After Rider defeated Canyon Randall 38-7 in the regional semifinals, the Raiders are ready dive even deeper into the playoffs.
The race to the state championship continues as Rider heads to round 4 of the playoffs… A first for Head Coach Marc Bindel.
Marc Bindel said, “I don’t know this is really exciting. Im really proud to coach these guys… you know you start 1-4 on the year and this is awesome.. not a lot of seasons end like this where you start 1-4 and then you’re able to get to the 4th round of playoffs, so its really a testament to our coaching staff and our senior leadership that those guys just kept believing .”
Jacob Rodriguez said, “I feel like we are a way different team than we were then. Just belief. We are already working hard and just having a good week of practice and just you got to believe. If you go in defeated then you’re going to be defeated.”
The Raiders have overcome adversity… they went from not winning a game in five weeks to a six game winning streak. Things changed after their bye week.. the Raiders hit a reset button and exploded…… Growing stronger and more dangerous every week.
Marc Bindel said, “We kinda talked about what was holding us back from being a great team and so everybody kinda wrote down individually what was holding us back from being good and we put it in a grill, and we burned it. And we got rid of it and so since that time you know we’ve really moved forward, and everybody is playing together as a team and its been fun to watch. Its been great. You know a lot of times you do little stuff like that and it don’t work out, but our guys have really bought into being for the team and leaving the stuff that was holding us back behind and you can tell with how were playing.”
Johnathon Ewing said, “I’ve been waiting for this for four years and no one thought we would make it, and now were finally here.”
Finally… to the State Quarterfinals… The Raiders take on undefeated Lubbock Cooper in a rematch after falling to the Pirates 27-7 in October.
Jonathon Ewing said, “Everyone is going to have to be fast and on point.”
Jacob Rodriguez said, “You know a lot of guys that were here were just kinda going through the motions and thinking that we had everything made and that wasn’t the case. We kinda figured out that we have to work for everything we have, and so we’ve been working ever since and its been working out for us.”
Marc Bindel said, “They’ve never experienced anything like this and you can talk about it but to be where we were and to be going to the fourth round of playoffs and being team of the week and all those kinda things is really a big honor and the truth is, those guys deserve it. They need to be emotional, because they’ve worked so hard to get here.”
The Rider Raiders are doing a whole lot of believing this holiday season as they play December football… believing in themselves.. and the process it takes to be a gold ball winning team.