PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The goal for the Paragould Rams before the 2015 season begins is relatively simple, fill the holes left by graduating seniors.
The Rams will be without All-State Quarterback Dylan Hoggard this year, he's just one of several gaps left open from 2014. The backfield won't be absent of Hoggard on the field, however. Junior Zac Hoggard will likely be taking some of the snaps this season. He along with Senior Jakob Sullinger will be getting the quarterback reps, the two are not unfamiliar with sharing playing time in the backfield. At the junior varsity level, Sullinger and Hoggard shared the snaps at QB, they also shared snaps in the 2014 finale against Greene County Tech.
With the loss of players like Dylan Hoggard, the Rams are looking for leadership in 2015. "We graduated a big senior class, replacing that with a smaller senior class," Head Coach Tim Branum told Region Sports.
For players like Sullinger, he understands his role with the team this season. "We're young, lost a lot last season, just focus on getting everything down," he said after Tuesday's practice.
Another potential leader for the Rams will be Senior Wide Receiver and Defensive End Dustin Granger. "Got to hit the weight room. Everybody needs to lift, everybody needs to be here practicing, just come out here everyday," He added.
Branum said that one of the kick backs of losing a lot of seniors from one year to the next creates is having to force underclassmen into action, "Some of our younger kids are going to have to play probably sooner than we'd like," Branum said.
Despite the battle the Rams are facing, Branum has been pleased with what he has seen. "I really like the effort that I have seen out of this group," he said, "That's kind of been the way they are as a group." Paragould hopes to come together and gets some wins with the personnel they'll put on the field. "We've got a pretty good quarterback, good wide receivers, pretty good line too, I think we're going to be pretty good this year," added Granger.
The Rams are coming off a 4-6 season in 2014, they had several marquee wins including a victory in their opener against Rivercrest and late season wins against Blytheville and rival Greene County Tech.
Paragould opens up the 2015 season against Rivercrest on September 4.