AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - The Southland Academy Raiders are zeroed in for the 2020 season.
With several returning starters featured on this year’s squad, they said the title game is within reach.
“We’re trying to win a championship,” said Senior quarterback, Nathan Duke.
The Southland Academy Raiders haven't claimed the state title since 1992.
But in recent years, under head coach Rod Murray’s direction, they’ve put themselves back in contention.
Advancing to the quarter-finals in 2017 and 2018.
Senior running back, James Griffin, said there’s they’re ready to silence the noise.
“We’re going to prove everybody wrong, that’s my goal, personally. This is going to be my first year starting at running back and we’re going to prove everybody wrong,” said Griffin.
GISA teams are now in full pads.
Duke said it’s a relief to have made it to this point.
“We’ve been waiting all summer to get here and there’s hopes of a season, so we’re just trying to make the best of it and make sure we’re prepared,” said Duke.
The Raiders have eight returning starters this season, four on both sides of the ball.
Duke said the success of this season.. comes from the work they put in now.
“It all depends on what we do now. So, we’re making sure we make a good base and that we’re all in it together, that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. So that when the first game comes, we aren’t scrambling,” said Duke.
No season is ever a guarantee and that feels especially true this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“Coach Murray told us every day we get to walk across the bridge and get to practice we shouldn’t take it for granted, because it can be taken from us just like that. Everyday we get to come out here we need to do what we’re supposed to do and make sure we’re enjoying it because if it gets taken away we won’t get it back,” said Duke.
Griffin continued: “Keep our hopes high and hope for the best and be ready for that first snap on the first game.”