Crusaders open a new chapter with Ron Gates as head coach

High School Football

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — It’s Ron Gates turn to oversee the Crusaders. He’s no stranger to Lutheran. He was an assistant coach here two years ago under then head-coach Tony Ambrogio.

“I’m real excited,” said Gates. “We’ve got a good group of kids. It’s my first opportunity to be a head coach.”

“I demand discipline, hard work, be coachable. That’s the main three things right there. If we can do that, I think we’ll be successful.”

Junior Kyng Hughes takes over at quarterback. He should give the Saders more of a dual-threat at the position than they’ve had the past few years.

“I’m pretty confident that I’ll do good this year and take over the offense,” said Hughes. “I can pass inside and outside the pocket. I can throw the ball on the run in most cases.”

“He brings athleticism,” said Gates. “He’s an RPO quarterback. He can run. He can throw.”

When Hughes throws one of his options will be senior Nolan Moore. There’s also Leo Lara and sophomore Mike Jones. Jones is better known as a basketball phenom, but at 6’6 he also is an inviting target.

“He’s got the big body,” said Gates. “He’s got the vertical jump so we’re going to try to utilize him to our advantage.”

Kevon  Tillman, Harlan Moore and Jonah Miller will line up at running back and senior Jacob Al-Ramahi brings toughness to the fullback position.

“I like to run over people, but you know I like to show my moves too, so hopefully I’ll get to show both this year,” said Al-Ramahi.

“We’re going to try to keep it (the offense) simple,” said Gates. “Kind of use some of the same schemes. We have a few of our own wrinkles to what he did, but I want to try to keep it simple for the kids.”

The defense will be led by senior Jamyr Pitts. He’s a monster at middle linebacker.

“I think we’ve got a lot to prove,” said Al-Ramahi, “So I think if we can do what we’re doing in practice and keep working hard then the conference we’ll see what we’re working with.”

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