Last fall, the Monroe Middle School Football program faced headwinds from the start. With only nine players initially stepping up to play, the viability of the team was tenuous until 13 more players finally joined in.
This year, Monroe 8th Grade Football has a whole new outlook from the start. Thirty-two players strong, Monroe stepped out on the field for the first time as a team to take on Marysville. Monroe won their season opener, 26-12.
The 8th grade program started gaining momentum last year under head coach Billy Russo and assistant coaches Stephen Waltman and Justin Forsberg. As a result, this season more players recognize 8th grade football as an ideal option to prepare them for the next level. Games are played every Wednesday at 3:45.
Front Row: Dylan Feldhaus, Josh Felder, Nik Kreiwald, Blake Bingham, Mike Petroe, Logan Jones, Justin Brown, Justin Folz, Garrett Sather, Ryan Spengler.
Middle Row: Rory Felder, Brian Pino, Mason Miksch, Tristian Norton, Gunnar Schultz, Tyler Dean, Joel Kelley, Cody Schwindt, Jordan Howards, Mick Wittenberg, Ilya Tsaruk
Back Row: Head Coach Billy Russo, Assistant Coach Justin Forsberg, Matt Turk, Thayer Soderberg, Christian Herron, Jonathon Merwin, Danny Vaughn, Tre Jerimonte, C.J. Skurski, Fernando Quintana, Jack Langston, Will Skold, Coach Stephen Waltman.
Not pictured: Eric Pino
Photos and story courtesy of Wendy Schulz