The Cane Bay Cobras face the 2014 football season with a lot of question marks in their notebooks.
Who will play quarterback?
Who will carry the football?
Who is going to block?
How can we clone Matt Rudy?
The first three questions turn out to be infinitely easier for Coach Russell Zehr to answer than the fourth. The Cobras will find someone to play quarterback as Devin Kilgore graduates this spring, they will find someone to step up and carry and catch the football, and there are plenty of good-sized players working out in the trenches to fill the slots in the offensive and defensive lines.
But science hasn't found a way to clone Matt Rudy, at least not in time for the Cobras' Aug. 28 opener against Summerville.
“Matt is a four-year starter and the anchor of our defense,” Zehr said. “He led our team in tackles every year, even as a freshman. He is a great football player and, on top of that, a great kid. I wish I had a team of Matt Rudys. We wouldn't lose a game.”
Zehr said Rudy has been getting looks from several area colleges but said his star linebacker would be a coveted recruit at any collegiate level: “He's 5'11” and weighs 208 pounds. He has amazing speed, agility and strength. If he were an inch taller, every major college in the nation would be after him. He's that good.”
Rudy won the 2013-2014 Class AAAA state wrestling championship earlier this spring, wrestling at 195 pounds. He has already put on 13 pounds for football.
“He is our leader out there,” Zehr said.
Cane Bay returns an experienced roster from 2013's 0-11 team and hopes for better fortunes this fall than last year's winless season.
There's only one way to go and that's up.
“We've got a lot of starters returning on both sides of the ball so we hope to be much improved,” Zehr said.
The Cobras will travel to Timberland on May 22 for their annual spring game scrimmage. Last year the Wolves visited Cane Bay so this year it's time for the Cobras to return the favor.
“We always have a good scrimmage against Timberland and this year we'll go to their place,” the coach said.
The 2014 season begins with Summerville at home on Aug. 29 and then road games against rival Berkeley and Hanahan.
Kickoff at Timberland is at 6 p.m.