaching staff," he said. "He's an excellent teacher on the field and off the field. He has great relationships with the players and their families."

Encrapera expects to still base out of a 3-4 front on defense, although SSC will use a lot of 4-2-5 concepts once again, he said.

Offensively, the Rockachaws will have to replace a lot once again.

"We'll keep the same system in place," Encrapera said, "and really, that's where my roots are."

Rising junior Pat Greer looks like the front runner to take over for his brother, Jake, at quarterback.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @patrickochs