Rams looking to rebound in 2014

Rogers High football team is loaded with depth

Staff writerJune 18, 2014 

Rogers Rams defensive back Jordan Bishop makes a leaping interception during practice on June 12 at Heritage Park in South Hill.

SHAUN SCOTT/HERALD PHOTO

The Rogers High football team suffered its first losing season in 10 years after going 4-6 during the 2013 season.

The Rams don’t expect a repeat this fall.

Rogers senior Griffen Stacy, who will be competing for the starting quarterback job, expects his team to rise to the occasion.

“Last year was a disappointment. This team is hungry,” Stacy said. “It’s just exciting to be out here. Coming into my senior year is kind of surreal because I have been waiting for this for a long time. We have a lot of young guys who didn’t get a lot of playing time last year. They’re really good and are showing it out here.”

Rogers head coach Gene Bowen said the starting quarterback position will be one of the most contested starting spots heading into the fall season. Stacy, Troy Johnston, Tausili Gago and Jordan Bishop are all battling for the spot.

“There is some great competition there for that spot,” Bowen said. “The great thing is that all those guys are great athletes, and if they’re not playing quarterback, they can easily play some place else on the field. That’s a nice problem to have.”

The Rams’ high-octane and upbeat tempo was evident during practice sessions as music blared through the speakers on the field. Many teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, the University of Oregon and the University of Washington football programs consistently have music playing during practice.

“We have been doing that the last couple of years,” Bowen said of the music. “Years ago, I wouldn’t had done that, but I don’t think it has hurt us at all. I think having the music playing kind of takes a little bit of the edge off and actually forces the players to focus a little bit more. There is that noise going on in the background and you have to get through that just like in a football game you have to get through things with a lot of stuff going on. It’s been a lot of fun. A lot of teams are doing it now.”

Bowen said he’s been impressed with the play of linebackers Shane Ward, Haden Cruz and Travis Tucker during the past two weeks of practice. The Rogers defense has to improve this season.

“We scored a lot of points but we gave up a lot of points,” Bowen said of the 2013 season.

Wide receiver/defensive back Kyler Ooley said the Rams’ best strength is their depth across the board at all positions. Close to 130 players reported for spring ball, and the competition mantra thrives during practice.

“I think it is going to push us a lot,” Ooley said. “We have all these guys out here and we are pretty deep at all of those positions. I feel like when it comes to game time we are going to have the right guys out there. If someone goes down, I feel like we have plenty of talent to back them up. We just want to better ourselves and be the best we can be. It’s going to be a tough league again. I feel like this team definitely has the talent to have a great season.”

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