By Clint Andersen
The Gordon-Rushville football team enters a new era this season with first year head coach Eric Roth at the helm. Coach Roth and his wife, Sharla, are no strangers to Gordon-Rushville. Coach Roth played running back and linebacker for Gordon High School and was a member of the final Gordon graduating class before the consolidation with Rushville, while Sharla was in the first graduating class of the consolidated school. As a senior, the football team made it to the semi-finals of the state playoffs.
Following graduation, Coach Roth attended Chadron State College where he played linebacker and returned punts and kicks. The small town atmosphere of Chadron State and the community support for the program was a real bonus and helped him connect with the supporters and fans. While at Chadron, he had the opportunity to play with several teammates who made it to the NFL. The best known of these is Danny Woodhead of the New England Patriots.
This will be Roth’s third year teaching and coaching at Gordon-Rushville High School. He teaches Physical Education and has been a football assistant for the last two years. Roth says he became a coach because he enjoys being a part of a team. He had people who helped him along the way and wants to provide that kind of guidance for young players by giving back what the game and the community gave to him. Coach Roth’s philosophy is that winning is the goal, but “it’s deeper than wins and losses. It’s about the life lessons.”
Coach Roth has a young group of players this year, but they are full of fire and a fun group to coach. Roth will coach the offense this year while Ward Wacker will be the defensive coordinator. Nate Haag will coach the offensive line, George Viher will coach quarterbacks and defensive backs while Mike Fowler will work with the receivers and linebackers.
The Mustangs will have a scrimmage Friday night at 7:30 before opening the season on August 24, when they host Ainsworth.
By Clint Andersen