by RANDY GREGORY
For the third consecutive year the injury bug has bitten the Rockford football team at the all important quarterback position. The last two seasons haven’t even waited until the regular season began for Rockford. Last year it was a broken foot for Kyle Short that never healed properly and forced him to literally limp through the season while also missing several complete games as well as parts of several others. That was further exacerbated by the injury to his backup when Erik Barker was forced to miss the entire season with a leg injury. The 2011 season saw Mark LaPrairie go out in the opener against Lowell and miss significant time as well.
This time around the highly anticipated christmas, the first day the Rams are allowed to hit after multiple conditioning practices, that proved to be the undoing of another senior’s highly anticipated stint at the quarterback position. Senior Chase Hankins suffered a broken collarbone and is thought to be out for the season according to head varsity football coach Ralph Munger.
“I feel very badly for what Chase is going through,” said Munger. “He put in a tremendous amount of work and had shown a significant amount of progress and it is just a shame it ended like this for him. We are fortunate to have Austin McKellar available to step in and do what he was forced to do last year as our quarterback. We will circle the wagons and move ahead which is a part of the lessons you learn in football and life.”
The almost equally important position of the offensive line also took a shot early as well for Rockford. Senior Ethan Lussky is expected to return in two to three weeks after also falling prey to the injury bug. It is a position of precious little experience for the Rams and Lussky was one of the few who had a modicum of playing time from last season.