Oak HIll fooball: Three phases

By: 
Collin Brister
Sports Writer

Offense
The Raiders were a solid team on the offensive side of the football last year, and showed that they could move the football on anyone that lined up across from them.
Their offense, a spread attack, is extremely explosive and is very good at taking advantage of mismatches on the perimeter. Former quarterback Ken Dill was extremely elusive in the pocket, and that allowed them to make plays when the initial opening wasn’t open.
The Raiders lost a good portion of their players off of the 2016 team, and they’ll have to have players step in immediately and fill those roles left by a senior class that saw success.
John Carver Middleton will step into Dill’s shoes and take over at the quarterback position. Middleton played the position in 2015 when Dill went down against Heritage Academy, and was solid throughout the season.
He played wide receiver last season, and was extremely elusive with the football in his hands. The quarterback position is the most important one on the team, and he’ll have to have success throughout the season if the Raiders want to find themselves looking for a playoff berth.
The Raiders will have to replace a plethora of other players at the skill positions, but their younger guys were solid last season and have shown that they can step up and take over that role.
Defense
The Raiders were a solid unit on defense at times last year, but it seemed as if the breaks didn’t go their way for much of the year.
Oak Hill had some players step up throughout the season, and they have some players that were extremely solid that will be returning for the 2017 season.
Oak Hil’s defense kept them in games against West Memphis and Deer Creek when the offense sometimes struggled to get going, but it had some issues stopping teams at times towards the end of the season.
If Oak Hill can sure up its tackling from the 2016 season, they’ll be a better defensive unit, and that’ll allow the offense, which is extremely potent, the ability to open up more.
The Raiders’ young players will likely have to be prepared to go immediately on that side of the football, and that will be the biggest factor of the success that they have early in the season.
Special Teams
One place that the Raiders are loaded is in special teams, as they have Grayson Easterling taking care of all kicking duties.
The sophomore kicker has shown that he has the range to boot field-goals on a consistent basis, and that’s a weapon for a team. If you’re able to consistently put three points on the board when you get inside the opponent’s redzone, you’re going to have much more success.

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