The focus of Mount Horeb/Barneveld football coach Travis Rohrer is squarely on the game.
He’s devoted the week to developing a game plan to try and contain Logan running back Raekwon Tillman, who has rushed for 249 yards and four TDs the past two games. He’s spent hours watching film trying to dissect a Logan defense that is holding opponents to 14 points per game in the playoffs.
No, Rohrer hasn’t had time for much else.
Not even a few moments to reflect on his days of playing high school football, which just so happen to have taken place at Swanson Field.
That’s where the Vikings meet the Rangers in a WIAA Division 3 state quarterfinal that begins at 7 p.m. today.
“It hasn’t really hit me because we’re just getting ready for another team,” said Rohrer, a 1992 Logan High School grad. “We grew up on the north side of La Crosse all 18 years of my life, so I’m sure memories will come back once we step out onto the field.
“It’ll be a little different, especially being on the visitor’s sideline.”
Rohrer was a wide receiver/defensive back for the Rangers, but never saw the field on a consistent basis.
“I was a role player, so I’d play probably a quarter-and-a-half of snaps,” Rohrer said. “I was 5-5, a buck-19 soaking wet. My job was to give guys looks and to be in charge of the energy.”
Rohrer also played basketball, where he said he played a total of three minutes in his career, and baseball, where he was coached by current Logan assistant football coach Terry Curtis.
“He’s a really good guy,” Rohrer said. “I was excited to see a few years back that he led them to a state title in baseball. I look forward to seeing Terry.”
Rohrer’s parents, Jim and Judy, are still residents of La Crosse. He said he tries to visit a couple times a year over holidays, but this visit will be strictly business.
“My sister (Heidi Schneider, a 1987 Logan grad), who lives in St. Cloud (Minn.), is going to be there with her family, and she’s pretty disappointed that we’re not going to be sticking around,” said Rohrer, who also has a brother, Todd, who graduated from Logan (1985).
“But I’ve got to get back, regardless of whether it’s a win or a loss, I have to ride back with our team.”
Logan, fresh off a 21-15 road victory over Reedsburg, may have slipped under the radar a bit last season in the playoffs, but this year, teams are well aware of what the Rangers (9-2) can do.
“For them to go to Reedsburg and get a win in Reedsburg, that’s a big win,” said Rohrer, whose Vikings lost to Reedsburg 42-26 earlier this season.
“That kind of woke me up a little bit and made me realize that La Crosse Logan’s for real.”
The Vikings (8-3) cruised last week against Lodi (40-14) but Rohrer isn’t expecting such a one-sided score tonight.
Logan hasn’t lost a game by more than one score in over a year — Nov. 2, 2012 when Marshfield ousted the Rangers 41-7 in the WIAA Division 2 playoffs — and five of Logan’s victories this season have been by 10 points or fewer.
Tonight will be a memorable one for the 1992 Logan graduate as he paces the visitor’s sideline for the first time, but don’t expect that to be the only memory from to come from tonight’s matchup.