EDWARDSVILLE - Ryker Miller, a senior quarterback for the Metro-East Lutheran High football team, is ready for himself and the Knights to have a big 2022 season.

Ryker MillerAlthough the Knights lost at home to Martinsville in the season opener Friday night 51-6, Miller feels optimistic for the Knights' chances this year and was ready to go for Friday's opener.

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"We have got a good group of guys on the team," he said.

Both summer and preseason practice sessions were well-attended, with more than 20 players present at the sessions, a number that far surpassed those of previous campaigns.

"I'd definitely say it went extremely well," Miller said. "We had about 20-plus guys, more than we've ever had before. So that's pretty good for summer practices."

In fact, the roster size for the Knights has doubled from 13 to about 26 players for the 2022 season, a number that bodes very well for the future of the football program at the school.

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"Oh, definitely," Miller said. "Extra guys are always better, no matter what sport you play. It's just part of the game. Knowing you never know, someone's going to have to come off and fill his shoes."

There are many differences between eight-man and 11-man football, but when it all boils down, it's still American football, with the fundamentals and rules, among other things, being the same.

"I'd say it's basically the same as normal football," Miller said. "Just take away two linemen and a receiver. Basically, just normal football. Always be ready to hit, be ready to play, and make a good play. You know how it is."

As the team's quarterback, Miller has some high hopes and expectations for the Knights this season.

"I would hope to win a lot of games, obviously," Miller said, "and just have an overall good season. We have a lot of new guys; hopefully, they'll all have a good first experience with football and keep playing."

Overall, things are looking up for the Knights and Miller is ready to go to help the team to a successful campaign.

"Oh, definitely," Miller said. "Way better than the past few years with numbers. I hope it's just a good season."

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