The ROCORI Spartans were a state tournament semifinalist in 2022 and the expectations are high once again in 2023.  ROCORI head football coach James Herberg joined me on WJON.  He says they lost all of their starters from their offense but return a bulk of their defensive starters from last season.   Herberg says they had 26 seniors on the team last season so there are some challenges to start the season due to inexperience.  He says the offense isn't necessary young because some seniors and juniors will see time on that side of the ball.

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On defense Herberg says they return 8 to 9 starters from last season depending on what game you looked at.  He says they have some guys playing varsity football on defense as 3 year starters.  Herberg is hoping the defense can keep them in ball games early in the season as the offense gains experience.

ROCORI was 9-3 last season which included advancing to the Class 4-A State Semifinals where they lost to Simley 17-16.  Herberg credits building the program to the coaching staff and the hard work put in by the players on the field and in the weight room.

The Spartans will go with Will Steil at quarterback.  Steil is going to North Dakota State on scholarship to play safety and has been a starter on defense for many years at ROCORI.  Herberg says it's his turn to play quarterback.  He says Steil will be a fun player to watch.  Herberg also highlighted receiver Grant Tylutki and indicated a few guys will be counted on to lead the running game.

Projected Starters:
QB – Will Steil
RB – Christian Rodriguez
WR – Grant Tylutki
WR – Andy Soldner
WR – Matthias Nierenhausen
TE – Dwight Kiffmeyer
LT – Andrew Trout
LG – Laklen Vogel
C – Jack Faber
RG – Tyler Petersen
RT – Brady Schmitz

DE – Kaden Rausch
DT – Grady Minnerath
DT – Mason Orth
DE – Dwight Kiffmeyer
LB – Aaron Baisley
LB – Jackson Primus
LB – Grant Tylutki
S – Colton Clark
S – Nathan Soldner
CB – Andy Pedroza
CB – Colten Phillipp/Mason Nyhammer

K/P – Andy Pedroza

2023 Schedule:
vs. Detroit Lakes, 7pm September 1
@ Minneapolis North, 6pm September 8
vs. Benilde St. Margaret's, 7pm September 15
@ Hutchinson, 7pm September 22
vs. Willmar, 7pm September 29
@ Becker, 7pm October 6
@ Holy Angels, 7pm October 12
vs. Orono, 7pm October 18

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with head coach James Herberg it is available below.



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