Rapid River, MI – The 2018 season ended with the Rapid River Rockets hoisting their first 8 player division 2 state championship in school history.
It’s a moment that will fuel this year team as they try to get back to the top.
“The Challenge…we lost 12 seniors. So, the challenge to these seniors right here, we got two seniors among the nine back and, you know, that’s a challenge. Everybody’s got, the bullseye on your back and you’re trying to defend. Try to create a family. If we can create the family atmosphere win or lose that’s what we want,” said, Steve Ostrenga, Head Coach of the Rapid River Football team.
After finishing third in the Great Lakes East Conference last season, the Rockets surprised many with a title run. This season, they won’t be sneaking up on anybody.
“I know coming home with the state title last year was a wonderful thing. We came together as a family. We really put the end of the season together. We all came and played our part. We did what we needed to do to get there. It was tough. As far as defending that, we just got to come together as a team and embrace what we did last year. Just be that team everybody makes sure that they’re doing the little things right,” said, Azariah Hernandez, a senior on the Rapid River Football team.
The Rockets will look to running back Tyler Sundling to continue making plays. Sundling wen on to rush for 123 yards and two scores in the state title game alone. He’s a scoring threat every time he touches the ball.
“Our biggest strength is probably going to be speed. We’ve got a lot of fast guys on our team. We got a few big guys, but we’re trying to make sure that even the big guys can keep up,” said Jackson Hooten, of the Rapid River Football team.
“You know, every team in our conference is going to be tough. Cedarville, Engadine, all playoff teams last year. It’s just a tough conference, so the key is to battle each week and try to improve each week,” added Ostrenga.
Rapid River begins their title defense on Thursday, August 29th against Brimley.