As Rose Hill first-year coach Ray Boese searched for a comparison for senior running back Garrett Forsberg, he hearkened back to Jason Robben, a 2006 Top 11 player from Andale.
It’s a huge compliment to Forsberg. After all, Robben Robben ran for nearly 5,000 career yards and had 2,117 his senior season in 2006.
“(Forsberg) possesses his kind of power, his kind of quickness and that ‘I’m going to run lower than you are, and when you drop your head, I’m going to cut on you,’” Boese said. “I think we’re going to see an inside kind of back. He’s got great feet, he can hit the edge. And once he hits the edge, he’s going to be pretty tough to stop.”
Rose Hill’s offense will rely heavily on Forsberg, who might also play quarterback or take snaps out of the Wildcat offense. At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, he is strong but also has quickness and agility.
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“When someone hits him, they’ll have to work pretty hard to get him down,” Boese said. “ He’s also got great hands. We have not had a feature back with hands as good as Garrett. That’s basically what he did for us last year. He probably could have started in front of Jonny (Pearson) and been the feature back.”
Rose Hill, which will increase its game tempo, was 4-6 in 2012, one year after winning the 4A title. Consistency from Forsberg and the rest of the backfield is critical because there are questions on the offensive line.
Rose Hill only has 10 seniors and Boese wants to platoon as much as he can. The Rockets lose experience with the transfers of Bret and Austin Waddell, a receiver and quarterback.
“I have to get an O-line, but I have to get experience,” Boese said. “We have a talented group of sophomores and freshmen, so we have to get them ready to play.”
Defensively, Rose Hill is strong with Boese putting the top athletes on defense. The focus is on holding teams to fewer than 10 points.
“If we can do that, we can win games,” Boes said. “I do think we have great skill. I’m not going to say we’re going to win state, but we’ll be an improved team from last year. We’ll have a winning record, and we’ll compete against everyone in our league.”
ROSE HILL ROCKETS
Coach: Ray Boese, first season
League: AV-CTL Division III
Last season: 4-6, lost in first round of 4A playoffs
Last five seasons: 39-16
Projected 2013 playoff team? No
Top skill players
|Sept. 20||at McPherson|
|Sept. 27||at Winfield|
|Oct. 11||El Dorado|
|Oct. 18||at Augusta|
|Oct. 31||at Trinity Academy|
Garrett Forsberg on his team
What Rose Hill does well: “We’re really cohesive. We all really enjoy each other, and we all want to succeed. Everyone is working toward the goal of beating Buhler the first game and keep that high level of play throughout the season.”
What has to improve: “Our offensive line has been a big question mark. It definitely needs to improve, and the skill kids working together. We have a lot of younger kids, and then returners like Bret and Harrison (Haydock). We’ve got to jell more as an offensive unit.”