Raider Football Bounces Back

Jake Joseph | Raider Staff

Many teachers and long-time members of the LCHS community remember the disappointing seasons our football program has produced, most seasons only winning three games and failing to reach a playoff berth, abruptly ending our season while nearby schools continued their playoff runs deep into November. These past two years, though, all of that has changed.

Last year, the Raiders had a successful season, winning the district and advancing to the playoffs. This year, Raiders football kept that winning attitude up, finishing 8-1, coming in second in the division. They won their first playoff game but ultimately succumbed to division rival Woodgrove.

The team’s newfound success comes as a result of an amazing coaching staff and a team full of young up and coming stars.

“I think our team has just improved in general over the three years I’ve been here,” said junior tight-end and outside linebacker Luke McAllister. “We got some great players in our program now, with kids who either transferred here since we got better, and the freshmen and sophomores who have been able to help us on varsity.”

These new young assets have made significant contributions to the team, most notably junior wide-receiver and linebacker Joseph Groves. Groves scored seven touchdowns in the first six games of the season. He also had an impactful presence on defense, getting multiple tackles a game. Groves transferred from Briar Woods this year, and has shown that he has the ability to impact the outcome of games. “I love it here at County. The team is great and it’s a lot of fun to be playing the sport I love with my friends,” Groves said.

Another player who has been making an impact this year is senior running back Ralphy Renzi. Renzi, after playing just two games as the starting running back, injured his shoulder. Even though Renzi has not been able to play, he goes to every practice and game to support the team. Renzi is a great example of what County’s team is about. Even if he can’t play, he’s still there everyday just like everyone else, and wants to help the team get better. “Even though I can’t play, I just want to be there to at least support all the guys and let them know I still have their backs,” Renzi said.   After years of mediocrity, Raiders football has had the chance to consistently compete for a state championship.