By Bryan Davis
Last Friday night’s Oak Hill-Manchester match up was dubbed the most important game of the year for the Raiders up until that date. Oak hill was going into the road match 2-5, with a 1-0 conference record.
A win meant a secured post-season spot. A loss meant Oak Hill would have to beat Winston, on the road, in the final game of the season to get in they playoffs.
As it turned out, Manchester got their first win of the season on Friday, after starting the season 0-6.
The Raiders went home with their first conference loss, and that final game will be the most important one of the 2010 season for the Raiders.
“Friday night was a game we weren’t ready to play when it started,” Gregg said. “We waited too late to try to get ready.”
With the Raider roster down to about 16, they will dress out this week in a non-district, home match, against Kirk Academy. Kirk enters the game with the exact 2-6 record as the Raiders, but Gregg knows that each game from here on out is going to be tough.
“If we’re going to win anymore ball games, when we’re put in a position to make a play, we’ve got to make a play,” Gregg said. “We’ve got kids in position to make a play, and they won’t make the play.”
As for Kirk, expect to see a quick team.
“They’re well coached, and they’ve got a lot of speed,” said Gregg. “They have some size.”
It’s those Kirk Raiders Gregg and his team will have their minds on this week. They can’t even begin to think about Winston until they are finished with Marshall on October 22.
“We go one game at a time,” Gregg said. “We understand how big the Winston game is going to be, but we go one game at a time.”
Can the Raiders work in some road magic in the final week against the already 4-3 Winston? If weeks five and six are any testament to their resiliency, they can.
After starting 0-4, the Raiders came back for back-to-back wins, including their first district game against Carroll.
“We have seen some resiliency from this team,” Gregg said. “You have to make plays when you’re put in position to make plays. That’s the thing that’s most disappointing to me right now.”
With two weeks and two non-league matches to go, the Raiders will be trying to improve their performance and record over the next two weeks, in preparation for the big game in the last week.