Friday, August 19, 2011
Camp Kovak takes the fast route to visit Ringgold at Cal U
Quad Law, Ringgold's senior quarterback, waddled away from a tent set up just off the Rams' practice field at California University's Roadman Park with several teammates to speak with a reporter (who could that be?) at the conclusion of the final practice during the first week of camp.
Law sported a bag of ice on each knee, and a grimace on his face. When asked about the knees, Law said, "It's nothing bad. Just been a real tough week."
A move to the Class AAA Keystone Conference coupled with the emergence of talent like Law bolstered Ringgold to a historic regular season. The Rams went 9-0 for the first time before running into eventual WPIAL champion Central Valley in the first round of the playoffs.
Ringgold went hunting last year. These days, the Rams are the hunted. Thanks to a group of returning players like Law, Ringgold just might be the fastest team in the WPIAL. All reasons to make the opening week of camp rugged for the players.
There were sprints, lots of them, and, even as many players were packing up at the practice field, coaches were running special teams players through some drills.
"I feel these guys learned from that (Central Valley) game but, at the same time, that's in the past and that's where we want to keep it," Humbert said. "They know what's expected of them, and they're looking forward to the challenge."
Tough guys: Michael Beveridge, Dom Affinito, Lance Tritschler
Humbert believes Beveridge, thanks to his offseason work in the weight room, could project as a lower-level Division I tight end prospect. A member of the 2010 Elite 11, Beveridge is athletic with quick feet, and, at times, he's a dominating defensive lineman.
Affinito played along the offensive line last year but will move to fullback, where he'll be blocking for the Rams' stable of speedsters. Affinito excels at linebacker. Tritschler will be vital to Ringgold's success as he's the lone returning starter on the offensive line with Affinito moving to fullback.
Speedsters: Law, Demetrius Louis, Alfon Cook
When Pitt introduced Todd Graham as its football coach and Graham talked about speed, he might as well have been referring to Ringgold. Not the all the Rams' skill players stack up to Division I level speed, but they do believe they're the fastest group in the WPIAL. There's a good chance they're correct.
Fast facts: Senior Fred Johnson, a transfer from Uniontown, suffered a knee injury Wednesday during Oklahoma Drills. Humbert said Friday morning that a MRI was forthcoming and they would know the extent of the injury soon. Johnson was an all-conference player with the Red Raiders, and Humbert said he would be a two-way starter. ... Louis, Law, Joey Wall and Ringgold graduate Derrick Fiore won the WPIAL Class AAA 400 relay. Louis also qualified for the PIAA championships in the 100 dash. ... Counting two games Humbert served as head coach in 2009 when then-head coach Lloyd Price was suspended, his career coaching record is 11-1.