Injury bug bites Soroco |

Injury bug bites Soroco

Rams limited in Saturday game against Hotchkiss

— Before the season, Andy Reust said the season for Soroco might hinge on the health of his team.

On Saturday against Hotchkiss, Reust will find out whether he’s right.

The Rams have three players along the line nursing injuries and will have only six healthy linemen against the 2A Bulldogs. The flu is also going around the South Routt School District.

“We’re going to have to play a lot of young talent,” Reust said. “I’m talking freshman and sophomores.”

It’s not all bad news for Soroco. The Rams have All-League performers in running back Brian Spaeth and defensive back Joel Schlegel returning. Reust also said that through three weeks of practice, the intensity level has been good for Soroco.

“The kids are excited,” Reust said. “It’s somebody else to hit. Looking at each other the last three weeks gets kind of old.”

Reust said he hasn’t seen film on Hotchkiss but knows a little bit from seeing the Bulldogs at a scrimmage in Aspen two years ago. Reust said they were big along the lines and quick at the skill positions. This year, he expects the same.

“I always assume they are going to have that again,” he said. “This year, I know they have a good quarterback and a real good middle linebacker.”

Hotchkiss returns seven starters on both sides of the ball, including running back Jake Tribble and quarterback Johnny Pieper, both second team All-League performers. Bulldogs sixth-year head coach Doug Horton said that despite playing the Class 1A Rams, his team is giving Soroco respect. Even with not having film on the Rams, Horton said that after talking with coaches in the 1A Western Slope League, he knows Soroco could present his team with an early challenge.

“We’re giving them quite a bit of respect,” Horton said. “We’re really impressed with what we’ve heard. We feel this will be one of the toughest games on our schedule. Our kids know they’ll have to play all four quarters.”

With the number of injuries Soroco has, Reust said he might be able to play only 13 players. He said that to combat the long trip and hot weather – the forecast calls for weather to be in the upper 80s – he’ll try to rotate as much as he can on the line.

“The kids are looking forward to it,” Reust said. “The cards aren’t in our favor with our injuries, the long trip and the weather, but we’re going to go down there, and we’ll compete. We got to fight through this together. It will make us better in the end.”

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