The Ada-Borup football team doesn’t need another person or online forum to doubt its ability of winning its fifth consecutive section title, as Thursday’s season opener finally turns the talk into reality.
The summer-long, skeptical theory has been much of the same across the state, pointing out what Ada-Borup doesn’t have: size and leadership behind center; but leaving out what it does: quickness and depth at nearly every position.
“We aren’t a big team this year like we have been for the last four, and anyone can tell by looking at our roster” Ada-Borup coach Nathan Brager said. “We’ve adjusted to our personnel changes both offensively and defensively; it may take a game or two to get going, but I think we’ll be just fine come mid-season.”
Stepping in and providing both quickness and depth on offense is Lance Ruebke, who as a sophomore eclipsed 1,000 yards in total offense. Ruebke will not only receive the ball from the quarterback through the air and on the ground, but the first-year captain will be expected to take snaps behind center.
“Wherever coach needs me to be, I’ll respond and try my hardest to deliver; whether as a receiver, running back or quarterback,” Ruebke said. “We’ll just have to try our best to outrun and out-hustle whoever is lining up against us.”
As part-time quarterback along with JD Kappes and Blake Fetting, Ruebke may find himself connecting with his cousin during the season.
Senior Mitchell Ruebke led Ada-Borup in receptions in 2011. Whoever he is receiving from this year, the captain hopes to make his presence known on the field with an even better season performance at slot.
“It may take some time for the team to get a feel for the new offense,” Mitchell Ruebke said. “But the switch is for the best, and I think it can bring us deep into the playoffs as it fits perfectly for the type of team we are this year.”
The new offensive scheme will have its first showing just 30 miles from Canada in Hallock against section 8 favorites Kittson County Central.
The Bearcats will test Ada-Borup’s offense at a young stage, but the Cougar’s toughest opponents according to Brager on schedule are Win-E-Mac (week four) and Waubun (week eight). The Patriots and Bombers will clearly show how well the offense is performing once the regular season begins to wind down, as each team returns talented playmakers.
“There will be continual adjustments made on a game-to-game basis and we’ll have to see who is the best fit for each change. It’s just a matter of successfully putting our game together with our young and old talent,” Brager said. “Only time will tell how the new look to our game works.”
The time that tells will be two months until everyone, skeptic or not, will know if the offensive switch means five fingers in the air following the section championship game or not.