Raiders to wrap up preseason preparations
by By Shawn Stinson
ROCKINGHAM — It will be the last time for the Richmond Senior football coaching staff to make adjustments before things start to get serious.
The Raiders will travel to South View at 10 a.m. today for their final scrimmage before opening the regular season next week at home against Rocky River. The varsity teams will square off in Tiger Stadium, while the junior varsity squads will battle on the practice field.
The Tigers are coming off a 3-8 season and failed to make the playoffs, but return quarterback Troy Cain, a three-year starter.
Following Monday’s scrimmage with Garner, Richmond coach Paul Hoggard thought his team performed well against the Trojans but wanted to get a good look at the video before giving a final assessment.
“It was about what I thought it was going to be,” Hoggard said. “I was a little disappointed in our effort to finish plays. Fundamentally we are about where I thought we would be. If we were better, I would be a little scared. I want to see us do a better job and giving a better effort in finishing plays.”
Richmond defensive coordinator Mark Arthur took his unit to task following Monday’s scrimmage for several alignment issues against the Trojans. He thought giving his players a chance to view their mistakes would help them correct their errors.
“Film was very beneficial,” Arthur said. “They understand it much better because they could see it instead of us (coaches) telling them. It has been carrying over to practice. Being aligned properly puts you in a position to make a play. Being misaligned, well that’s where big plays come from because you aren’t where you are supposed to be.”
Hoggard expects today’s workout with the Tigers to be very similar to the one with the Trojans — alternating 10-play drives, goal-line plays, 2-minute drill, and concluding with a game-situation scrimmage.
“People get the wrong impression about these things,” Hoggard said. “What we are trying to do is work on things we want to work on. We aren’t necessarily working or planning on things against the team we are playing against. That’s not to say we don’t want to look and score more than they do, but we are working on things we need to do to get better.”
Arthur echoes that sentiment, especially as he tries to figure out what his defense can do best.
“I’m looking for a cohesive unit, with the all parts working and fitting together,” Arthur said. “We didn’t blitz at all Monday, but it’s still our stuff. I’m looking to see if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. I’m trying to see scheme-wise what is best for our unit.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.
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