Week 3: Five area players to watch tonight on the gridiron

Rowan Zolman of East Noble

Week 3 is headed your way tonight and as we come down off the buzz of actually getting to see and play high school football, what will this third week of action have in store?

As always, each Friday we talk about five different players that you should keep an eye on. Maybe they did well last week? Maybe they have a favorable or intriguing matchup? This week, some of these guys may play both ways but it is their play on the defensive end that keeps us paying close attention.

Here are the players to keep an extra eye on tonight:

Rowan Zolman, East Noble (at Huntington North)

As one of three players to appear in Outside the Huddle’s Player of the Night fan voting each of the first two weeks, Zolman (pictured) has really carved out a spot for himself as a can’t-miss player for the Knights.

Defensively, Zolman has become the guy who covers a spot or a player that you just don’t throw towards. He has three interceptions in the first two weeks and returned a fumble on a punt for a touchdown. He is also currently fourth among the Knights with 18 tackles.

Zolman is long and athletic and a problem everywhere on the field. Huntington North is going to have to think long and hard how much they want to air it out with Zolman on the field.

Rylan Whitacre, Heritage (at Woodlan)

After starting 0-2 for the fourth straight season, Heritage is looking to get into the win column tonight against a struggling ACAC foe in Woodlan.

The Patriots have given up some big points, but there were still highlights along the way. Perhaps none have been bigger than Whitacre flexing his muscles in a loss to Norwell last week. The sophomore inside linebacker tallied 15.5 tackles in the loss, a big-time defensive effort to grow on. Expect him to be all over a still-growing Woodlan offense and maybe even add to his sack total that sits at one through two weeks.

Joel Rinkenberger, Norwell (at Leo)

Another multiple position threat, Rinkenberger also leads his team in tackles heading into an important road game against one of the Northeast 8 favorites.

Rinkenberger had four tackles and two assists last Friday and four tackles in Week 1, but tonight he is going to be crucial in slowing an always-tough Leo run game, currently generated mostly by Kaeden Miller. No matter how he lines up at linebacker, Rinkenberger’s no nonsense approach is something that will be a leader in how Norwell as a whole needs to play to get a big conference win.

Mason Daring, Bishop Luers (vs. Homestead)

Pulling an upset at Luersfield is going to need the Knights’ defense looking a lot like Concordia did a week ago against the Spartans. The Cadets held Homestead to just seven points on less than 200 yards of offense. At 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, Daring isn’t the size of a typical linebacker, but he is assertive and efficient as Bishop Luers’ leading tackler through the first two weeks. Daring has scored 23 tackles showing that win or lose, he has his nose on the ball defensively. Showing some aggression, Daring also has registered a pass deflection and a fumble recovery.

Nick Nondorf, Churubusco (vs. Garrett)

It could be easy to label Nondorf as the most intriguing prospect for a rebuilding Churubusco team because he does a little bit of everything, including punt.

Offensively, Nondorf’s rushing, receiving, kick and punt returns have him as the team’s leader in all-purpose yards at 318. The junior is also officially listed defensively as a DB, where he is tied for third on the team in total tackles.

Nondorf has also deflected a co-team high four passes, all adding up to him getting his hands on a lot of things on both sides of the ball.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply