If you spent your Friday nights watching the Raider football team, then you probably noticed a pattern of successful games that lead them to the second round playoff game for the first time in 29 years. They also have won the most games in their program history since 1989. The football team here at South has faced many years of disappointing seasons, but was able to make a drastic change this year.
The team also held on to many seniors that have played Varsity since freshman year. They showed an immense amount of leadership this year that contributed to their success.
“Having a strong Senior Class … has been the difference this year. All the guys want to win and they expect to win every time,” senior Jack Roberts said.
On top of having so many seniors this season, the team had a determined mindset and wanted to win.
“Even on days that are storming and raining, you still had to have your pads and helmet on and go in to the gym and practice for two and a half hours. Nothing was stopping our determination to win”, junior Perish Bruce said.
On top of that, Bruce also feels that the coaches have made a huge difference this year.
“The coaching staff and their determination has helped the team to succeed,” Bruce said, “At summer weights… it’s mandatory now, if you want to play on Friday nights, you have to come to summer weights. Coach always says forget about everything else and just think about what’s on the field and what’s going to happen on Friday night.”
With a great season also comes the expectations for not only next year’s football season but many more years to come.
“I think we have a good Junior squad coming up. I think they will be pretty good next year,” senior Hunter Carpenter said.
As a junior, Bruce also has high hopes for the team going forward.
“I don’t want to say better than this Senior Class, because this Senior Class is really talented, but I think we have a pretty good Junior Class coming up as well, so hopefully [next year we will be] about the same or maybe even better,” Bruce said.
After interviewing the head coach, Brett Oberzan about the unforgettable season, he gave us insight on what was different about this season and what to expect in the future.
“We play the best player, if you don’t make 26 weight sessions over the summer you have to run a half mile for time and if you don’t make that time you keep running it until you make that time. This makes the summer less optional for the kids and encourages them to be there as often as they can over the summer”, Oberzan said. Not only did they start working harder in the summer but they also gained more mental toughness. “A pride factor, another thing is the kids have gotten tougher they are much tougher mentally and physically than years past. That was one of the biggest things we had to overcome was the kids toughness”, Oberzan said. The great season also will hopefully bring a future with lots more success. “I see a lot of success in this upcoming class, and they know how to win so they have that new expectation of winning a more winning culture”, Oberzan said.