Friday, May 02, 2008

2008 Team to Watch: Rockhurst

As the month of May begins, begins looking ahead in earnest to the start of the 2008 high school football season. We're still a few months away from the release of our expanded preseason national rankings, but it's not too soon to whet your appetite with mini-previews of teams that are likely to figure very prominently on the national scene this season.

Rockhurst has established a standard of excellence in the Show Me State this decade. Last year, the Hawklets won their third state championship in eight seasons and finished ranked No. 23 in the National Prep Poll.

Four starters return on both sides of the ball for veteran coach Tony Severino. The group includes blue chip quarterback recruit Nathan Scheelhaase, who accounted for nearly 2,778 yards of total offense, and junior safety Sal Belfonte, who led the team in tackles on defense and had more than 1,000 yards in kickoff and punt returns.

Its first Top 10 national ranking since 2002 could be a distinct possibility if Rockhurst can survive a brutal schedule that includes four-time defending Kansas 6A champion Hutchinson and a trip to Denver to face perennial power Mullen Prep. Closer to home, the Hawklets will battle Blue Springs South, Blue Springs and Jefferson City - a trio that combined to win 10 of the 16 state championships not won by Rockhurst since 1990.

Rockhurst Hawklets (Kansas City, Mo.)
Coach: Tony Severino (236-55-1, 25 years at Rockhurst; 279-76-1, 31 years overall)

2007: 13-0, Class 6 state champion, No. 23 National Prep Poll ranking

Top returning players: QB/S Nathan Scheelhaase (6-3, 195, 1,861 yards passing, 917 yards rushing,34 TDs), S/FB Sal Belfonte (5-10, 195, leading tackler, 1,000 return yards, WR/DB Keith Langtry (6-2, 180, 820 yards receiving)

Key losses: RB Drew Temple (Missouri), TE Jake Arbanas (Army), OL Doug McFarland (Army), DE Van Marshall (Navy), DB Ivan Charbonneu (Princeton)

All systems go: Skill positions, speed, experience at QB, RB and LB

Questions must be answered: Inexperienced offensive and defensive lines

Toughest games: @Blue Springs South (Aug. 29), vs. Hutchinson, Kan. (Sept. 5), vs. Blue Springs (Sept. 12), @ Denver Mullen (Sept. 19), vs. Jefferson City (Sept. 26), vs. Minnetonka, Minn. (Oct. 10).

Forbes Report Scouting Video: QB/S Nathan Scheelhaase

2008 Teams to Watch Archive

  • Euless Trinity (Texas)
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