ROCKFORD, Mich. — It was a scary situation for everybody involved.
Last week longtime Rockford football head coach Ralph Munger was hospitalized due to a heart condition. He had surgery soon after that and because of that, he missed the beginning of fall camp for the first time in 28 years.
"We weren't expecting what happened, but we're glad they caught it early," said Randy VanderVeen, the Rams defensive coordinator and interim head coach.
With Munger recovering for an undisclosed amount of time, VanderVeen says while the teams thoughts and prayers are with their coach, the show must go on.
"It's truly 'next man up'. The guys are hearing the exact same things whether coach Munger is here or not. What's being said, the concepts, are all the things he's instilled in the coaches, players and throughout the program."
Rockford is looking to get back to their winning ways. Their 7-5 record last year was the Rams worst mark since 1994. After starting 1-3, they were barely able to sneak into the playoffs. This Rockford team isn't worried about the postseason, though. Only the process.
"Our effort this whole offseason has been key," said Rams senior running back Jaiden Friesen."We've all been in the weight room, just putting a lot of work together. Us seniors know it's our last year so we're definitely going to make sure we (finish games this year)."
Rockford opens their season on Friday Aug. 30 against Grand Rapids Christian.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.