James Herberg has been the head coach of the Rocori Spartans for about a month after spending nine seasons under Mike Rowe as defensive coordinator. This week the Spartans are on the practice field for the first time under Herberg, who says the more things change they stay the same.

"I have always been Mike's defensive coordinator, so I will continue (in that role), so that side of the ball will be pretty similar," Herberg said. "We have some different guys coming in to play.

"On offense there are some similarities, but there are some differences as well," Herberg said. "It's been exciting to oversee some of that with Coach Johnson, who is our offensive coordinator."

Herberg says that he main goal for team camp this week is to continue the tradition that Mike Rowe, and the coaches before him, have built.

"Right now it's just about getting these guys playing hard, and competing hard out here," Herberg said at a rainy practice. "It's a continuation of what coach Rowe has built here at Rocori over the last nine years, and we've done a great job of that the first two days."

The Spartans slogan this season will be "Strive For Five," a reference to the Spartans' current streak of four straight state tournament appearances.

"Our outlook is very high," Herberg said. "We've made the state tournament for four years in a row, and our ultimate goal, and very achievable goal, is to make our fifth straight appearance.

"That's what we are working for, and I am very pleased with the first two days," Herberg said. "I think our guys, a credit to them, they have been working very hard.”


Dave Overlund
Dave Overlund

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