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Ramstein primed for more of the same this season

By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 1, 2017

Second in a series of DODEA-Europe high school football previews.

The theme for Ramstein football this year is continuity.

That makes a lot of sense: given the success the Royals have consistently enjoyed, there’s no reason to change.

Ramstein reclaimed the DODEA-Europe Division I championship last fall with a 13-8 win over archrival Wiesbaden. The title was the program’s third in a five-year span that also included a title-game loss and a semifinal berth. Taking a larger perspective, the Royals have played in all but two European title games since 2000, collecting seven championships in the process.

So obviously, that’s a trend the Royals would like to continue. And this fall’s squad appears poised to do so.

Head coach Carter Hollenbeck welcomes back all of his varsity assistant coaches and 11 incumbent varsity players, including some key figures on offense. That should ease a process that presented some adversity for the Royals last fall.

“Last year was our big challenge year because we were putting our offense in,” said Hollenbeck, who took over the head coaching position after a successful run as Ramstein’s defensive coordinator. “Now that they got that under their belt...it should go faster.”

The fact that All-Europe quarterback Trevor Miller is back under center makes that especially true - as does the fact that he’ll be playing behind three returning linemen. Wideout Naser Eaves, meanwhile, gives Miller a familiar target to work with.

That doesn’t mean the Royals don’t have holes to fill. But the school - DODEA-Europe’s largest by student population - is uniquely positioned to address such vacancies. Ramstein drew its 32-man varsity roster from among the 97 prospects who showed up to audition for the squad, a level of turnout that is the envy of the organization.

But with 17 seniors to replace, Hollenbeck said maintaining Ramstein’s momentum is “a challenge for the next group to step up and rise to the task.”

If history is any guide, that’s exactly what’s likely to happen.

broome.gregory@stripes.com

Twitter: @broomestripes

Carter Hollenbeck, Ramstein head football coach, speaks to his team during practice at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017.
MICHAEL B. KELLER/STARS AND STRIPES

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