Soroco football team looking to utilize to non-league games
OAK CREEK — Last year, the Soroco football team played just four games. The schedule was already shortened to six, but for various reasons, the Rams saw four opponents and lost to each one.
They are hoping 2021 is different in every way.
“We’re pretty realistic,” senior Jed Kirby said. “We have a realistic vision of our talent and I think we stay true to that without compromising the potential we have.”
This fall, there are seven games scheduled including a pair of non-league games. In 2020, teams were prohibited from facing opponents outside their region or league to limit travel and potential exposure.
Non-league games serve two purposes. The first is promoting RPI. The Ratings Percentage Index ranks teams based not only on their own winning percentage, but their opponents’ winning percentage as well as their opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage. So, teams look to face typically strong and successful teams. Even if Soroco loses, their RPI could be bolstered so long as the team they faced ends up being a good team.
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The second purpose is to test the team. Non-league games do not count in league standings, which also offer a playoff berth. The game against South Park on Sept. 10 will serve as a benchmark for the Rams. They’ll learn what works for them and what doesn’t.
“You want to play teams that are going to test you,” said Soroco head coach Johnny DeCosta. “And it tests you to gauge where you’re at. It’s also some warm up games before you get into your league.”
Learning their strengths and weaknesses is top of mind for Soroco. The squad is full of newer and less experienced players.
Jed Kirby will be taking over as quarterback, a position he’s not familiar with. So far, he’s been acclimating well.
“It’s a lot of talent, but it’s new,” DeCosta said. “A lot of people are playing different positions.”
Joey McLaughlin and Josue Mejia are hoping for a completely different football experience this year. As juniors, they got injured before the season even began, so their senior season means that much more to them.
“I only played two plays of the whole season because of my knee,” Mejia said. “It’s our senior season and we want to go all out and go as far as we can.”
DeCosta will be calling defense this year, so that’ll be a “learn as you go situation.” As for offense, DeCosta thinks it’ll be as dynamic as ever, but perhaps a little faster.
“We’ll definitely be able to surprise some people there with our speed,” he said. “I don’t want to give away too much.”
Sept. 4 - at Crowley County L 54-0
Sept. 10 - at South Park, W 66-6
Sept. 17 - at Vail Christian, L 58-16
Sept. 24 - vs. West Grand, 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 - vs. Hayden, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 - at Dove Creek, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 - vs. Rangely, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 - at. Plateau Valley, 7 p.m.
Oct. 29 - at Gilpin County, 7 p.m.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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