Hogan Prep reeled off 11 consecutive wins last season before bowing out to Oak Grove in the district championship game.
Head coach Phil Lascuola’s Rams use a time-honored — albeit humdrum — combination of defense and running the ball to achieve success.
There’s another element to the equation that bodes well for this year’s team.
“The strength is going to be chemistry,” Lascuola said. “In the 21 years I’ve been here, this team is in the top three in terms of chemistry and jelling together. I can’t pinpoint it. Maybe it’s just from being around each other. They seem to come together and jell. Nobody is looking for any kind of glory. They’re just out there to do things as team.”
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The Rams will need an all-hands-on-deck mentality to replace some of the experience and production lost to graduation.
Lascuola said the Rams graduated a “bunch” of three year starters who contributed across the board.
That’s not to suggest that the cupboard is bare. Senior running back Edward Collins will figure prominently in the backfield, as will Dakota Grigsby, who transferred to Hogan Prep last season but wasn’t eligible to play.
The offensive line will be anchored by senior Terrance Pryor, Montell Williams and junior William Bradley-King.
Carlos Stone (DL), Traidell Bradford (LB) and Damonte High (DB) will all be players to watch on defense.
“We’re not as deep as we’ve been in the past four years. We’ve platooned the last four years. We’re going to start off doing that, but I don’t know if we can continue,” Lascuola said. “It depends on how much the younger guys grow… We definitely we have the possibility to be pretty good again. It’s just a matter of what transpires through the season.”