Editor’s note: The original headline for this article (“Harlem looking to reload, not rebuild”) incorrectly appeared above a different article in the Aug. 25-31, 2010, issue. The Rock River Times regrets the error, and the correct article follows.
By Matt Nestor
Gone from the Harlem Huskies is an explosive and big senior class that only lost two regular-season games the last two seasons. But you won’t find the Huskies looking in the past.
While most schools would have trouble replacing the kind of talent the Huskies lost, Harlem will be replacing that talent with potentially more explosive talent.
Keith Purifoy returns after missing most of last season as a result of injury. As a sophomore, Purifoy was one of the best offensive players in the conference, and will look to be even better as a senior.
“I try not to coach him too much,” Harlem coach Jim Morrow said. “He does his thing, and he does it better than anybody else. If he’s healthy, we’re going to be OK. He’s just a special player. I hope he gets a chance to show that this year.”
Harlem will also be missing their quarterback, Keenan Kellett, who graduated. In steps senior Brandon Rodgers. Rodgers is a big kid, with a big arm, who would have started for a lot of schools last season.
“Brandon, he’s ready. Unfortunately, he came in as a good junior behind a really good senior,” Morrow said. “But he got quality reps during his junior year, some significant playing time, and he’s had a great summer. I’m really excited to see what he can do.”
Morrow readily admits you can’t replace the talents of Kellett, Casey Beck, Matt Parks, Demetris Fambro, Tyler Cox and many of the other players that Huskies fans have become accustomed to the last few years.
But while Harlem may come up a little short in talent compared to the last few seasons, Morrow thinks this team is tougher, and more importantly, has more depth than the last few teams have had.
“I don’t think we’re quite as talented,” he said. “But we have some really great high school football players that are hard-nosed and tough, and we’re real encouraged by our chances this year.”
From the Sept. 1-7, 2010 issue