5 Key Ranger Varsity Football Players vs. FHN

5 Key Ranger Varsity Football Players vs. FHN

Tyler George, Sports Reporter

The much anticipated rivalry game between the Rangers of FHC and the Huskies of FHN is due to kickoff tomorrow night. These two programs haven’t met up in a decade, and for both teams this game is long overdue. Fifth Third ballpark will be the neutral sight, which is a first time experience for a lot of the players. FHC comes in at 4-1 while FHN stands at 3-2, and this rivalry game should be a battle decided by some key players.

Tanner Hallock-Senior QB/LB

Tanner has been the anchor for the Rangers all year, and I look for him to have a career night on Friday. Offensively, he is a powerful running quarterback that isn’t afraid to put his head down and go but also can throw the deep ball to the athletic crew of FHC wide receivers. Tanner started at quarterback last year, but this year looks much more poised and comfortable behind center. If FHC wants to be productive offensively, then Tanner will have to continue to be the dual-threat quarterback he’s been all year. On the defensive side of the ball, Tanner’s production at linebacker has been crucial throughout the season. The senior-led linebackers have been effective and should continue to be Friday night.

Sal Sidebotham-Senior FB/LB

The past three years, Sal has been a spark plug on the defensive end of the ball for the Rangers. He has a nose for the ball and at 5″9′, 202 lbs, he plays much bigger. Sal is a powerful tackler and has had clutch interceptions at pivotal points in games. Other than causing disruption on the defensive end, Sal has been key blocking in front of senior Ty Collins throughout the season. On occasion, Sal will come out of the backfield as a checkdown target for Hallock. This team has been carried by its experienced group of seniors, and in an emotional game like this they will continue to be key. Don’t be surprised if you hear Sal Sidebotham being called more than any other name come Friday night.

Nick Beaumier-Senior CB

The FHC secondary has done a phenomenal job all year of shutting down opposing wide receivers, and no one has been more consistent at it than Nick. Alongside junior cornerback Kade Shomin, Nick will be busy locking up his side of the field all night. If the Ranger cornerbacks are able to prevent the deep ball, they should be able to stop the pass well in the middle with their senior-led linebacker crew. Nick is versatile with athleticism and speed, combined with good ball skills. He should leave an impact on this game, and has player of the game potential.

Jace Thornton-Junior TE/OLB

With the injury to Michael Peliotes at the beginning of the season, junior Jace Thornton has filled his absence nicely at the tight end position. More athletic than the prototypical tight end, Jace has big play potential. That was shown in the Rangers last game at Northview where he broke loose for an 80 yard receiving touchdown. Jace has been a consistent target for Tanner and should continue to be tomorrow night. Jace is nimble and athletic, but also isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder to lay down a big block. His physicality transfers from offense to defense where he plays outside linebacker. Jace is one of the younger linebackers, but after playing quarterback his whole life, he makes up for inexperience with his football IQ. While he isn’t the flashiest player, it’s the little things that will make his impact on tomorrow night’s game significant.

Alec Elzinga-OG/DE

Alec has brought nothing but constant energy for the Rangers day in, day out all year long. Alec, along with senior Harrison Engler, have been able to penetrate opposing teams’ offensive lines. His locker room presence along with his team-first attitude are what keeps the defense going. On interior runs, Alec is quick enough to get there. He isn’t as big as every other defensive end, but he makes up for it with his athleticism. On the offensive end he is a key blocker to running back Ty Collins. He helps to lead that offensive line which has continued to be rock solid. Look for Alec to have an impact in more ways than one against the Huskies tomorrow night.