Oak Creek When the 0-3 Soroco High School varsity team takes the field today in Oak Creek, the Rams will be hoping to upend the Steamboat Sailors junior varsity squad at their school's annual homecoming game.
Soroco, coached by Steve Longwell, is coming off a 61-0 defeat at the hands of South Park High School on Sept. 16. The Rams will be fired up, however, as they defend their home turf after a week filled with homecoming activities.
Monday and Tuesday consisted of water balloon and marshmallow string relays, and Wednesday involved a chili cookoff. Today, students at Soroco will gather during the seventh hour of school for a pep assembly that figures to pump up the already fired-up football team.
The Rams are led on offense by quarterback Brandon Himmerite and fullback Brandon Gilleland. Linebacker Matt Hayne is a key player defensively for Soroco.
The Sailors will be ready, too, as the team looks to improve its record to 3-0. Steamboat coach Bert Svendsen looks forward to the challenge of playing Soroco.
"We realize it's their homecoming," Svendsen said. "We realize they're going to be pumped up because they're going to be out to beat Steamboat.
"We know they'll be pumped, but we're also going to have our kids ready."
The Sailors run a Delaware wing-T on offense and are led by quarterback Joel Adams, who passed for 150 yards on Monday against Eagle Valley. Adams has a fine set of receivers to go to in Chris Dombey, Brendon Gormley and Cooper Howard.
The Rams, who run a multiple-front defense, will seek to shut down the Sailors' offensive attack that put up 34 points against Eagle Valley.
Longwell said his team anticipated the challenge of playing a strong Steamboat team.
"We've got to prevent them from making big plays," Longwell said. "We've got to make them drive the football on us rather than letting them get large chunks of yardage."
Longwell says his team will have to execute better both offensively and defensively in order to out-play the Sailors. If the Rams play to their potential, Longwell expects a close contest.
Svendsen said his Sailors would also have to execute better. He said he hopes to see better pass protection from his offensive line.
"We'll go in there with the idea of throwing, but we also know that we have some runners that can carry the ball downfield," Svendsen said.
"We're looking forward to a fun evening, a festive evening," he said. "This will be the first action these kids have really seen against a varsity team. And it's under the lights, and a homecoming for them."
The Rams, who have lost their past several homecoming contests, seek to end the streak today.
"I think it's very big to win it because it's our homecoming game," Longwell said. "It's been about five years since they've won a homecoming game. That's big right there. Probably, any way you look at it, there are some bragging rights between the two schools, you know, for whoever wins."
Kickoff for the game is at 6 p.m.