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Football: Can Birmingham three-peat?

August 5, 2008 |  3:37 pm

Somehow, I managed to catch Ed Croson in his office Tuesday afternoon, just before the Birmingham head coach made his way out to the field for his team's second practice of the summer, and he was more than happy to engage in some good old-fashioned gridiron talk.

You know what, I would be in a good mood too if I was at the helm of a Patriots program that is the two-time defending City Section champion and winner of four titles in this decade. Moreover, Croson & Co. have to be considered one of the favorites to do it all over again.

"We're not cocky or overconfident, but we're coming into this season with the same goal we have every year, and that's being the best in the City. It's a realistic goal for us,'' Croson said. "Other schools can say they want to win the title, but until they do it, it's just pie in the sky.''

Before we go any further, I've got to come clean about something: I have no idea what pie in the sky means. For those of you in the same boat, click here for a definition. In a roundabout way, I think Croson is simply saying that he likes his chances with the group he has.

Offensive linemen Timote Tonga, Josh Periera, Jose Giacoman, Johnny Fernandez and Richard Munoz were among the vocal returners in attendance during Monday's practice. "Those guys have a way of bringing a brand of leadership with some oomph,'' Croson said.

Skill-position players such as quarterback Morey Croson, running back Trajuan Briggs and USC-bound receiver De'Von Flournoy were sharp as well, given that it's early in the process. Ultimately, the Patriots could end up going as far as those three take them this season.

"We have some kids around here with some high expectations. There weren't many people screwing around on our first day out on the field,'' Croson said. "Let's just say our guys know that the games are on the way, right around the corner, and that's exciting for everyone here.''

-- Sean Ceglinsky