New coach looks to turn around RC Central football program

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Central football team went through some changes in the offseason including the hiring of a new head coach.

Neal Cruce will have his work cut out for him this year as he tries to make the Cobblers competitive again.

Cruce inherits a team that has lost 10 straight games dating back to 2018.

The Cobblers lost 22 players to graduation including running back Jeremy Weidmann who rushed for over 1,100 yards.

But Central returns a core group of players this year.

Coach Cruce will be counting on 6-foot-6 senior quarterback Kohl Meisman to put up some big numbers.

Along with Meisman, Central returns running back Gavyn Dansby, tight end Liam Porter and receivers Julian and Micah Swallow, among others.

“Offensively, the depth looks pretty good,” Central head football coach Neal Cruce said. “We’re just trying to get to the point where we can narrow it down to who separates into that elite varsity group. Then they can really take off then. But I’m still learning a lot about these kids myself.” 

The Cobblers were outscored by 20 points per game last season.

So coach Cruce is changing things up this year on both sides of the ball.

“The first thing we did was completely redesign the offense,” Cruce said. “We felt like we had the tools to do that. Defensively, there’s some similarities to last year with a little bit of added aggression. I’m not trying to give away too much information and we completely redesigned the special teams. Those are just part of changes that you make when you come in and take over a new program. You put your fingerprints on it.”

Rapid City Central opens the season on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Harrisburg.

The Cobblers home opener is Sept. 11 against Watertown during the Rushmore Bowl.

Categories: High School, Sports