Football: Hubs battle Ashton-Franklin Center in 7-on-7 scrimmage

Junior Brock Metzger looks to pass during the Rochelle Hub varsity football team's 7-on-7 scrimmage against Ashton-Franklin Center on Wednesday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Sophomore and varsity players take offensive, defensive reps

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Hub varsity football team earned its first taste of live action on Wednesday, hosting the Ashton-Franklin Center Raiders for its first 7-on-7 scrimmage at the Rochelle Township High School football facility. The Hubs will travel for additional scrimmages at Kaneland, Sterling and Byron later this month as the march toward the 202 season continues.

Rochelle’s skill players on both sides of the ball took the field, with the offense working through a variety of passing plays while the defense battled through individual pass-coverage matchups. The Hubs are returning several seniors at the skill positions including quarterback Hayden Inman as well as two-way starters Garrett Gensler, Cody Stover-Cullum and Trey Taft.

“It’s a great time to be out here working with the boys,” Inman said. “I think our offensive line is going to be really big this season and I’m really excited about that. Having Trey, Cody and Garrett back will be huge for our offense too. Our goal is to be better than we were last season.”

Rochelle and A-FC each took three turns on offense and defense during Wednesday’s scrimmage, which kicked off around 5 p.m. and ran for about one-and-a-half hours. The Hubs will have one week off before resuming offseason activities on Monday, July 11. In addition to the scheduled 7-on-7 scrimmages, Rochelle will host its annual two-week padded camp, one-week youth camp and Lift-A-Thon as well as a dual camp with Forreston later this month.

“Practices have been really competitive recently and everybody has been fighting for their spots,” Taft said. “Getting everybody out here and competing against another team is so much fun and it feels great to go against another team. I think we’re off to a good start this summer, but we have a lot of room to improve. We definitely have the potential to be better than we were last season, but our coaches always tell us about the importance of putting in the work.” 

Rochelle will begin the upcoming season with a home game against Woodstock on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. The Hubs are seeking to build on an 8-3 record and second-round postseason exit.