The YRHS Raider Gridders took their first steps towards the 2012 fall season with their first spring game of the season Wednesday afternoon and the rust showed. Despite an extremely close first half in which the Raiders trailed by a rogue near the end of the half to remain down 9-8, sloppy turnovers from a group of mostly young players allowed the Murdoch MacKay Clansmen to take a 39-08 victory. However the loss serves as a learning experience and spring games aren’t about winning and losing as teams are looking to improve fundamentals and instill offensive systems for when games count in the fall, making promise much more important than the result on the scoreboard and the Raiders showed flashes of brilliance beyond their turnovers.
On offense the Raiders showed signs that they will be able to compete next season as quarterback Dalton Fichtner and Layne Hull connected for two impressive passing plays, one eighty yard pass and catch bomb down the middle of the field and an impressive jumping catch in traffic by the promising Hull for a first down, if Fichtner and Hull can keep on connecting in the air the Raiders will be able to rack up the wins next season. The Clansmen coach was also impressed with Hull and Fichtner and noted that the Raiders have an impressive amount of physicality stating, “I knew coming to Yorkton we were going to come across some big offensive linemen and were in for a grind it out ground football game.” The Clansmen coach also noted the Raiders impressive running back play which despite showing some rust holding onto the football exhibited excellent misdirection plays that proved that the young Raiders already have a solid ground scheme going forward into next season.
The Clansmen gave the YRHS a physical challenge that will prepare them for next season and were a well balanced, hard hitting team led by #44 who had multiple highlight reel hits on special teams, offense and defense, however the Clansmen coach noted that it was a team effort saying “It was a team win that was closer than it looked,” as well as addressing the windy conditions slowing down the passing game.
Raider coach Roby Sharpe drove home the fact that spring games are not about winning and losing and that his team’s spring loss will pay dividends in the spring stating, “What this game is not exactly about winning and losing, and we put young guys in the third quarter who got game experience.” Sharpe also noted that the Raiders pre-season work is ongoing adding, “Guys got to go hit the weight room and go to summer camps to prepare for the fall.” The Raiders close their 2012 spring season with one more exhibition clash with Crocus Plains High School from Brandon next Friday May 26th and are holding a tackle camp for all local football players on Saturday May 27th. Both events are at Century Field.