Since the Rush first came into existence in 2003 the franchise has made 13 playoff appearance and won three league championships. They believe they’ll contend for the MidStates Football League title this year. This time with Javon Oden serving as the head coach.
Oden has been the defensive coordinator the last five years. He’ll continue to oversee the defense while serving as head coach.
“We’ve got a pretty good tradition going here with the Rush. I’m not looking to change much,” says Oden. “We’ll do the same things defensively. We’re known for our defense.”
42 year old linebacker Anthony Dedmon is a perennial league all-star who’s back for his 13th season.
“I was kind of debating if I was coming back or not, but I decided, I mean, I’m off for the summer so I get a chance to hang out with the fellas,” says Dedmon.
All-Star defensive back Willie Tolon also returns.
On offense quarterback Brad Dement is back for his third year. Justin Opengo returns at receiver. Will Brewer will get his share of carries at running back. So will big LeRoy McFadden the former Michigan State standout who also spent some time in the NFL. He joined the Rush toward the end of last season.
“Having McFadden here the full year is really going to help us out,” says Oden.
“I still can run over people, but I don’t do it as much no more,” says McFadden. “These old bones don’t take it as much.”
Between the Rush and their farm team the Revolution more than 100 players have turned out this season including about 20 newcomers. They’ll try to build on last year when the Rush went 10-2 and reached the Southern Conference Championship game.
“We want to get back to championship status,” says Oden.
“We’re looking for a championship,” says Dedmon. “We’re just going to pick it up and everybody’s motor’s just got to get a little bit better.”
The Rush will open its season this Saturday night against Kankakee at 7 p.m. at the Rockton Sports Complex off Old River Road.