Puyallup: Sports

Rogers High seeks quarterback, team identity during camp

Ethan Norris carries the ball during a tackling drill Monday at the high school. Rogers’ defensive unit is trying to use August camps to help establish the team’s identity.
Ethan Norris carries the ball during a tackling drill Monday at the high school. Rogers’ defensive unit is trying to use August camps to help establish the team’s identity. Staff writer

The Rogers High football team is still searching for an identity — even as August preseason camps enter into week two.

After last season where Rogers bookended wins on a 2-8 campaign, there really wasn’t one side of the ball the Rams could hang their hats on to coming into this season. It’s the reason why coach Gene Bowen brought in four coaches including coordinators Andy Anderson on defense and Dane Looker on offense.

“We don’t have captains yet,” Bowen admitted Monday morning. “We’re still trying to figure some things out, but it’s early (in the preseason).”

Even without that identifying piece, the Rogers staff feels things are heading in the right direction.

“We’re off to a good start,” Bowen said. “We had about 150 kids come out, and they have a great attitude. It’s the two-a-day practices, with one of them coming in the evening and then getting up early the next morning — that’s been the challenge. Otherwise, I think it’s been going real well.”

Going well or not, the Rams staff has put players through the ringer in trying to get them acclimated to a new system and a new philosophy.

“We’ve been throwing a lot at them — both on offense and defense with our new coordinators,” Bowen said. “They’ve been pretty focused, and the execution has been pretty good considering how much we’ve thrown at them.”

The whole attempt is to find the right pieces and place them in the right spots.

But no spot on the team is more up in the air than the quarterback position. With a receiving core that looks to be as good as the one’s Bowen deployed in past years, finding the right guy to sling the ball will be crucial.

“Right now, we have guys competing at for the quarterback spot — it’s been competitive so far,” Bowen said.

Rogers has the talent at the skill positions, and the offensive line looks to be bigger and stronger than the past few seasons. It’s whether the guy playing behind center can do enough and lead the Rams this season.

It’s really hard to win without a quality quarterback.

“Well we have three guys kind of guys (in the mix). We have (Jordan) Bishop, Day Smith and Kaiden Hammond,” Bowen said. “We’re going to let those guys compete and work it out.”

The player currently sitting in the No. 1 spot on the depth chart is Bishop. With an arm that won the league in the javelin as a junior last year for Rogers boys track, Bishop has ability to chuck the ball down the field.

But can he hold onto the spot?

“Right now, Bishop has a little bit of the lead on things because he’s older,” Bowen said about the starting quarterback position. “But it’s an open competition right now. The next couple of days we can kind of lock it in, so we can get things down these next couple of weeks.”

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