Monday, August 18, 2008

New Haven is going old school in 2008...way old school.


New Haven is going old school in 2008...way old school.

The Rockets, under first-year head coach Todd Winters, are abandoning the spread offense that has become extremely popular on the high school and college levels.

Winters made the decision in the off season to switch to the single wing offense, a set that does not feature a quarterback and utilizes direct snaps to one of three running backs with very little passing. The offense is extremely rare and is run by only a handful of teams in the state.

Winters and his coaching staff attended a single wing coaching clinic in Pennsylvania over the summer to get familiar with the ins and outs of the offense.

"We're really excited about what we're doing with this offense," said Winters, who has been an assistant for the last two years. "We're going to be playing a lot of bigger teams with 50 guys on the roster. We felt with our numbers we could be more competitive with an offense that is built around the team concept."

The Rockets will be gunning to return to their winning ways after finishing 4-5 last fall, their first losing season since 2004. The season was especially disappointing with a roster featuring three players that went on to sign with Division I programs.

New Haven, which opens Aug. 29 on the road against Center Line, will rely on the experience of senior fullback/linebacker Chris Hessel (5-11, 215) and senior lineman Quinton Cowart (5-11, 190). The Rockets will compete in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division after three years in the Silver.

"Our regulars have been showing up in the weight room three to four times a week; we should have about 25 guys this year which is up a little bit from last season," Winters said. "We're not very big this year, but we are going to be quick with experience coming back on both sides of the ball."

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