Coach: Ray Boese, fifth season, 10-27
League: AV-CTL IV
Last season: 3-6
Returning starters: 14
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Schedule: Sept. 1, Collegiate; Sept. 8, at Mulvane; Sept. 15, at Wellington; Sept. 22, Clearwater; Sept. 29, El Dorado; Oct. 6, at McPherson; Oct. 13, at Andover Central; Oct. 20, Maize South; Oct. 27, at Augusta.
Projected record: 3-6
Top returning players
Three keys to the season
1. After finding spots of success last season, Rose Hill hopes it can build on its three-win campaign with 14 returning starters. “We have players who will have to play both sides of the ball this season and we’ll need them to stay healthy,” Boese said. “If we can stay healthy and stay in games, we certainly feel we’re going to be pretty good.”
2. The biggest question facing Rose Hill entering the season will be the direction it takes at the quarterback position. Boese feels good with either option in senior Nolan Ast or junior Tyce Carlson. “We have two quarterbacks who can play and we feel confident in,” Boese said. “Both of those guys are battling for that spot and we feel like we can win with either quarterback under center. Either one could start at another school.”
3. One of the things that has Boese the most excited is the team’s linebackers with Heiskell, Ryan Hingst, and Chandler Flanagan all returning for the Rockets this season. “We have some really nice depth at linebacker,” Boese said. “We have some kids that can really play and we are going to be fairly deep at that position.”
Five questions with coach Ray Boese
1. What has been your focus at Rose Hill this summer?
“I’m not sure it was our focus, but the boys were already focused on making a splash this season. They really want to prove to everyone that they can play football just as well as anyone in 4A. It’s just a great group of seniors. I’ve got 14 of them and they’re ready to prove to the world what the Rockest can do. We’re pretty darn excited.”
2. What makes this senior class special?
“This senior class has always been completely committed to playing football. They do some other sports, but football is their No. 1 sport. I just feel like this group is destined for greatness because they’ve worked so hard to get here. They’re not willing to take any crap on their way to getting on top. I feel very lucky that this group of seniors has stuck with me and hung in there with me and I really like them.”
3. How’s the offense looking?
“We’re still working on figuring out who is going to be our quarterback. We have two options and we have confidence in both of them. We had a scrimmage where Nolan (Ast) took charge and just dominated, then Tyce Carlson came in and looked really good too. I think the quarterback controversy is a great thing for us because both of thsoe guys are trying to help the team win and that’s got me excited. We have real leadership out there on the field this year and that’s exciting, too. J.J. Carney at running back is quick and fast and he can find that crease. Dylan Sapp is another kid who has a chance to be special with his size and athleticism. He’s 6-4 and 210, but he’s the second fastest kid in our high school. We’ve got guys that want to play and believe that this is their chance. There’s nothing but excitement.”
4. How about the defense?
“We’re more worried about depth on the defensive side, especially in our secondary. We don’t have a whole lot of extra bodies that are ready to step in. But we sure do love our first 11. We feel like we have some depth on the line, but if the wrong kid goes down at linebacker or in the d-back area that’s my worst nightmare. We just have to be great at conditioning and make sure guys are ready to go both way.”
5. What is the key to Rose Hill meeting its potential this year?
“I think we have the guys who are ready to do it, they just have to go out there and make the plays. Bottom line, they’re on center stage now and it’s time for them to show what they can do. But the big thing for us is that they’ve got to be able to do it consistently and respond to adversity when we get down. Our younger kids are going to have to step up and they’re going to have to play and I think they’ll do well, but we’re going to need them to fill out so we have some depth.”