MT. VERNON —
Jared Shaner and his Mt. Vernon Rams football team are less than two months away from opening day.
The Rams will take the gridiron for their first game on Friday, Aug. 29.
The Rams start the season with a pair of home games against new schedule additions Taylorville and Charleston before taking the road for a week three matchup with Triad.
“I think it's a good, solid non-conference season for us, especially early on,” Mt. Vernon coach Jared Shaner said. “Taylorville is going to be a really good game for us. They're tough.
“(Charleston) should be another good game for us. Charleston has had a good program for the last eight or ten years.”
The middle of September starts Mt. Vernon's South Seven Conference slate. The Rams host Belleveille Althoff on Sept. 19. A pair of road games take the Rams to Marion and Carbondale. The Rams finish out their conference matchups with home games against Cahokia and Centralia.
“The nice part is we do have three out of our five at home for conference,” Shaner said. “So it's a good year for us to have five home games.”
Shaner said he expected another strong conference season from each team in the South Seven.
“I'd be surprised if somebody goes undefeated in conference,” Shaner said. “The winner's probably going to have a loss or who knows maybe even two loses.
The final game of the regular season sees the Rams travel to Mt. Carmel's Snake Pit. The Golden Aces will be after a bit of revenge after the Rams upset them to end last year's regular season.
“We may have surprised them a little bit last year,” Shaner said. “Our kids played really well for two and half quarters probably. We kind of got off to a sluggish start. They were 8-0, and we gave them their only loss of the regular season last year.”