Prep Football Preview: Expectations remain for Hononegah despite roster turnover

Hononegah quarterback prospects Justin Studler and Joey Welsh practice side by side during a recent practice. One of those two will replace former starter Chase Robinson this year. (Photo by Matt Nestor)

By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter

Every team in high school football has turnover. But when a player like Chase Robinson leaves, there is certainly a hole to fill.

In step Justin Studler and Joey Welsh, two players who are battling to replace Robinson at the quarterback position and keep the Rockton Hononegah program rolling.

Justin Studler is a senior that has done a really nice job. Joey Welsh is a junior who is coming in and doing good,” Hononegah Head Coach Tim Sughroue said. “They both have their own strengths, and they both have things they need to work on. Right now, it is a true competition.”

Quarterback is one of many positions the Indians are looking to fill this season. A highly-successful senior class graduated and moved on, taking almost an entire starting lineup with them.

With their program firmly established, and with a great junior class joining the varsity level, Sughroue does not look back to what the team has lost. He said the kids view it more as an opportunity for them to leave their stamp at the school.

We certainly have some kids who have some experience, they just weren’t necessarily starting every game,” he said. “Our goal is to do better than what we’ve done in the past. Last year’s class set a high standard, and this group is going to have to work hard to surpass that. It’s going to be tougher this year because the conference is better.”

The Indians, who had one of the best defenses in the conference last year, still hope to be strong. Antonio Vella, Caleb Robertson, Austin Hultgren and Mitch Combs will all step in at linebacker, and Sughroue said a number of talented juniors are competing for spots on the defensive line and backfield.

Hononegah will also bring back a number of running backs who carried the ball at different times last season, including Eli Trulley and Manny Silva.

But for the Indians to be successful on offense, they will be looking to Carlos Hendrix to step up and be the leader of the group.

One thing about our offense is a number of kids get in there and contribute, and that helps us from year to year,” Sughroue said. “And Carlos Hendrix, particularly in the second half of last season, really became a good runner. There’s going to be great running backs in this conference, and Carlos can be as talented as any of them.”

From the Aug. 24-30, 2011, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!