Hall of Fame coach Stan Wienke and his spread offense are gone, along with a host of seniors who made that scheme something to look forward to watching. Enter another Hall of Fame coach, Mark Ramsey, and a different approach for the Shelbyville varsity football team.
“It won’t be a true spread offense or a 2-tight wing T. It’s somewhere in-between,” said new Ram head coach Mark Ramsey. “We’ll mix running and throwing, but our bread and butter is power running.”
Ramsey explained the change.
“The spread offense was heavy on the pass last year,” Ramsey said. “Most of those who were involved in that were seniors. We have a lot of first year varsity players, but these kids are starting to get what we’re doing.”
There are several plays that can come out of the different scheme.
“It is an exciting brand of football, but you have to block and tackle,” Coach Ramsey said. “We will stress blocking people and running the ball hard. If you do, you can be successful.”
So, how will the Rams fare Friday in the season-opener on the road at defending state champion Maroa?
“They will probably be ranked #1,” Ramsey said. “They have a lot back from last year. We’ve made a lot of progress, but we have some key players out. That puts us in a bind, but we aren’t going to complain. We’ll be positive and make it come together. We are going to compete for 48 minutes and see what happens.”
Look for Lucas Duckett to start at quarterback, Dylan Patch at tailback, and Matt White at fullback. Wyatt Fox is a wide receiver, Tyler Hendricks a flanker and Luke McConnell a tight end. Andrew Mudgette could be at right tackle and Mike Ulrich at right guard. Elliott Smithson will hike the ball and Bart Kennell should be at left tackle. Left guard could see Noah Applegate or Caleb Cloe filling in.
The Rams defense will be a 4-2-5, gap control style of defense.
Look for McConnell and Cloe to be at the defensive ends with Garrett Ferguson and Smithson at defensive tackle. Inside linebackers look to be White and Ulrich with Duckett and Jared Finley as outside backers. Zach Williams and Fox are to play corner with Adam Hudson at free safety.
Chase Jackson and Sheldon Meyer are out with injury this week, while Devin Peterson and Devin Miner do not have enough practices in to play this week.
The Ram varsity plays Friday night at Maroa at 7 p.m. The Ram freshmen open at home Saturday morning against Maroa at 10 a.m. The Ram JV play at Maroa on Monday night at 6 p.m.