Q. Aberdeen Roncalli seems to be in the mix for an 11B title every year. How has this program managed to sustain that level of success?
A. There probably are a couple of keys; the first one is you have to have good athletes. If you don’t have kids that can play, you don’t have kids that can play. That’s pretty simple. I think maybe one thing is we’ve got some consistency. This is my 27th year at Roncalli and our staff; we haven’t had a lot of turnover. Some of the new people are kids that have played for me in the past and are familiar with what we do and the way that we do it.
I don’t think we do anything magical, probably not that different than anyone else does. We’ve just been blessed to have a pretty good group of kids. We believe in working hard and trying to do the fundamentals, keep it fairly simple if we can, but also to be creative. We like to throw a little razzle-dazzle and maybe be a little bit unpredictable in some things, but it’s probably due to the athletes more than it is anything else.
Q. What are your expectations for this season?
A. It kind of depends on who you ask. We lost a lot of kids off a couple of very good football teams. We’ll have two kids back that started on offense and three that started on defense. We like to say that ‘tradition never graduates,’ and it’s just an opportunity for some new kids to step up and have their moment in the sun and see what they can do. We always feel like we’re going to be competitive. If we come out and play hard and play as well as we can we’re going to be in every football game and just give ourselves a chance to win. And, hopefully, we’ll be in the mix of things again.
Mark Twain once said, ‘The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,’ when everybody reported that he was dead. Maybe people are looking at us and thinking we lost everything but the kitchen sink. But that’s okay, we’ve still got some plumbing left in there and we’re going to try and get that to work as well as we can and see what we can do.
Q. We’ll get to see you when you take on Sisseton this fall. That’s a team that has had one of the more explosive offenses in the state over the past several years. What kind of a challenge does that game pose to your team?
A.I’ve been here 27 years and Sisseton has always been a huge game. My very first year we played them, they were rated number one in state, and we were able to pull off a little bit of an upset. Every year it’s just been kind of back and forth. I think that they have a lot of respect for our program. We have a lot of respect for theirs. It’s almost always a really good game.
The Cavaliers and Redmen will kick off our Hub City doubleheader on Oct. 7. Roncalli will be looking for a second straight win against their Northeast Conference rivals after outshooting the Redmen 45-42 in Sisseton last year.
- Oct. 7: Sisseton vs. Aberdeen Roncalli, 5 p.m.
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