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Pigskin Preview: Medicine Valley Raiders

The Raiders have plenty of experience on this year's roster.
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 9:25 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Medicine Valley looks to follow up a 2019 playoff appearance with more success, boasting a roster that lost just players to graduation.

“They were two of our best guys for sure, but I feel like we’ve got some people ready to step up, and we’ll be able to fill those gaps as needed,” said senior outside linebacker and offensive guard Kaden Cole.

With such an experienced roster making its return, the Raiders had an easy transition into practices this season.

“I feel like everybody kind of got the hang of it real quick, and it was just going to knock in that rust off,” Cole said. “We’re all kind of back into it, and everything is just ready to go and it’ll get faster as the year progresses.”

Head coach Scott Johnsen, and senior quarterback and corner Kaden Bonini hope the open positions will easily be filled by younger players.

“We’ve got some young guns who are coming up, and I feel like they’re going to be a big role this year,” Bonini said.

“Hopefully we can use that experience as the season goes on, and get some of our younger kids to grow up and fill some spots, and have a good season,” Johnsen said.

The Raider roster is filled with some fast players, and they hope that speed translates to a successful running game.

“We’ve got some pretty good lineman and we’ve got some speed in the backfield, so I feel like our running game will be pretty strong,” Bonini said.

“If we can utilize that and get on the edge, we’ll be tough to beat,” Johnsen said. “We’ve got a couple of good receivers that hopefully we can get them in one-on-one match-ups, and teams will have a hard time guarding them.”

Of the eight teams on the Raiders’ schedule this season, Brady is the only team they have played in the last two seasons. Seeing new teams brings a unique challenge to the players, since they haven’t played against many of the players they will be facing this year.

“We got a lot of new teams. I think it’s exciting, because it gives us some new opportunities. We have to work a little harder to get ready for those teams, it’s not just we’ve played every team the same every year. We’re looking forward to that,” Johnsen said.

The Raiders host South Loup on Friday for their first game of the season.

“They’re excited, they’re ready for Friday. They’re tired of hitting each other, it’s just time to go,” Johnsen said.

Medicine Valley 2020 schedule

08/28 South Loup

9/04 @ Alma

9/10 Sandhills Valley

9/18 @ Axtell

9/25 @ Overton

10/02 Brady

10/09 Loomis

10/16 @Maywood-Hayes Center

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