Hubs Move West In NIB 12

ROCHELLE-Rochelle hasn't moved anywhere, but its football team has moved from the east side of the Northern Illinois Big 12 to the West side.
The Hubs will no longer be grouped with natural rivals DeKalb and Sycamore, but the time might be right for the move.

"We're down to under 900 kids, so playing on the other side we were really small," says Hubs coach Kevin Crandall. "We still have Kaneland, Yorkville and DeKalb (on our schedule), so we still play the three biggest schools on that side. I think we're over with schools that are at least a little more our size.

The Hubs made the playoffs last year, as they always seem to do. They've lost some incredible talent at the skill positions Evan White, Marques Felix and Angel Burciaga are gone. The Hubs will try to compensate by being more of a physical, grind-it-out team.

"We're really good up front this year, and we've got a lot of depth up front," says Crandall. "More size than we've probably had in a long time."

Matt Buck, Garrett Golt, Will Lawhorn, Noah Allgeyer, and Darryl Williams are some of those guys up front.
Benefiting from those linemen will be new quarterback Kevin Christensen.

"He's a senior. He did a great job as a sophomore with the sophomore team, and he's just a really good kid," says Crandall.

Strong fullback Adam Ricketts will also add to the Hubs ground-and-pound attack. And he'll be a leader on defense at linebacker.

"Hopefully all of us in the backfield will be able to step up and make a difference in the game. We have some guys fighting for positions right now," says Ricketts.

Those other backs include Eddie Avila who was hurt most of last year, and sophomore Matt Albers. He played some varsity as a freshman.

"We still want to contend for a conference title. Make the playoffs, and make it to state," says Ricketts. "We feel we can to that this year. We lost a lot, but we still have a lot."

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