By Bryan Davis
Two weeks ago, the Oak Hill Academy Raiders were staring down a long tunnel, hoping to see some sort of light. The 0-4 record in the standings was not half as bad as walking off the field after a 61-6 loss to Leake.
They had turned the ball over four times, resulting in four scores. The roster, already small, was dwindling due to injuries. Then a little over a week ago, there came that light.
After defeating Hebron Christian School 46-12, the tunnel did not seem so long. That light shined in the form of confidence they got from breaking out of a dismal offensive slump.
Friday night’s 45-41 conference win over Carroll showed everyone that Oak Hill’s recent success was not confined to Pheba.
“It takes some character to overcome an 0-4 start, especially as bad a ball game as that fourth ball game was,” Oak Hill head coach Leroy Gregg said.
Despite low numbers and in spite of the poor start, there was no giving up for the 2010 Raiders.
“They kept on working hard, they kept on lifting hard in the weight room and they kept conditioning hard,” Gregg said.
Gregg knew that Carroll was coming at them with some speed and size. Even though the numbers are similar, the Raiders had to have an edge. That would eventually prove to be conditioning.
Gregg’s conditioning program, which involves intense, early week, sprinting proved to be the difference maker on Friday.
“Even though we got real tired tonight, we weren’t as tired as Carroll,” Gregg said. “We run about two miles of sprints every Monday and Tuesday. That conditioning paid off for those kids for those kids who were on the field tonight.”