Kylie Davenport is a senior at Rider High School and is the Chronicle's editor-in-chief. Going into her second year on staff, she is nervous but excited...
Rivalry Week Rushed
August 18, 2022
Every year the stands are packed with spectators. The air is freezing as the football team enters the field. The crosstown showdown is about to begin.
This year, however, the Coyotes are in a different district as the Rider Raiders. As a result, the rivalry game is the first one of the season. This year, the Raiders have to rush Rivalry Week.
The football team is used to having an opponent, this year it just happens to be Old High. The team is planning on preparing the same as they normally would.
“I love having it at the end of the year. I love having it as the last game, because it gets you ready for a playoff atmosphere, but it’s also a good test at the beginning of the season, because there is going to be a lot of emotions in the game,” coach Marc Bindel said. “So, it’ll be a good test to make sure we’re on point with what we’re trying to do.”
Using the rivalry game as a test to see where they stand, the players have lofty expectations for the 2022 season. Nate Dyches said the goal this year is “to win state.”
While this year’s game will not change how football prepares, other organizations, such as cheer and band are having to work even harder to get in shape for the game.
For the cheer team, one struggle is the stress of learning all their material and the pep rally all at once.
“For the first time, we have practice on the first day of school until 5. Then the next day we have practice, and then we have decorating,” junior Presley Murray said. “So, things are going to be different, involving more cheer and more time before actually starting to do things.”
As the cheerleaders rally the team and fans for the game, a lot of work and time goes into preparations. This year will be no different.
“I think the hardest thing is we’re a new team and we’re just trying to adjust and get settled into our places for football season,” senior Ryleigh Neufeld said. “Now we have to add our most important game.”
As spectators sit and are engaged with the game, the Pride of the Raiders plays loud and proud. They work hard to perform throughout the entire game. This year, their preparations will also be rushed.
“Normally we’re learning our show kind of into the start of school, but this year, we’re having to have a lot more of that done, so we can get it on the field at the Rider-Old High game,” drum major Sarah Johnson said.
In order to prepare, band has brought back two-a-days to practice as much as possible. They expect their show to be one of their best.
“Our show is kind of about the history of Wichita Falls. It follows a series of shows from a few years ago,” Johnson said.
While preparing for the game is different, the band is going to strive to do its best.
“We have a really, really incredible group this year. Our freshmen are coming in super strong,” Johnson said. “Everyone in this band is incredible with both playing and marching. We’re going to have a really cool show this year.”