SYRACUSE – The Syracuse Rockets have made winning a tradition in recent years, but it hasn’t always been that way for Head Coach Rick Nordhues.
“My first year, we were 0-8, and I think in my first three years, we won like four games or something like that. It was a rough start, but we wanted to do things right. We wanted to try to create a system and a program. We weren’t looking for quick fixes and I think we got things going in the right direction. You always have your up and down years.”
The Rockets have now made it to the postseason in 14 of the last 15 years. Last season, Syracuse fell to top seeded Bishop Neumann in the first round.
Coach Nordhues earned his 100th career win last year, as well.
This year’s senior class has gone through the ranks with him and are excited for this season.
“Just feels like last week, we were little freshmen getting our butts kicked every play, and now we’re up here on top trying to kick everyone else’s butt. It’s kind of fun to see everyone grown up. Caleb (Lefferdink) has gotten huge. Everyone else has gotten big and I’m just the same little guy,” said Senior Brendon Lyon.
Senior Caleb Lefferdink added, “Coach Nordues definitely taught us how to be leaders, how to lead correctly, and to be positive role models to the younger kids, so I think we’ve been waiting for this and have been taught right.”
The Rockets suffered some critical injuries last season, but still managed to secure the district championship. Coach Nordhues believes that’s a good goal to have again this year.
“I believe we can win some playoff games. Some of those factors, we don’t have control over. We’ve got to stay healthy. I see us winning six, seven regular season games. There’s not a game on the schedule that we can’t win. We’ve got to have some things go right, so I have an expectation to win playoff games.”
Syracuse will open their season at Boys Town.
Follow their year all year long on News Channel Nebraska.