RESERVE – Riverside Academy started its season 0-2 with a 54-0 loss to George Washington Carver and a 64-13 loss to Southern Lab.
It’s been a baptism of fire, exasperated by the challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, but coach Kevin Dizer said it was only a matter of time before the Rebels found their rhythm on the pitch. .
âWe’ve lost big twice, but I don’t think that’s going to define our season. We played against a top 10 4A team at Carver, and we played against the # 1 team in 1A at Southern Lab. I really believe that we are going to work things out and that we are going to be able to win football matches, âsaid Dizer.
Riverside Academy was due to enter the season with a roster of around 43 players. After Hurricane Ida hit parishes on the river, several athletes were relocated through no fault of their own. The Rebels are now down to around 30 players, which presented additional challenges on the pitch.
âHigh school certainly took a beating. We are very thin in high school and we have lost a lot of major players in the receiver position. We have to move some guys around and experiment with different things on offense, âsaid Dizer.
In some ways, this season was already expected to experience some growing pains. Gage Larvadain, a 2021 graduating class, was a force at the quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back, accounting for 2,400 yards and 33 touchdowns for the Rebels.
Now that Larvadain has moved to the University of Southeast Louisiana, Dizer looks forward to Luke Hymel and Elijah Davis to step up and become top attacking players. The two young men put in strong performances in last Friday’s game against Southern Lab. Riverside Academy got its first touchdown of the 2021 season on a 63-yard pass from Hymel to Davis, and Hymel threw another touchdown pass to Cade Middleton later in the game.
âOn the offensive side of the ball, it’s just a matter of finding our rhythm. Once we are able to accomplish these things, I think we’ll be fine, âDizer said.
Defensively, Dizer said the Rebels need to work on the roster and tackle. There’s still time to prepare for Friday’s road game against Week 5 opponent Albany.
Albany is 1-2 for the season, having recently suffered a 12-22 loss to Parkview Baptist.
âThe best thing about this week is that it gives us our first full week of training,â said Dizer. âAlbany is a good football team, a 3A school. It’s a team that I think we can compete with.