RIVERVIEW: Raiders look to win with defense-first mentality


“Injuries to a number of players throughout the year really hurt us,” Coach Stuart Hill said. “We lost our starting quarterback, tailback and one of our top linemen.

We didn’t play well enough to win against Mayflower and Little Rock Episcopal, and losing those games by narrow margins kept us from having a banner year.”

Junior Josh Roach (5-6, 145) returns at quarterback after seeing spot duty last year after Grafton Harrell went down with injury. Roach threw for 365 yards last fall. He’ll be joined in the backfield by senior Broderick McGahee (5-8, 175) at tailback. McGahee also saw playing time last fall because of injuries to players in front of him. McGahee carried the ball 35 times for 285 yards.

“Roach did a solid job of running the offense while our senior was injured last year,” Hill said. “He will have to throw the ball well this year for us to have the kind of success offensively that we are wanting. We will be asking a lot more from McGahee. We will need his leadership and toughness out there on the field.”

The Raiders will be replacing most of their receiving corps from last year and all five offensive linemen.

“We don’t have a lot coming back off of last year’s team,” Hill said. “However, we do feel like we have a plan together that will best suit this team.”
Defensively, it all starts with linebacker Chayse Parson (5-10, 210). The senior recorded 106 tackles for the Raiders last fall.

“Parson has been one of the best linebackers in our conference the past two years,” Hill said. “He’s slimmed down some and has gotten faster, which will only help him in the middle of our defense.”

Seniors Jordan Daniels (5-9, 170), Dylan Johnson (5-10, 185) and Zach Grimes (5-11, 190) return on defense for the Raiders. All three saw time at linebacker in 2009.

“They are all very good players,” Hill said. “Jordan tackles well and can defend the pass and run. Dylan is aggressive and has gotten quite a bit stronger over the past year. Zach plays very physical and will be an important part of our defense.

“Defensively, we will have to be more consistent than we have been in the past. We feel like we have the linebackers to have our best year since three seasons ago. In order for us to win games this year, we are going to have to think of the defensive side of the ball first.”

5 Players to Watch:

Chayse Parson (Sr. LB)
Broderick McGahee (Sr. RB/DE)
Josh Roach (Sr. QB)
Cody Medler (Sr. OL)
Raul Diarcos (Sr. OL/DL)