The 2013 football season for the Moore County Middle School Raiders kicks off this week. The Raiders’ 7th- and 8th-grade squad is scheduled to travel to Middle Tennessee Christian on Thursday for the first contest of a seven-game regular-season slate.
The Raiders only have seven regular-season games after Riverside Christian Academy dropped to seven-man football.
Moore County’s first home game is on tap for next Thursday, as Cascade visits Lynchburg for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Raiders are looking to improve after coming off a 4-4 season. Head coach Mike Walker said his team struggled a bit in a scrimmage last week. He hopes to get that turned around soon.
“We have got to work on our offensive line, which, if they play to their potential can be really good,” said Walker. “We have to work on our consistency, both on the offensive line and the defensive line. We can’t make two or three good plays and then take a step back.
“We’ve got to get better … erase a lot of the fundamental mistakes, the natural (mistakes) this time of year. We have to make the basic plays. If we do that, we will have a chance to be pretty good.”
One positive for the Raiders is that the team is loaded with 8th-graders. There are 21 on the team, which should give Moore County needed experience. On the flip side, the team has only six 7th-graders on the roster, which could prove to hurt the middle schoolers next season.
“It should help us because we are in a rare position,” said Walker. “We don’t usually have a lot of depth at the skills positions. This year we are two deep at the skills positions. That will allow us to rest some kids and get some other kids more playing time. That will be a key for us.”
This year’s 8th-grade players include Chris Sweeten, Tristan Krause, Ethan Holt, Matthew Schuller, Kyle Stinnett, Kaden Stinnett, Gerrett McGee, Nate Love, Cody Noblitt, Dillon Smith, Grant Austell, Blayne Cashion, Brandon Hill, Trenton Evans, Chris Sedler, Jacob Hart, Jess Smith, Hunter Solomon, James Gordon, Coy Cashion and Cody Robertson.
The 7th-graders are Jackson Farrar, Tristan Whitaker, Carlos Alamillo, Cameron Pykiet, Russell Myers and Julius Dixon.
Managers this season include Faith Weddington, Bethany Markey, Gabby Hunt, Abby Austin and Kayla Cadey.
Coach Walker is assisted by Darren James.
After hosting Cascade on Aug. 15, the Raiders will travel to Community on Aug. 22 before having an off week on Aug. 29. Four games are scheduled for September, including at home against Liberty on Sept. 5 and at Westwood in Manchester on Sept. 12. Moore County wraps up the regular season with a pair of home games, as the Raiders host Eagleville on Sept. 17 — a Tuesday night — and Forrest on Sept 26.
The Duck River Valley Conference Championship game is slated for Oct. 3.
—ROBERT HOLMAN, Editor (Robert Holman is the Editor & Publisher of the Moore County News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)