St. Francis football senior linebacker/fullback Justin Flood wasn't the most high-profile transfer from Bartlett High School who had to sit out last season for the Spartans. That would be running back James Butler, a Division I prospect who, along with Flood, is eligible to compete this year after sitting out in 2012 due to IHSA transfer regulations. Flood, of Wayne, spoke with Kane County Chronicle sports editor Jay Schwab after a recent Spartans practice for this week's Weekend Chit-chat. He discussed Butler, the school's new stadium (which debuts on Friday as St. Francis welcomes Riverside-Brookfield) and gives kudos to a fellow Spartans linebacker. The following is an edited transcript:
Have you gotten a sneak peek of the stadium? Have you looked over there much?
Yeah, it's beautiful. I'm really excited to play on it.
What's the best aspect of having a stadium on campus?
Just the people that are going to be there. I know kids that didn't go to the game just because it wasn't at home, it was a little bit of a farther drive to COD, and now everybody's going to show up. It's going to be nuts. It's going to be a great opening day.
Who's impressed you in summer camp and the first few days of regular practice?
Johnny Vargyas. He's a linebacker. Me and him play inside together. And obviously James Butler.
Was [Butler] able to practice last year when he had to sit out?
Actually me and him both weren't because we both came from the same school, we both transferred from Bartlett.
Did you guys help each other get through it a little bit?
Oh yeah. We drove to school, we did everything together. We both were really disappointed together when we heard the news [their appeals were denied]. We did everything together. We would study for football practices and go out there and go help the team out as much as we could.
So you know [Butler] real well, what are people going to see from him this year?
Well, I've played with him my whole life, and he's only gotten better over the years. He's going to come out even better than he's ever been, even with [not being able to play last year].