Few if any Class 1A high school football programs have more tradition than Roscoe, where the Plowboys haven’t missed the playoffs since 1997.
In 2010, Roscoe had to work harder than usual to make the postseason, but earned its 13th straight trip despite a 4-7 overall record.
Keeping that streak alive won’t be easy. Not only did the Plowboys lose multi-talented quarterback Caden Smith, the district’s MVP, to graduation, but Roscoe returns just four players who started a year ago.
The team has just four seniors on its 31-player roster, and an all-new starting offensive backfield, defensive secondary and linebacking corps.
That’s because all four returning starters will play on the line including junior Landon Jones, who has been moved from linebacker to defensive end after being named the district’s co-defensive newcomer of the year as a sophomore, when he second only to Smith with 67 tackles.
Noseguard Corey Hatcher (230) is the other returning defensive starter while Hatcher, Jones (170) and Devon Freeman (182) are the returning starters on the offensive line. They will be joined by tackle Chase Saunders (263), guard Jose Rangel (148) and tight end Matthew Cuellar (180).
Freeman and Cuellar will also start on the four-man defensive line for Roscoe, while the four starting line-backers will be Eric Padilla (165) and Luke Rovig (138) in the middle and Rangel and Chris Deleon (115) on the outside. Hatcher, Padil-la, Freeman and Cuellar are the four seniors. Eduardo Gallegos will also get playing time at linebacker for Roscoe. In the secondary, the corners will be either Jesus Leanos (90) or Brant Burnett (100) on one side and either Keeston Ford (158) or Dakota Bradbury (155) on the other. Battling it out at safety will be Dillon Freeman (130) and Chris Boyd (162).
Freeman and Boyd will also compete to be the new quarterback, and Boyd will also get a shot at playing halfback along with Rovig and Deleon, with Padilla or Rovig at fullback and Ford, Leanos and Burnett all com-peting at X-receiver.
The Plowboys have a pair of state-ranked teams, Albany and Munday, on their non-district schedule plus district foe Hamlin, No. 10 in Class 1A, Division II. But the playoffs are still a goal, said coach Jonathan Haseloff. “It’s something we always shoot for,” he said. “I just want to see improvement and get progressively better. We’ve got to keep everybody healthy and give our JV guys some games on Thursday night.”
Given its history, expect Roscoe to find its way to the playoffs once again.