Riverview Raiders: Riverview's future bright for season, new coach says

Lisa J. Burnett Published August 25, 2013 at 6:00 a.m.
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Although this year is Mike McCain’s first as a head football coach, he has already noticed his players at Riverview High School are ready for action when it comes to the 2013 season.

The Riverview Raiders are in the 2-3A Conference.

“When I got hired at the end of May, I started working with the guys, and I really noticed that our linemen are good-sized kids,” McCain said.

Most of his skill position players are returning for this season after wearing the jerseys last year.

“A lot of them played last year, but this year those kids are going to have to play,” McCain said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”

Xavier Barrow, a returning junior running back, is a standout for McCain on the offense.

“I’ve got high expectations for him, as well as other players,” he said. “Looking back at film, [Barrow] had some great games last year.”

In addition to Barrow, McCain said, senior Weston Moore, a returning receiver, has been a standout at practice.

“Our whole offensive line is going to be a strength for us,” he said.

The Raiders’ defense is looking good for McCain as well, he said.

“Rodrigo Thomas, who is a senior, was all-conference last year, and he played defensive end,” McCain said.

This season, Thomas is making the transition to linebacker.

“He’s going to be a defensive leader,” McCain said.

Nels Owens, a junior nose guard, has been working hard in practice, McCain said.

“[Owens] is a good sized guy, and he’s worked really hard in the weight room,” he said. “He’s really strong and has great footwork.”

Although many skill-position players are returning from last season, the coach said, his team is relatively young.

McCain said the Riverview roster has 32 players this season, but only six players are seniors.

“We’re young, but I feel pretty good about our chances to do well and be very competitive,” he said.

Right now, McCain said, he is focusing on a new offensive scheme for his players.

“It’s going to take a lot of repetitions before we scrimmage,” McCain said.

Riverview’s first scrimmage is Monday against the Des Arc Eagles.

Like any coach, McCain said, his goal is to win football games, but his goal isn’t just to get those victories.

“I want to win the most games in Riverview history,” he said.

The varsity football program has only been around at the school for five years, McCain said.

As a head coach, McCain said he has been having individual meetings with each player to discuss their concerns and strategies to do well at games this season.

“I want to be consistent in everything we do,” McCain said. “Even though we’re young, we’re looking really good. Our goal is trust and teamwork.”

McCain looks forward to holding the title of head coach after being an assistant coach for the past 10 years.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach,” he said. “I’m ready to start with them.”

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