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Rochester seeks to add to decorated tradition

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 6:52 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Rochester quarterback Ben Richko. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Rochester running back Dante Marsick. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Rochester receiver Jay Ratti. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Rochester coach Gene Matsook says there's a perception that the Rams don't rebuild — they reload.

He doesn't think that's true.

“We probably actually overachieved last year in the sense of having only three starters back (from 2010),” Matsook said. “We were a young football team last year.”

That young team looks a lot more grown up this season. Seven offensive and defensive starters return from the group that advanced to the WPIAL semifinals before falling to eventual state champion Clairton.

Rochester will have to replace star graduated running back De'Andre Moon, an all-state honoree who rushed for 1,675 yards and 31 touchdowns a season ago. The Rams also will have to overcome the emotional hit suffered earlier this month upon learning of Moon's death Aug. 8, after he was fatally shot on a houseboat in New Brighton. Senior quarterback Ben Richko returns, as do four starting linemen, led by Division I prospect Todd Weischedel.

“Probably over the last couple years, we were one guy — we had De'Andre Moon, we had Derek Moye,” Matsook said. “This year, we're going to be a balanced football team. We're going to have four or five guys that are going to be able to score.”

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