Bennett Groves, left, and Lane Barnes team up to break up a pass against Knox last season as teammates watch from the sidelines. Grove and Barnes are two of five returning starters this season for Ripon in the secondary.
Bennett Groves, left, and Lane Barnes team up to break up a pass against Knox last season as teammates watch from the sidelines. Grove and Barnes are two of five returning starters this season for Ripon in the secondary.

   How quickly can the Ripon College football team’s young players and inexperienced areas learn?

   The answer figures to play a role in the amount of success the Red Hawks enjoy this season.

   “This is going to be a different team than what we’ve had in years past in the sense that we’re going to be very young in some areas, but yet very experienced in other areas,” Ripon head coach Ron Ernst said. “And so if those young kids and inexperienced areas can really grow up fast, we could be pretty good. But at the same time, we’ll see what happens.”

   Among the areas that need to learn on the fly and make adjustments quickly are the offensive and defensive lines. The offensive line features all new faces from last season, while the defensive side also is almost entirely new.

   “There were several of them that got playing time last year, but maybe not as starters,” Ernst said of the offensive line. “But for the most part, I know they’ve been working extremely hard and there could be some new faces in there.”

   He added the offensive line needs to go against another team because its teammates catch its idiosyncrasies through practice.

Read the full story, which includes information about some positions of strength and weakness, in the Sept. 5, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.