TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Crocus Plainsmen running back Victor St. Pierre has rushed for 890 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in three games.
When Victor St. Pierre made the jump from playing junior varsity high school football to the Crocus Plainsmen varsity squad, he wasn’t sure how successful he would be in the Winnipeg High School Football League.
Those fears went away pretty quickly as St. Pierre rushed for 1,106 yards in his first season, made the under-18 provincial football team and helped Manitoba finish fifth at the Football Canada Cup.
This year, he’s established himself as the premier rusher in Winnipeg’s Kas Vidruk (AA) Division. He is off to a torrid start, rushing 49 times for a mind-boggling 890 yards and 14 touchdowns in only three games for the 3-0 Plainsmen. That has the 5-foot-9, 160-pound running back on pace to break three league records — most rushing yards in a season (1,667), most rushing touchdowns in a season (22) and most touchdowns scored in a season (25) — with four games to go.
Even St. Pierre is amazed with his early success.
"It’s kind of jaw-dropping," he said. "It’s crazy. Those are some insane stats, especially compared to the running back that’s in second place."
Boyce MacGinter of the Steinbach Sabres is second in the rushing race in the division with 341 yards, with MacGinter and St. Pierre slated to go head-to-head on Thursday when Crocus Plains hosts Steinbach at 5 p.m.
St. Pierre credits a lot of people for his success. The first people he always mentions are his offensive linemen, who have opened up a lot of holes for him. He also feels his time with the provincial team helped a lot, but he has dedicated himself a lot more to the game as well.
The Grade 12 student knows this is his final year of high school football and he wanted to leave his mark. He’s put in a lot of work in the gym in an attempt to break the rushing and touchdown records and to try to attract the attention of university football programs.
Plainsmen head coach Kevin Boyd agrees that all those things have helped St. Pierre become a dominant player. However, it’s also because of some things you can’t teach, like St. Pierre’s speed and pure athleticism.
"He’s one of the greasiest guys I’ve ever seen carry the ball," Boyd said. "How he can explode 100 miles an hour at somebody and then be five yards off to the left, I have no idea how he does it. If I tried to do that, I’m pretty sure my legs would buckle underneath me."
St. Pierre’s ability to break tackles is why Boyd also uses him as a kick returner, and it paid off with a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown in Crocus’ season opener. That has struck fear into opponents, who now try to kick away from St. Pierre on special teams.
It’s the exact opposite approach of defences as they are now focusing a lot of attention on St. Pierre and trying to find ways to shut him down. He doesn’t mind the attention though, as it fires him up and opens up other offensive threats for the Plainsmen.
"We all basically know they focus on me, but that just makes a lot more weapons," St. Pierre said. "We have (Shea) Godfrey and (Brennan) Campbell, and those are some sick receivers. As soon as they start keying on me too much, we have weapons."
All those weapons have helped the league-leading Plainsmen become the most potent offence in the Kas Vidruk, scoring 151 points so far. They also have the stingiest defence, allowing only 22 points.
It’s something St. Pierre wants to see continue for the rest of the year so that he and his team will leave a lasting legacy at the school and in the WHSFL.
"For my team, I want to have a perfect season and win the cup," St. Pierre said. "I just want to break the rushing and touchdown record for myself and leave something here when I leave."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 24, 2013