ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The football program at Rockford Christian has gone through massive swings the last 20 years. Lately the Royal Lions are in a down cycle. This season they’ll try to persevere with a small group.

It’s never a good thing for a football program when it has fewer players than the school’s golf team has. At Rockford Christian there are more than 20 players who went out for golf. There are only 15 players out for football, but those players are committed according to head coach Terry Gulley.

“They’re taking it serious. I mean, a lot of them have shown up for our offseason workouts, and they’re in the weight room, and they’re doing what they have to do. They’re realize it’s going to be frustrating, and it’s going to be tough with just 15 kids, but they’re Warriors.”

There is definitely some talent in this small bunch. Perhaps the most talented player is sophomore Julius Holt. He was second team All-Big Northern Conference last year on the defensive line as a freshman.

“Not only is he a really good football player, he’s a really good student,” said Gulley. “He’s a captain. He pushes the kids and he gives pointers.”

There are only three seniors on the team, receiver/defensive back Easton Morehouse, running back/linebacker Tucker DeLaney, and offensive lineman and linebacker David Huston.

They’re realistic. They know they’ve have to keep battling this season.

“I think it’s all about just having that resilience and, you know, getting knocked down get back up again,” said Huston. “I think we’ve just got to keep our head in the game, and we’ve just got to pull through.”

“We have a lot of new, incoming players, so we’re trying to get everyone to learn every position to be honest, so we can get everyone out there and do what we need to do,” said Delaney.

One key for the Royal Lions will be giving sophomore quarterback Jaden Williams some time to operate out of the shotgun. He’s probably better suited for the receiver spot, but his athleticism will come in handy at quarterback.

“I was going to move him to receiver,” said Gulley, “And when that didn’t happen, he took it upon me, he took the challenge, and said, ‘Hey, I’ll play quarterback’, and he’s learning.”

DeLaney and sophomore Jermaine Francis will be the primary running backs. Morehouse will be big at receiver and defensive back.