Indians thrive as one team

By Matt Nestor
Sports Columnist

Most good teams are balanced, but have one player they turn to when the going gets tough.

For the Hononegah Indians, they can turn to anyone on the field when things are tough. And no matter where they turn, it’s the right call.

The Indians give new meaning to team play, racking up rushing yards on everyone, yet not having any one player rush for 100 yards. In fact, more often, they don’t have anyone rush for more than 60 yards.

But that is the way Hononegah coach Tim Sughroue prefers things. Instead of the other team being able to game plan for one player, or feel like he has to get the ball to a certain player to win, they can run a balanced offense that can see any of 10 different players touch the ball during the game.

“Our guys aren’t selfish,” he said. “There are times where maybe they are a little bit disappointed that they don’t get as many carries, but at the same time, they understand it’s all about winning the football game.”

Diversity isn’t just limited to their offense. The Indians saw a great amount of turnover on their defense from last year. But instead of sticking to one guy at each position to fill the holes, it has been a total team effort in forming the top defense in the conference.

“We have an awesome defense,” senior running back Bryan Rothmaler said. “We’re rotating guys in every play, and we’re always fresh.”

The one constant for the Indians, however, is their quarterback, Chase Robinson.

The Indians run an option attack and don’t pass too often. So Robinson does not play the traditional role of quarterback. He doesn’t even run as much as most option quarterbacks do.

But he does have the ball in his hands on every snap for Hononegah, and their success lies on the decisions he makes when he reads the defense.

“People don’t understand, every time the fullback runs one up the middle, (Robinson) is making a great read, giving him the ball instead of pulling it,” Sughroue said. “There’s times he’s making some good reads, and sometimes he’s making bad reads, but we’ll take him any day of the week.”

Even without the gaudy stats, there is no doubt in the minds of Rothmaler and his teammates about their leader.

“He’s one of the best quarterbacks in our conference, possibly the best,” he said.

From the Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2010 issue

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