St. Thomas More’s Blake Champagne plays defensive line for the Cougars. In the Division II state semifinals against St. Louis, he anchored a defense that made in-game adjustments to hold the Saints to just 21 points.
The Cougars put up 52 en route to their second straight state championship appearance.
Blake says it’s the practice time that helped them handle their business.
“We had a great week of preparation,” Champagne says. “We just studied film. Even though they came out and did something different, we adjusted and made it work.”
Blake’s no stranger to hard work. This season he’s tallied 23 solo tackles, 67 total tackles, and 9 tackles for loss.
STM Head Coach Jim Hightower says Champagne’s work ethic and determination is the main reason for his success.
“Blake made up his mind early that he wanted to be a real player, and I remember that when he was a sophomore,” Hightower says. “He worked hard in the weight room. He separated himself. He’s having a real solid season. He’s a leader and brings the team around him.”
The Cougars face off with the De La Salle Cavaliers in the Division II state championship on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Cougar Stadium.