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Ringgold not using inexperience as excuse this season

Rich Downer | For the Tribune-Review - Members of the Ringgold coaching staff, Jim Trenk, head coach Matt Humbert and Jim McGinley supervise practice Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, at Ringgold.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Rich Downer | For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Members of the Ringgold coaching staff, Jim Trenk, head coach Matt Humbert and Jim McGinley supervise practice Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, at Ringgold.
Rich Downer | For the Tribune-Review - Ringgold tailback Nico Law works out at practice Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, at Ringgold.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Rich Downer | For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Ringgold tailback Nico Law works out at practice Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, at Ringgold.
Rich Downer | For the Tribune-Review - Ringgold's Malik Lawson takes a break during practice Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, at Ringgold.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Rich Downer | For the Tribune-Review</em></div>Ringgold's Malik Lawson takes a break during practice Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, at Ringgold.

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Schedule

Coach: Matt Humbert

2012 record: 4-6, 4-4

Date Opponent Time

8.30 Thomas Jefferson* 7:30

9.6 Laurel Highlands* 7:30

9.13 at Belle Vernon* 7:30

9.20 Uniontown* 7:30

9.27 at West Mifflin* 7:30

10.4 Albert Gallatin* 7:30

10.11 Elizabeth Forward* 7:30

10.18 at Highlands 7

10.25 at Trinity* 7:30

*conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing Nico Law

43-89, 620 yards, 4 TDs

Rushing Demetrius Louis*

103-967 yards, 12 TDs

Receiving Joey Wall*

18-295 yards, 3 TDs

*Graduated

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

Fourth-year Ringgold coach Matt Humbert knows he has a young team this year, but he is not tempering his goals for his inexperienced squad.

In his eyes, it just doesn't work that way, and inexperience is no excuse.

“Our expectation is to always make the playoffs, and that is no different this year,” said Humbert, who has led the Rams to the postseason in his first three seasons.

“But this year, I am preaching short-term goals week to week, and eventually things will pay off.”

A year ago, Ringgold slumped badly at the end of the season, losing its final three games and finishing in a tie for the final playoff spot with Belle Vernon.

The Rams lost in the first round of the playoffs to eventual WPIAL champion West Allegheny, 34-8.

The four straight losses put a damper on a season that started out 4-2.

To start this campaign, the Rams open with perennial powerhouse Thomas Jefferson for a Big 9 Conference battle.

“You are always optimistic coming into each year,” Humbert said.

“The nice thing is that we will get to see what a playoff-caliber team looks like right away.

“You always know where you stand after you play TJ.”

There is one break in the Rams' schedule.

Ringgold plays five of its first seven contests, all conference matchups, at home.

“With so many young players, they can get their feet wet at home in front of friends and classmates instead of on the road,” Humbert said.

“I think that is a nice little incentive as we were on the road a lot last year.”

With such a young team, Humbert said there will be competition almost across the board.

“There is competition, and we will be shuffling guys in and out at positions,” he said.

Humbert pointed out a trio of seniors as leading players — guard/defensive end Nick Trocano, fullback/inside linebacker Matt Kirby and Dayshore Majors, who will be a multi-purpose athlete on offense and see time at both safety and outside linebacker on defense — as well as returning starting quarterback Nico Law, a junior, who also plays safety.

Law, in his first season under center, threw for 620 yards and four touchdowns in 2012.

“Those are some of the guys that we will lean on,” he said.

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