Central QB Ryley Roth says this season is for `More than just the Bell’
There’s more to play for than just the annual Bell Game for the Central High School football team this season.
At least, that’s what senior quarterback Ryley Roth says about the upcoming shortened six-game season.
“This year we’re here for more than just the Bell,” Roth said. “We’re here to win the league. After Week 2 (Bell Week) we’re going to come back even better and win city.”
Central meets Centennial in Week 2 of this disjointed season at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at Dutch Clark Stadium. It’s part of a six-game season for the Wildcats with five games in the South-Central League.
Roth has been a fixture for the Wildcats since his freshman season when he played about half the season as the team’s signal caller.
He was moved to wide receiver last season and returns to his more natural position at quarterback this year.
“I think the way we wanted to run things last year was more in a spread and trying to get things outside,” Roth said. “Brandon Martin was definitely quicker and the more agile guy to play quarterback and he was the guy to do that.
“I thought it was better if I moved to wide receiver. I had a great season, a lot of catches, a lot of yards. This year we needed somebody to step up at quarterback and take the lead and somebody who knows the offense.”
Roth feels more comfortable at quarterback.
“I started our fourth or fifth game my freshman year and from then on I played quarterback until my junior year,” he said. “I’m definitely more comfortable there and definitely know the offense better than anyone.”
At 5-foot-6, 145 pounds, Roth compares himself to Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Kyler Murray.
“That’s my guy,” Roth said. “He’s short but can run and pass. I love that guy.”
Roth is confident his team will keep turning things around this season. The past three years the Wildcats have been 2-8, 4-6 and 6-4, but struggled in the South-Central League, finishing 1-4, 0-5 and 2-3.
“I think this year we have everything it takes,” he said. “We’re going to mix things up unlike years before.
“A lot of I and shotgun, try to keep the defense guessing. A little bit of everything.”
Roth believes this is the season Central turns things around.
“I think this year we have everything it takes,” he said. “We have size. We have kids who want to play. All we have to do is put everything together.
“I think we’ll be ready for all the Pueblo teams, every single one of them. It’s exciting. You can put everything you’ve got in those hometown rivalries and see who the best in Pueblo is.”
“Everybody here has played in big games. We have a lot of new guys ready to do their part.”
Roth touched on how the reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic has messed with his mind and his teammates’ minds.
“Definitely when they canceled (the season) the first time I think everybody was a little down,” Roth said. “Now that we’ve got it back and have a chance to play this year everybody is going to give it their all.
“Everybody here is just happy that we even got a chance to play one game. Being a senior it does mean a lot because I thought for sure we weren’t going to have it. Speaking for the seniors, we’re just glad to be out here.“.
Chieftain interim sports editor Jeff Letofsky can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at twitter.com/JeffLetofsky. Help support local journalism with a subscription to the Chieftain at chieftain.com/subscribenow.
Chieftain’s Football Season Preview
Want more Central football preseason coverage? Make sure to pick up the Chieftain’s Football Season Preview special section on Thursday for more details on the Wildcats and the rest of Pueblo high school football.