This Friday, Jeff Rothrock will man the sidelines as head coach of the Fulton varsity football team.
After 16 seasons working within the program, he is wasting little time making his presence felt.
The goals he has for his team are very simple but straight to the point. Rothrock said he wants his team to be both physically and mentally tougher than they had been in previous years. However, he doesn’t pull any punches.
“Ultimately, our goal is to be better in the win-loss column,” Rothrock said.
On paper, Fulton appeared to be an experienced team. However, once practice began, Rothrock said he soon found that his team lacked the experience he was hoping to see from them.
Though there are many juniors and seniors on the team, many sat behind a handful of seniors that were on the team a year ago.
As the regular season approaches, the Raiders appear to be smaller in terms of numbers. The slightly lower turnout allows Rothrock to set the foundation for the future of Fulton Football while allowing a notable amount of junior varsity players on the team as well.
This summer, Fulton’s conditioning program was as successful as its been in a long time, the coach said.
Rothrock mentioned that there were 15 to 20 players taking part in the four-night-a-week program throughout the summer.
Benefits of the conditioning program were noticed during the first day of practice. Coaches asked more of the players physically and most of the players were able to oblige. Rothrock said he wants his team to strive to be better conditioned than any team they face.
The Raiders have not named any captains for the opening game as of press time.
This season, Fulton will not have just one set group of captains. Rather, the players have been informed of the criteria of which a captain will be named.
As the season goes on, Rothrock hopes that many players step up and meet the criteria he’s looking for in a captain.
The process of evaulation will be a season-long one. Once the season begins, they will most likely name captains on a week to week basis.
Rothrock suggested that it will be a positive sign, in general, if he is able to name an abundance of captains by seasons end.
This season, Fulton is determined to make up for some of the tough losses they have endured in recent years.
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