BILLINGS - The Billings Central Rams may be notably young this football season, but they're not intimidated.
"I mean, people aren't expecting us to be good, but we'll hit them in the mouth on each and every play," running back/linebacker Jakob Kominsky told MTN Sports. "We're coming out with great intensity and we're just going to give it our all this year."
When Central kicked off its season opener just over a week ago against Miles City, coaches and players weren't sure what to expect after graduating a stable full of horses. They list only five seniors on this year's roster. That said, flying under the radar can be a refreshing change.
"Yeah, I think it's fun because I've heard about a lot of teams saying we lost all our starters, or a lot of them," said fellow running back/safety Kade Boyd. "Being an underdog is just as fun, getting guys unexpectedly on wins, it's fun."
The Rams won their Miles City opener 17-9 in a game that came down to one possession. Here's what players told MTN Sports after.
"You've got to rely on everybody when you're young," running back/linebacker Clay Oven said. "We've got really good leaders, a few seniors but they're good leaders. They'll push us on and off the field, they hold everybody accountable and that's what allows us to come out with the win."
"We have what it takes to just push over difficult times and I don't think anybody expected it, but that's how it happened," said receiver/defensive back Travis Hadley.
Central followed it's Miles City win with a 30-12 road victory in Glendive. The Rams host Havre on Friday.
Head coach Jim Stanton says this may be the youngest Rams team he recalls coaching in his 20 years at Billings Central. It raises the challenge of reaching deep into his bench.
"A lot of times you're sitting behind some real good players," Stanton said. "We graduated a talented class last year and sometimes your turn doesn't come up until your last year, or maybe junior year. Maybe we're reaching this year into some kids that we normally wouldn't. But we have no choice, we'll get them ready and we're excited to see what they can do."
The Rams are breaking in some quarterback and receivers, have a couple fresh-faced running backs, and may excel most at a surprise position.
"We've got a little bit of depth on our lines, which is unusual," Stanton said.
If teams want to beat the Rams, this may be the rare season. However, with a 2-0 start, the thought of a rebuilding year may fade quickly.
"We're not losing too many kids this year," Boyd said, "...so that'll make us stronger."