Freshman QB takes over at Summit High
FARMER’S KORNER – Talon Roggasch was born to play quarterback for Dylan Hollingsworth.Well, maybe not. But fate is playing some role in the freshman’s young football career at Summit High School.Not 15 years ago, the first-year Summit coach Hollingsworth was a reserve quarterback for Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb. Meanwhile, Roggasch was crawling around as a year-old infant in the same small town.Fast-forward 14 years: Roggasch finished fall camp with the Tigers as the second-string signal caller behind sophomore Scott Campbell. But just days before Summit’s first game at West Grand last Friday, Campbell lacerated his liver in a freak accident while fooling around with his friends. Before the season had even begun, Roggasch was forced into the starting role.
Still, Friday night’s game was a success in almost every way. After a slow-moving defensive battle culminated in a 14-14 tie at the end of regulation, Roggasch went to work in overtime.As a show of Hollingsworth’s faith in the young quarterback, the first five Summit plays after regulation were passes, and the 5-foot-10 Silverthorne resident threw two overtime touchdowns to lead Summit to an exciting 35-34 win.”I wasn’t nervous until game time,” Roggasch said. “Once the whistle blew, it all went away.”In his first game, Roggasch went 9-19, with 165 yards and three TDs, and no interceptions. Hollingsworth said his numbers could have been better.”(Roggasch) easily could have been 13 or 14 of 19 if he’d looked at the tight end a few times instead of throwing it downfield,” Hollingsworth said.Senior left guard and defensive tackle Tim Gurule, in his fourth year on the SHS football team, said it felt like he was blocking for a seasoned veteran in crunch time.
“I wasn’t even thinking he was a new quarterback,” Gurule said. “It was just time to get it done. Before the game I told him he better not screw up. And I promised the line would get the job done.”Now that the wild first week is over, the reality has set in for Roggasch, Hollingsworth and the rest of the Tigers: their success depends upon the play of a kid still years away from legally driving a car.”Everybody on this team believes in him,” Hollingsworth said. Mentally, Roggasch is an unassuming ninth-grader. He’s not tall, he’s not big and he’s not the loudest Tiger on the field.”He’s pretty level,” Hollingsworth said. “He doesn’t get too excited and he doesn’t get too down. That’s a characteristic of most successful quarterbacks.”Roggasch isn’t the only fresh face in the Summit starting lineup. With an influx of new players, from freshmen to seniors, Hollingsworth is relying on players with little to no experience.
Freshmen Jordan Sitkoski (fullback and linebacker) and Peter Secor (center) are both starting. Senior Josh Gammel (defensive tackle), senior Billy Barto (linebacker) and junior Braden Shoop (kicker) have earned starting spots despite never playing football before.”The difference this year is depth,” Hollingsworth said. “We targeted athletes.”Moving forward, the Tigers host their first game of the year on Friday against Woodland Park at 7 p.m. The visiting Panthers are also coming off an overtime win, 38-37 over Conifer. Woodland Park scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime.Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.
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