NEXT MAN UP: ST. PETE SEEKS STEADY PRESENCE IN RUCK
With the 2017 season now underway, the St. Petersburg Swans remain on the hunt for that most elusive quarry in American footy – a full-time ruckman.
Throughout the Winter League, the Pre-season and now – with the meatiest portion of the schedule approaching – St. Pete has had a rotation in the middle that, while highlighted by great recent performances from veterans Tim Kleman and Adham Makki, is less-than-optimum for a Premiership push.
The situation was exacerbated in the second half of last week’s Season Opener vs. Pittsburgh, as Kleman’s rock-solid effort was curtailed by a third quarter injury – forcing diminutive rover Dustin Jones into the ruck.
With Jones out of position, and Kleman out of action – Pittsburgh pulled away from a two-point deficit, running out with a 8.2.50 – 1.0.6 fourth period result to steal what had been a hard-fought match.
Now, with Kleman out of commission, and with Makki a proven force in front and Jake Keglor likely to move to the backline,the Swans may be forced into a bit of experimentation in the center.
Such experiments are better left for off-season and pre-season mixing and matching, not at the approach of summer.
But, for St. Pete – necessity may be the catalyst for invention.
The St. Petersburg Swans return to action Saturday, April 22 when they host the Miami Saints at Four ‘N Twenty Field at Campbell Park in downtown St. Pete. Game time is 6 PM.