by RANDY GREGORY
After coming up a 16-6 loser in their opening contest against Lowell last week, the Rockford football team looks to right the ship this week. The Rams will journey to Holt on Thursday, August 30 to face off against the Rams of Holt in a 7:00 p.m. contest. Holt began the season by outlasting another OK Red foe as they squeaked by Hudsonville 24-21 in a contest played at Hudsonville.
The teams met for the first time in 2006 but have made up for lost time by meeting five other times since that first meeting. Rockford holds a four-games-to-two edge in the series, but the games have been very competitive nearly every time. Last year Rockford thumped Holt 42-7 at Rockford.
Probably the most noteworthy win for Holt was in 2009 when, after losing to Rockford 34-10 early in the regular season, Holt rallied for a 27-13 win in the Division I regional at Rockford to stun an undefeated Rockford squad. Rockford has won convincingly a few times in the series, but posted a comeback 27-24 triumph of their own against Holt in 2010.
Junior running back Ty Glover ran for over 1,300 yards as a sophomore and leads an impressive Holt offense. Holt returns 13 starters (five offense, eight defense) total for a team that won a share of the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue title last year. They also bring in a junior class that went a perfect 9-0 last year. Holt is coached by Al Slamer, who is in his fifth season as the head coach and features a career record of 156-87 including a 21-year stint as the head coach at Battle Creek Central.
“That number 20 [Glover] is extremely physical and quick at running back for Holt,” said Munger. “They had a bit of a struggle throwing the ball last year, but they have a quarterback who can really wing it this year. They are a big, physical team and we are expecting a real battle again this year.”
On the injury front for Rockford, it is a week-to-week proposition. Rockford is hopeful that several of the walking wounded will return, but it is “wait and see,” according to Munger.
“We have a few kids going in for physical therapy and doctors appointments this week, but that isn’t up to me as to whether or not they are going to play,” said Munger. “The medical professionals will use their best judgment and we will go from there.”
Munger added, “We have an overwhelming amount of work to do in just about every area this week, but you know what… we’re getting on the buses and heading to Holt and will give them all we’ve got.”