ROCHELLE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) The Rochelle Hubs will be facing some fresh competition this football season.
The Hubs go from the Interstate Eight Conference to the new combined Kishwaukee River/Interstate Eight Conference in the blue division. They’ll go up against the likes of Harvard, Johnsburg, Marengo, Plano, Richmond-Burton and Sandwich.
“I think the exciting part is preparing for different teams,” said head coach Kyle Kissack. “It’s equally as challenging. You’ve got some teams on the other side Richmond-Burton that has been very successful here in the short term. Marengo and some of those teams. It definitely aligns in terms of enrollment size, aligns to where we’re at.”
What won’t change is Rochelle’s run-first philosophy.
“We want to run the ball and play good defense,” said Kisack. “That’s on the top of our coaches meeting this morning. Everything starts from there.
The Hubs want to control the line of scrimmage and control the clock.
Senior Josh Lloyd is the starting quarterback…back for his second year at the controls and more comfortable with the experience he got in the spring.
“I feel it was very valuable because I just got used to the speed, and then this year we’ll be right back into it and I’ll become more comfortable.”
Junior Garrett Gensler is back at running back and Trey Taft will play wingback. Both are hoping to help the Hubs improve on their 2-4 spring record.
“I think we’re capable of winning a lot of games,” said Gensler. “I just want to have a lot of fun this year.”
The Hubs have multiple three-year starters back on the lines in Brodie Nantz andBraden Alfano, and big tight end/defensive end Ethan Wells is a four-year starter.
“We’ve got a lot of younger guys that have played three years on varsity and two years on varsity, so we’ve got a lot of experience as well,” said Wells.
“Our numbers are steady,” said Kissack. “We’ve got a couple of good classes back-to-back. We have some kids that have seen some significant playing time.”