New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Fall sports season for Rockets begins Friday night


August 19, 2019

Junior Johnny Grann will start at quarterback for the Rocket gridders.

The New Rockford-Sheyenne Rockets will inaugurate nine months worth of high school athletics when the first game of the 2019-20 term at NR-S kicks off at 7 p.m. this Friday, August 23.

The Rocket football team is coming off a 9-1 record, Region 2 championship and advancement to the nine-man quarterfinals, where they lost 32-28 to eventual state champion Thompson.

NR-S' gridders will begin Elliott Belquist's 11th season at the helm with a matchup against the Benson County Wildcats in Maddock Friday night.

The elder Belquist's charges return several key members of last year's regional titleists, including senior All-State wide receiver/defensive back/returner and UND recruit Bo Belquist, along with All-Region 2 honoree Nathan Holzwarth at receiver/defensive back and honorable mention selections Hunter Thompson (running back/linebacker) and Hunter Johnson (offensive/defensive line.) Behind center this year should be junior Johnny Grann, who takes over from All-State quarterback Teddy Allmaras.

This year will bear witness to wholesale changes in the Region 2 membership. Last year's six-team region has ballooned to nine members in 2019, but only four squads from last year remain in Region 2. Since Four Winds and Larimore left the conference in favor of playing independent schedules, new opponents in the region now include Benson County, Dunseith, North Prairie, North Star and St. John. All five were in Region 4 last season.

Nine-Man as a whole reduced from six regions to four starting this fall, and the playoff format is back down to 16 teams from 24. As the Rockets will play all eight of their conference opponents this fall, all regular season games will count in the Region 2 standings.

Switching to volleyball, the NR-S girls will have new leadership at the helm, as Sara Myhre takes the reins from Katie Demester for her first season as a head coach. Demester left the district to take the same position at Midkota.

Last year's Rocket netters finished with a record of 20-11 under Demester, and placed third in Region 4 behind Langdon/Edmore/Munich and North Star. Myhre will be tasked with replacing five graduated seniors from 2018, but returns a talented group of underclassmen from that team that should keep them towards the top of the super region standings.

Senior Hannah Haley intends to be a force in both volleyball and cross country.

Senior Hannah Haley is a returning All-Region 4 performer, who recorded her 1,000th career dig last year. Others looking to contribute to NR-S' success who got significant court time last season include senior Brianna Price and juniors Cassie Longnecker, Dani Bjerke and Kayahna Hopfauf.

Volleyball season begins Tuesday night, September 3, when NR-S hosts the M-P-B Thunder for a non-conference home match starting at 4 p.m. with the junior high, followed by C-squad, junior varsity and varsity.

The Rockets' cross country team begins their season on Saturday, August 24, when they travel to Parkhurst Recreation Area north of Jamestown. Coach Cherry Heinz's group will include several returning runners, including state placers Haley, Ashlynn Benson, Chloe Heinz, Mya Cudworth, Katie Allmaras and Lucy Meier.

NR-S did not field a boys' team last season, but Heinz hopes that turnout will be sufficient to support one in 2019.

This year's state meet will be held at Souris Valley Golf Course in Minot on October 26.


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