River Ridge (0-3) is in the exact position it was in last season, when it beat the Ramblers. The Knights are hoping to see history repeat itself, while LaFayette is surely looking to avenge the 46-14 loss.
River Ridge coach Robert Braucht conceded that his players are tired of losing, but he said it’s up to them to change that. This week, the players put in a lot of work, and Braucht thinks they have a chance to make another statement, this time at LaFayette.
“The kids have been working hard,” Braucht said. “Really, we haven’t talked about being 0-3. Our focus hasn’t been on our record. Our focus has been on LaFayette.”
It’s Braucht’s hope that his players learned some lessons in their previous losses to Sequoyah, Creekview and Ridgeland.
“The break (from school) creates a different element for them this week,” Braucht said. “Things are a lot different. We get out of our routine. I really felt like the kids have handled it very well.”
Braucht said that it’s early enough in the season that the fundamentals are still a sticking point for his players. Many are still adjusting to new positions or roles on the team.
“It’s a little bit over everything,” Braucht said. “It’s a little bit of those guys that are stepping up and taking leadership roles at their position — not necessarily within the program, but as much as we can. We have a lot of new kids and a lot of new positions. Because of the injuries that occurred earlier in the season, it has really forced our hand to have kids step up that may not have otherwise been asked to step up until midseason next year. They are handling it well. I’m very proud of our kids not hanging their heads when kids have gotten injured this season.”
Braucht declined to list any specific players who would not be able to play tonight, but did say that everyone who is available will need to be ready to play if called upon.
LaFayette is playing its first season under coach Chad Fisher. The Ramblers are young, but dedicated and hard-working.
“All we know about them is from the film,” said Braucht, who admitted that it won’t be the same Rambler team his Knights rolled over a season ago.
“It’s like anything else you want. You have to work for it.”