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Touchdown with Rebel football

Roncalli starts season strong and sets sights high

SET%2C+GO%2C+HUT%3A+Senior+quarterback+Connor+Gore+%28%2312%29+receives+the+snap+for+a+handoff+to+junior+Elijah+Mahan+%28%2346%29+last+Friday+at+Roncalli+Stadium.+The+Rebels+started+the+season+with+a+strong+win+over+the+Southport+Cardinals.
SET, GO, HUT: Senior quarterback Connor Gore (#12) receives the snap for a handoff to junior Elijah Mahan (#46) last Friday at Roncalli Stadium. The Rebels started the season with a strong win over the Southport Cardinals.

SET, GO, HUT: Senior quarterback Connor Gore (#12) receives the snap for a handoff to junior Elijah Mahan (#46) last Friday at Roncalli Stadium. The Rebels started the season with a strong win over the Southport Cardinals.

Photo by Nicholas Plahitko

Photo by Nicholas Plahitko

SET, GO, HUT: Senior quarterback Connor Gore (#12) receives the snap for a handoff to junior Elijah Mahan (#46) last Friday at Roncalli Stadium. The Rebels started the season with a strong win over the Southport Cardinals.

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The Rebels kicked off their regular season with a 21-3 win against the Southport Cardinals on Friday night. This is the first of their regular season games following the Rebels’ State Championship title last season. Scoring touchdowns for Roncalli were junior Elijah Mahan as well as seniors Patrick McManama and Jacob Luedeman. Senior Merrick Strykowski pinned down three PAT kicks as well.

Behind the scenes of this victory is a story of new beginnings as the Rebels move up to the 5A division of IHSAA football. They are taking the basics very seriously to bring success this season with the new challenges facing them.

“By focusing on the small stuff, the big things will take care of themselves,” McManama said.

Along with the move up in division, former head coach Bruce Scifres retired at the end of last year’s historic season. Taking his spot at the helm of Roncalli football is Scott Marsh. Marsh has some big shoes to fill, and even though a tried and true game-winning strategy will remain intact, self-identity as a coach is important.

“I wouldn’t be smart if I came in and changed a bunch of stuff that worked really well, but I also have to be myself,” Marsh said. “The foundation of faith and family are so much more important, and the most important, which sets Roncalli apart from other places. Roncalli High School’s founding values create a tight-knit community on and off the field.”

Marsh and the rest of the team have high hopes for the season, especially with the emerging leadership of the senior class.

“This summer, [the seniors] were hesitant to lead and be vocal,” Marsh said, “maybe even hesitant to have some fun, but it’s been great to see them build up a culture of leadership.”

Some seniors in particular have taken on a leadership role for the team.

“Being a team captain, I’m one of the guys who will dictate how the season goes,” McManama said, “and what I mean by that is team morale, effort in practice, how the team will face adversity.”

With a budding group of leaders under a new coach, this season is projected to be quite successful.

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