Rider riding off into the sunset


Lenia Lange

Students celebrate at a football game

   Bittersweet is one word that has been mentioned as Rider High School is about to enter its final year of existence.

   While this year is wrapping up, plans to send Rider “off into the sunset” next year are well underway.

   Principal Cody Blair is wanting to make Rider’s last year one of the best.

   “I am looking forward to being at as many things as I can just to enjoy those moments watching our kids do great stuff,” Blair said. “I think it will be really cool to be a part of the transition.”

   Blair said that Rider will not be undergoing any major changes besides trying to fill staffing vacancies. However, extracurricular activities are putting together something special.

   Head football coach and campus coordinator Marc Bindel is excited for the upcoming school year.  He hopes to “send Rider football out the right way” with a successful season.

   Football will be dedicating each of the six home games to honor past decades of Rider players. “So we will have a different decade at each game,” Bindel said. “We will invite Raiders from (over) the decades to come back and be honorary captains and celebrate them during the game.”

   Football’s season will be starting with the much-anticipated last Rider-Old High game on August 25. The kickoff time has been pushed to 8 p.m. because of the expected crowd size.

   “Our theme next year is LOBO; Last one best one,” Bindel said. “So I really feel like we’re going to go out and make this the best season we’ve ever had and we’re excited about it.”

   Band has already started spring marching practice as a way for eighth graders to get involved with the program. They will be needing to replace longtime director Loy Studer and three-year drum major Sarah Beth Johnson.

   Theatre director Zach Jackson is feeling confident for next year’s events and has already started looking at some shows and scripts.

   “I’m definitely looking forward to lip sync and one act,” Jackson said. “I got some ideas going, getting our lip sync directors ready by the end of this year, so they’re ready to go for next year.”

   Over the past two years, Jackson has grown to appreciate everything Rider does.

“For me it is sad, but it is also a new beginning as well so I am excited for what is going to happen with the new high schools,” Jackson said.

   The district timeline for the two new high schools reveals that the interview process for the principal positions have begun. The principles for Memorial and Legacy should be announced on June 1.

   Blair explains that whoever is named those principals positions, they will then have to find balance between their future and current jobs. Blair feels managing “both jobs comes with a lot of responsibility and there is a lot to do so it will be a challenge.”

   Bindel feels his 15 years working at Rider have been 15 of the greatest years he’s had working.

“It is a little bittersweet, but I recognize the need for new facilities and I think the building of two brand new schools is exciting,” Bindel said.

   Blair is also excited to be a part of making sure Rider’s last year is a special one.

   “It will be a really neat experience to be a part of the last year of something that has such a great history and something that is bigger than all of us,” Blair said. “All the people, students and families that have come through here over the last like 60-something years, it would be cool just to be a part of that.”