By RANDY GREGORY
The Rockford football team has precious few returning starters this year on either side of the ball. But what they lack in quantity, they more than make up for in quality.
The offense has only one in Austin McKellar, who for the second consecutive season has been forced to open the year as a quarterback, rather than a wide receiver, due to a devastating run of injuries at the position. The defense features four starters back led by three-year starting middle linebackers Brent Showers and Randy Garvin, who were both All-State honorees last year, as well as safety Trevor Coughlin and defensive lineman Jarett Sobkowiak.
The varsity football team chose four of these five to be the captains for the 2013 season when they voted a few weeks back. It is an honor to say the least when your name is called as a captain after your teammates have made their choices and this year after the consensus was tabulated it was McKellar, Showers, Garvin and Coughlin who earned the coveted spots.
McKellar has been the leader offensively while helping the Rams to amass 64 points in the first two games despite having to again take the reins at a position where he has precious little experience but an incredible amount of moxie. Showers and Garvin are the backbone of a Ram run defense that has proven to be nearly impenetrable in the first two games of the 2013 season. Coughlin is the leader in a secondary that has amassed six interceptions and a fumble recovery over the first two contests.
The season may be in only the early stages and there is no way of knowing how things will eventually end up. But with the heart, leadership and determination that these four young men have exhibited over the opening few weeks, this is a team that will not be outworked or out-hustled.