Defending champs return to football field

The Spring-Ford football team looks for a strong season in the PAC.

Senior+Nick+Teets+scored+two+touchdowns+in+Spring-Ford%27s+27-13+victory+over+Perkiomen+Valley+on+Sept.+25.+

Eshika Seth / Photography Editor

Senior Nick Teets scored two touchdowns in Spring-Ford’s 27-13 victory over Perkiomen Valley on Sept. 25.

Anthony Goldsmith, Staff Writer

The Spring-Ford football season has begun despite an offseason dominated by Covid-19 concerns and unprecedented challenges. 

If Friday’s 27-13 win against rival Perkiomen Valley in the season-opener last week was any indicator, though, they are ready for the challenge. 

“Every year we reinvent ourselves,” Coach Chad Brubaker said. “Obviously this year is different, but it’s just another thing to work around.”

The Rams enter the season after winning the PAC crown last year with an 8-3 record. 

Having posted winning seasons since 2009, the Rams will try to continue their winning ways with some new starters. The Rams lost many notable players on the offensive side of the ball to graduation, including star wide receiver Dante Bonanni (Ithaca College commit), starting running back Armante Haynes (East Stroudsburg commit), and Mercury All-Area Player of the Year QB Ryan Engro. 

While the Rams lost many important contributors, they also retained many integral players that hope to fill the shoes of the graduates. This list includes center Kyle Kennedy and a trio of wide receivers in Nick Teets, Joe Brogan, and Nick Cagliola on offense. The Rams also return a lethal defensive group with players like defensive tackles DJ Francis and Donnie Nicoline, as well as cornerbacks Nate Capers and Naphtali Stine. 

Key things to note going into this Rams football season are that Brubaker plans to run a much slower-tempo offense. This is a surprise when compared to many other previous years where they would go at a very quick pace, and even go no-huddle frequently. 

Another thing to watch for heading into the season is the Rams’ defense. The group will be a challenge for other offenses to face with the previously mentioned strong defensive tackles Francis and Nicoline, who both look to dominate in the trenches. At the second level, linebackers Ryan Horvath, Josh Pergine, and Zach Marinello all look to make significant contributions to a room that has certainly seen some transition.

The Rams enter the season with junior Ryan Freed as the starting quarterback. After having been in the system for two years, Brubaker is confident that he is ready to succeed. 

“He’s been in our system for two years now, and I think he’s worked hard and is ready to help us win,” Brubaker said. 

After the win over Perkiomen Valley, the Rams will continue with games against Boyertown, Upper Perkiomen, Methacton, and Owen J Roberts. There will be no PAC playoffs this season, as the winner will be determined by the team with the best win percentage. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions causing a late-start to the season, there are no scheduled out-of-conference games for Spring-Ford at this time. There are plans for district playoffs, however, should the Rams qualify. 

This simply furthers the point that every game truly matters all that much more than a typical one. The Rams are prepared and ready to face the most unpredictable season in the school’s history, and they certainly hope the most unpredictable becomes one of the most memorable for the right reasons.