RHAM football has the drive, talent for a big season

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Aug. 28, 2012
Senior quarterback Will Rishell tosses a pass during an Aug. 27 scrimmage against St. Bernards/Norwich Tech. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Senior quarterback Will Rishell tosses a pass during an Aug. 27 scrimmage against St. Bernards/Norwich Tech. Photos by Melanie Savage.

With only 10 freshmen turning up for the football program this year, RHAM High School finds itself with a relatively small program, at 43 players. “We normally have almost 30 freshmen,” said head coach Thomas Hammon. “We have fewer players, but they are a very tight-knit bunch of kids who are really focused at getting better.”

The varsity team produced a 4-6 record last year. But that record “doesn't reflect on just how well the team played,” said Hammon. “We were competitive in all but one game. Last year's team had very few skilled players at the varsity level and managed to find ways to be successful.”

This year, with a strong lineup made up of primarily seniors, the team is “loaded with many kids who can catch the ball, has good team speed and lots of seniors who are physically tough,” said Hammon. “We have a very good chance of winning our division if we stay healthy, get a few good breaks and make few mistakes.”

The varsity Sachems met up with St. Bernard/Norwich Tech on Aug. 27, and Hammon said he liked what he saw, “but we have a lot to improve upon," he added. “Our defense played particularly well,” said Hammon. “We had some hiccups in executing the passing game, but the problems should be simple enough to fix.”

Players expected to contribute significantly to the season include Mike Luby, who “is a serious contender as an All-State linebacker,” and Will Rishell, field goal kicker and quarterback. “Both are being looked at by many Division I schools,” said Hammon.

"We think that TE Baylor LaPointe and WR/HB Josh Jurovaty are talented big strong athletes, who are also college level football players, and will cause much consternation to our opponents,” said Hammon.

Assisting Hammon with the RHAM 2012-13 football program are: Jarrid Clifton, assistant head coach; Erik Shortell, offensive and defensive line coach; Dave Scoville, running backs and linebackers coach; Bill Rishell, receivers and defensive backs coach; Brad Dake, head JV and freshman coach (also assists with receivers and defensive backs); Chris Riley, assists with the line and serves as chief scout; and Steve Bertelsen, statistician.

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