ROCHELLE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)– Rochelle Hubs football fans had a lot to cheer about last fall. The Hubs posted one of their best seasons in several years by winning eight games and reaching the second round of the playoffs. Hubs fans should have more to get excited about this season.

Momentum is definitely on the Hubs’ side, and it showed through the summer.

“We’ve had a really god summer,” said head coach Kyle Kissack. A lot of that has to do with numbers. We’ve had more kids in the program this summer than we’ve had in a long time.”

Rochelle’s bread-and-butter has always been the run game. Last year it was twice as nice. Garrett Gensler topped 900 yards rushing, and he scored 20 touchdowns. Trey Taft rushed for more than 700 yards, and Cody Cullum more than 600 yards. They’re all back.

“I’m more of like the speed guy myself, so I like to hit the hole and get out of there,” said Taft. “Cody and Garrett, they’ll lay down the punch that’s for sure.”

Cullum spent a lot of time in the weight room and added more muscle.

“That’s going to help a lot especially in the run game because it gets pretty intense,” said Cullum. “You’ve got to be able to run people over and having that size.”

The Hubs’ aim is to be physical, and this team could reach a new level in that department.

“I think we’re even more physical than we were last year,” said Taft.

“We’ve spent a lot of time talking about being physical,” said Kissack. “I think that this group has an opportunity to be extremely physical at the point of attack.”

The Hubs have some size and talent up front in returning linemen Jaden Cook, Bradley Cooney, and Kaiden Morris, plus tight end Aidan Darby.

The one spot on offense up in the air is quarterback. That responsibility will go to either Hayden Inman or Carson Lewis.

Many of those standouts on offense I mentioned will also flip to the defensive side where the Hubs again should be physical.

“We’ve got some strong players coming back defensively inside our box in Cody Cullum and Jaden Cook and Bradley Cooney,” said Kissack.

Yes, the potential is here for the Hubs to have a great season in the Kishwaukee River/Interstate Eight Blue. Maybe enough for them to challenge mighty Richmond-Burton. Now that potential needs to be realized. Kissack knows potential alone doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

“You’ve got to produce out of that potential. We had a nice season last year. We have a number of kids returning back, but it’s a new season.”