The Rogers Mounties have been a team over the past eight years that have struggled to win in a consistent basis in the toughest conference in the state. The Mounties have hired Coach Mike Loyd to instill some excitement and revive a program that has taken its lumps the past few years. Loyd’s credentials are impressive having coached in Grove, Oklahoma and Ponte Vedra, Florida. The new look Mounties are coming into the 2016 season, perhaps the greatest mystery in the 7-A West.
The 2015 season did not go the way the Mounties players or fans wanted it to. Rogers struggled on the offensive side of the ball and that left the defense prone to being on the field for long periods of time. The Mounties had several teams on the ropes last season including traditional Missouri power Jefferson City, but could not seal the deal. Rogers was able to defeat cross town rival Heritage High School but just did not have the offensive fire power to contend with the rest of the 7-A West.
Rogers will be shifting away from the flexbone offense and taking it to the spread offense. The spread offense should allow the Mounties to better handle the potent offenses of the 7-A West. Loyd and the Mounties will be breaking in a new quarterback for the 2016 season with Joseph Sultemeier having graduated. The options at the quarterback spot for the Mounties are Andrew McGlynn and Max Horton. Horton was able to see some starting time last year when Sultemeier suffered an injury. Horton should see some snaps at the quarterback position and is an accurate enough passer to move the ball and sustain drives for the Mounties.
Having wide receivers to haul in receptions will be an important aspect for the Mounties this season. Rogers appears to have plenty of options at this position. Hunter Hawkins will be a player to watch when he lines up at the receiver position. Hawkins is a solid route runner with good hands. The Mounties have a big play threat in the form of Oscar Iraheta, who has flashed some skill during 7 on 7 competitions during the offseason. Being able to put up points is going to be a challenge for the Mounties but they have the potential to be one of the most improved offenses in the 7-A West.
What the Mounties have going for them is the fact that they have 14 returning starters from last season. Eight starters return on the offensive side of the ball and six on the defensive side of the ball for the Mounties. The defense was impressive in many of the 7-A West games last season before wearing down in the fourth quarter. Rogers has several defensive players to keep an eye on during the course of the season. Linebacker Gary Fredrick is a player with tremendous potential, Fredrick racked up 49 tackles over a five game stretch last season. Landon Harper and Dayten Schureman roaming at the safety spots should be a solid duo in the secondary.
With the Mounties, it all goes back to the offense being able to sustain drives. Should Rogers sustain drives and put up some points then they have the chance to be a playoff team in the 7-A West. The Mounties have numbers and excitement building in the program it just goes back to being able to put it all together now.