The Paoli Rams High School Football team will start their 2022 campaign off in grand fashion, going up against a larger 4A program. The Rams will host the Boonville Pioneers on Friday, August 19th, game time listed as 7:30 pm. This is a good test for a Paoli program who graduated 16 seniors, all starters from last year’s team, and a Pioneer program that has failed to get over .500 the past 3 seasons.
Paoli is 14-7 after two seasons with Coach Neil Dittmer, who is confident about his young team, “As a program we believe that Paoli football should be known for how hard we play. We want to play with high energy and effort… For us to be successful on offense we are going to have to establish our run game both inside and on the perimeter, while still being able to hit some big pass plays over the top. On defense it will come down to playing sound and being committed to tackling. Overall, our success will come from our preparation and being relentless in our pursuit of excellence. We won’t blow anyone with our size or speed so we must be assignment sound and technical in our form.”
Paoli Rams football looks to bring that technical sound play into their first ever contest with a Boonville program that has struggled the past few years. The Pioneers were able to keep games close last season, but things just didn’t go their way in a 2-7 2021 season, and a 3 year downward spiral.
The Pioneers are a 4A program, which generally means tougher competition, in which they have been able to keep games close, but without the finishing act. Coach Darin Ward has been with the program for 8 years and carries a record of 40-31.
Boonville will present quite the test to a Paoli program trying to discover who they are and what they will be this 2022 season.
Paoli will continue to utilize its notorious Flexbone offensive scheme, that was able achieve a differential of +259 points against opponents last season. The highest of any team in Sectional 40. Paoli put the points up quick in 2021 and hope to continue the trend with a predominately new team.
For the Rams, we think we’ll see big things from senior leaders Braxton Elliot (QB/DB/SB), Chris Nunez (OL/DL/K), Austin Benales (FB/LB), and Brandon Cook (SB/DB). We look for junior Trey Rominger (FB/LB) to continue his success from last season and capture that 2,000-yard rushing season. Fletcher Cole (QB/DB/WR) and Jaxson Reynolds (OL/LB), both Sophomores, could potentially have breakout seasons as they help fill the experience gaps.
We wish we could list the whole Paoli roster, but a lot about the team remains unknown. Coach Deittmer shares, “…we have a lot of room for improvement. Specifically with our depth, we are very young this season and will need our sophomores and a few freshman to develop throughout the year to make a strong postseason run.”
“We graduated 16 seniors. Which is a large class for 2A football. All of them started, so we are replacing quite a bit on both sides of the ball. “
“Our biggest hurdle will be ensuring we stay healthy and develop our depth as we go through the season. We will need our younger players to learn and develop to provide depth for what we believe is a very strong group of starters.“
The Boonville Pioneers prior season was plagued with injuries, but they’re looking to turn it around. They will be led by 17 Seniors and 22 Juniors. Expect big plays from quarterback Clay Conner, running back Reece Wilder, as well as Cooper Aigner and Marques Ballard at the wide receiver position.
Look for Southern Indiana Sports Network at Friday’s game between Boonville and Paoli as we begin our season coverage for Paoli. Also stay tuned for our game of the week coverage, as well as other local scores and highlights.