These Roncalli seniors like the Royals’ chances in the upcoming season. They are (from left) Luke Swartz, Luke Hansen, Trevor Lauck and Andrew Baugh.
By Steve Page
Luke Swartz has his own way of defining memories.
“People don’t remember you if you had a good year; they only remember if you win state,” said Swartz, a 6-2, 282-pound defensive tackle for Roncalli.
The Royals had one of those “good” years in 2021, winning 12 games before losing 27-21 to eventual Class 4A state champ Mount Vernon (Fortville) in the regional championship game.
Now, they want to generate state title memories.
“That is a big rivalry,” Swartz said of playing Mount Vernon. “We lost to them one year, then beat them and went on to win state. They won it last year. We’re definitely looking forward to that game. We’re never satisfied until we’re on top.”
His teammates concur.
“We’re always going after the next state title. We want to play on Thanksgiving,” said senior defensive back Andrew Baugh. “We return quite a few good athletes, so we can make a run again.”
“I’m excited for this year,” said senior running back Luke Hansen. “I feel we have a really good team this year. We can definitely make a run.”
As a junior, Hansen was busy, rushing 189 times, gaining 1,458 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns.
When asked if he had individual goals for this season, Hanson answered, “Goals? I just try to be the best player I can be, do what I can do to help the team.”
“The state championship is our main goal,” said senior Trevor Lauck, a 6-6, 285-pound senior offensive lineman who has committed to Iowa. “We’re fully capable of winning it.”
The son of David Lauck, Roncalli’s softball coach and athletic director, believes Roncalli has the players to make another run.
“It was obviously disappointing,” Trevor Lauck said of the loss to Mount Vernon, “but we have guys coming up. We’ve just got to get over that little hump.”
One of those players is senior quarterback Arik Moyers, a transfer from Plainfield who is coming off a torn ACL and was seldom used there after his injury. He’s the son of veteran coach Derek Moyers, now the assistant athletic director at Warren Central. Arik’s brother, Aiden, was a Plainfield senior last season who passed for 1,739 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“I think Arik coming in at quarterback can do it,” Lauck said. “If we run 50 times, so be it. But he can make the big passes, too.”
Swartz agreed, saying of the 6-5, 195-pound Moyers, “He’s playing behind the best offensive line in the state, and I know, since we practice against them all the time. He’s definitely a Division I quarterback. He can sling it like no other.”
They’re all under the direction of Eric Quintana, starting his first season after leaving Class 4A rival Bishop Chatard. He succeeds John Rodenberg, who took a position out of state after two successful seasons with the Royals.
Though Roncalli graduated many of its statistical leaders, including both quarterbacks, Quintana is optimistic.
“Arik Moyers has done a great job,” the coach said. “He’s fully immersing himself. He’s melded in well with the senior group. He’s a coach’s son, so he has picked up things very quickly.”
Quintana likes the entire team.
“Our senior class is great,” he said during the school’s recent fall sports picture day. “Strong class of juniors. Sophomores have stepped in. Rebuild has never been in our vocabulary. We’ll have a different football team identity. We will be extremely physical. We love to run the football.
“We’re not where we want to be, but we’re going to be a tough team to beat every week.”
Roncalli sports a large senior class as the Royals head into the 2022 season.