Special Teams and news and notes from upcoming football season

By RANDY GREGORY

Last year was an aberration for what is traditionally a huge strength as the special teams struggled for the entire season. This year should see a much more decided swing back to the norm according to head football coach Ralph Munger.

“Once consistency is developed in our kicking game I believe we will see outstanding results in both our punting and kicking game,” said Munger. “It was almost surreal watching our struggles on special teams last year, but I think it will gradually become a point of strength for us this season.”

Senior Drake Strehl and sophomore Quinn Norden are competing for the kicking position and are showing excellent results up to this point.

Several interesting bits of information litter the landscape of the 2013 football season for the Rockford Rams. Munger has had a legendary career that has seen him enshrined in multiple Halls of Fame and he looks to continue to build upon his already unbelievable resume with more accomplishments this time around. Munger will attempt to lead the Rams to their 19th consecutive appearance in the playoffs and to their fifth consecutive OK Red title. He will also attempt to lead the Rams to their sixth appearance in the Division 1 title contest and their fourth championship.

Last year’s losses included KC Zenner and Jeff Baldwin from the defense and Kyle Short, Sam Reinke, Connor Darby and Scott Kaule from the offense. This year’s roster includes 66 players including 27 returning letter men. Only five of whom started officially last year from both sides of the ball total. The Rams ended last year with a 10-3 mark that included a perfect 5-0 in the OK Red and a win over the consensus top team in the state (Clarkston) by a score of 25-14 in the Regional finals.

Junior Drew Schwandt is one of an incredible 12 brothers from the same Rockford family. Senior Drake Strehl is in the midst of overcoming a heart condition that will allow him to be a kicker for the varsity football team.

This is also the beginning of the second century of Rockford football. This is year number 101 in what has become an annual rite of fall for a community that takes their football very seriously.

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