Someone might ask MICDS football coach Josh Smith to walk on a bed of hot coals. That might be easier than trying to replace the two-dozen seniors who took his team to a 14-1 record and a shot at the Class 4 Show Me Bowl state title.
MICDS had three division 1 players: Michael Scherer (Mizzou), Thomas Militello (Dartmouth) and Jack Howell (Brown University). That’s a lot for a school with a moderate enrollment. "The Rams graduated a deep and talented senior class and watching players move on to the next level, there will probably be some growing pains," said Smith.
Scherer rushed for 1324 yards and 24 touchdowns on the ground and led the defense as an all star middle linebacker. He’s taken his ample talents to play for Mizzou’s Tigers in the Southeastern Conference.
The Rams will have their first new quarterback in four years. Militello was 195 for 334 for 3440 yards and 28 touchdowns versus just 10 interceptions and started the last three years. He will get a shot at calling signals for the Big Green at Dartmouth. Howell, with 75 catches for 1114 yards was his prime target and also gone is Foster Bundy with 56 catches for 1036 yards. He will play lacrosse at the University of Arizona.
But don’t hold a candle vigil yet for Smith. He has a lot of returning talent too. One obvious running back position will be filled by returning veteran Denzell Conway. Up front, the anchor of the line is 6-foot-5, 295 senior tackle Jack Kurzu who announced this spring for Oklahoma State. He’s already played in the U.S. Army All Star game. Backs will love to run through the holes blasted by Kurzu. Junior Alim Muhammad, wide receiver/defensive back will be counted upon along with sophomore Cole Sigmund who came to the varsity late last season.
The Rams opened 2011 with a scintillating 36-35 overtime win at Maplewood. They won all the games on their schedule until Webb City got them in the title game shootout, 56-42.
"We have a tough schedule (Maplerwood, Burroughs, Helias and St. Charles West( and there won't be a lot of time to figure things out," said Smith.
The Rams plan to get plenty out of a couple more returners wide receivers William Morehead and Clayton Buddemeyer. Only now, they need to find a new quarterback to run the offense.
Here’s a look at the 2012 regular season Rams schedule:
Saturday, August 25, 1 p.m. vs Maplewood
Saturday, Sept. 1, 1 p.m. at Westminster
Saturday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m. vs Lutheran South
Saturday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m. at Priory
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2 p.m. vs John Burroughs
Saturday, Sept. 29, 1 p.m. at Jefferson City Helias
Saturday, Oct. 13, 1 p.m. vs St. Dominic
Thursday, Oct. 18 7 p.m., at St. Charles West