By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Coaching Staff: John Schumm, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks; Trei Thomas, wide receivers and running backs; Nick Spicer, offensive line; CJ Dennison, defensive backs; Al Ehlert, linebackers; Marcus Wright, defensive line; Kevin Hockett, strength and conditioning and defensive backs; Isaiah Jones, linebackers and running backs; Jimmy DeLeone, offensive line.
2022 Record: 3-7 overall.
Returning Lettermen (9): Tyrel Ellington, sr.; Lincoln Wade, sr.; Matt McCann, sr.; Jermaine Little, sr.; Jaden Dennison, jr.; Parker D’Sidocky, jr.; Jerome Norton, jr.; Carter Foreman, jr.; Pat Barkley, jr.
Lettermen Lost (12): Donovan Daetwyler, Marcus Boyd, Michael Bonanno, Cameron Dent, Carson D’Sidocky, Jonasis Smith, Justin Schwaben, Jack Reed, Dominic Iacco, Brandon Melin, Cayden Foreman.
In Jackson’s first year at the helm, the Roosevelt graduate plans to run an empty-spread offense designed to get playmakers involved as much as possible.
“We want to build around what our players do best,” Jackson said.
The Rough Riders have three signal-callers on the depth chart, including Jack Smith, Yahntae Smith and Gavin Peeps.
“Jack has experience playing quarterback and wide receiver and has shown good leadership and playmaking ability early in camp,” Jackson said. “Being a senior, his experience and IQ shows when he plays. He is a dual-threat player every snap, but can make any throw on the field.”
Smith is returning from a knee injury, but showcases “athleticism on both sides of the ball and his arm strength allows him to make the needed throws in our offense,” according to Jackson.
The backfield is filled with capable runners, but the top-two rushers are absent because of graduation. Donovan Daetwyler (572 yards) and Michael Bonanno (310) combined to run for 882 yards.
Filling the void this season will be Jaden Dennison, Jaiden Portis, Michael Shannon, Mar’Chaun Lawrence-Gore, Sincere Churn, Emanuel Churn, Anthony Helton, Khamari Brady, Lucas Fankhauser.
“Jaiden Portis and Jaden Dennison have both been explosive throughout summer camp and have show great dedication in the weight room,” Jackson said. “It has shown on the field, and look forward to having two young guys with some experience.”
The Rough Riders have a long list of linemen ready to make an impact, but it is Jerome Norton that highlights the group.
“He works extremely hard in the weight room and on the field,” Jackson said. “He is becoming a great leader and encourages his teammates. He got some experience last year on both sides of the ball and has shown a good understanding of the game.”
Starting spots and depth will be earned from the group of Brock Catalucci, Ethan Humbert, Jermaine Little, Adam Ghumrawi, Andrew Kerr, Patrick Barkley, DeVonta Cody, Tyler Copen, Gavin Corbett, Noah Dunlap, Griffin Wollam, Kyle Salazar, Ethan Kurtz, Logan Crocker, Ethan Braham and Maxwell Froman.
Lincoln Wade, Tyrel Ellington and James Lewis are three seniors that will lead the receiving group.
“Lincoln has shown great leadership and can play slot or outside,” Jackson said. “He knows how to find open space and his experience is paying off for him on both sides of the ball. He runs good routes.
“Tyrel is another senior who has worked hard in the off-season and gotten bigger and stronger,” Jackson added. “He is a great athlete and shows the ability to make plays in open space.
“James is a senior who has made big plays throughout the summer. He has great speed and length to be a playmaker for us on the outside.”
Others to add depth will be Parker D’Sidocky, Theodore Maccarone, Sevyn Jones, LeWilliam Jones, Luke Haney, Brenton German, Jeremiah Brumfield, Cyler Foreman, Carter Foreman, Deonne Dickerson, Joseph Harris, Carter Fertig, Aiden Allen, Nicholas Roberts, Aiken Benshoff, Justin Green, Toby Bruner, Julian Amos, Earl Ligon-Frierson, Yahntae Smith, Gavin Peeps.
The Riders will work out of a base 3-4.
“We want to play disciplined, fast and physical,” Jackson said.
Matt McCann, who played at quarterback last season, will anchor the linebackers.
“His experience on offense has made him a better linebacker,” Jackson said. “He plays with a great energy and is constantly trying to encourage his teammates and brings excitement to the field.”
Michael Shannon, Carter Foreman, Sevyn Jones, Luke Haney, Emanuel Churn, Khamari Brady, Lucas Fankhauser, Cyler Foreman, Joseph Harris, Deonne Dickerson, Aiden Allen, Nicholas Roberts and Brock Catalucci all will see time at linebacker.
Leaders on the D-Line will be Jermaine Little and Anthony Helton.
“Jermaine has good playing experience. He is a big kid and has the athleticism to be a good player for us,” Jackson said. “Anthony has speed and athleticism every snap and can really create some advantages for us defensively.”
Multi-sport athlete Parker D’Sidocky has athleticism that “jumps out at you,” according to Jackson.
“He understands our defense and has made plays throughout the summer.”
Jaden Dennison is another player that will be productive in the defensive backfield.
Yahntae Smith will also be a key.
“Jaden worked extremely hard this off-season and transformed his body,” Jackson said. “Yahntae plays with great anticipation and shows elite ball skills.”
Other key players in the secondary will be Wade, Ellington, Lawrence-Gore, Portis, Churn, LeWilliam Jones, Lewis, Theodore Maccarone, Brenton German, Jeremiah Brumfield, Fertig, Aiken Benshoff, Justin Green, Earl Ligon-Frierson, Toby Bruner and Julian Amos.
Yahntae Smith, Gavin Peeps, Tyler Ellington, Cyler Foreman, Jaiden Portis, Theodore Maccarone, Tyler Copen.
“We are a young team, but the kids will gain experience and our leadership has grown,” Jackson said.