Infusion of youth breeds competition for Mounties
ROGERS — The Mounties spent most of the opening week of practice focusing on fundamentals, but that’s necessary with just six returning starters and a large number sophomores pushing for playing time, coach Mike Loyd said.
“The football field doesn’t care how young you are,” Loyd said. “It’s gonna respond to how tough you are and what kind of will and determination you have. We’ve got 18 or 19 kids that have not played on Friday night. Fundamentals are still the most important thing outside of just being a competitor.”
Loyd praised the work of several sophomores: Receivers Nathan Hahn and Mason Ross, and linemen RJ Long and Elijah Bigham.
“The tempo picked up when they got in there especially Mason and Nathan Hahn,” Loyd said. “Seniors Collin McWhorter, Hunter Hawkins and Andrew McGlynn were good leaders. We’re excited about the Dakes — Garrett and Tanner — coming out. Garrett’s a big 6-4, 6-5 frame who can run and jump.”
Loyd also pointed out the competition for starting spots are more intense than a year ago.
“It’s a little different now that we’ve got two, three and four deep in some spots,” Loyd said. “Last year, if you’re walking around and had a heartbeat and you ran out here, you probably got a chance. It’s exciting times for Rogers. Even this ninth-grade group is really competitive.”
Rogers will shift practice from the morning to 7-9 p.m. in the evening this week with a controlled scrimmage scheduled for Friday evening.