PSN Spotlight - Riverdale Raiders Football "Thankful to be back out playing"
This time last year, like many teams around Georgia, the Riverdale Raiders were still wondering if they would have a football season as the COVID-19 outbreak had shut down most of the world. Once the green light was given, the Raiders were able to take their small window of preparation and turn it into an 8-3 season, with a 5-0 region record and region championship and a Georgia High School Association Class 4A quarterfinals birth. Now, coming off of the final dead week of the summer season, the Raiders are back to work and head coach, Rodney Hackney says the feeling of possibly not having a season last year makes it “good to be back out” for summer workouts.
“There have been little adjustments for us in getting back out and we’re very thankful to be back out playing,” Coach Hackney said. Like so many coaches spoken to over the past year, Coach Hackney also acknowledged that he, his coaching staff and players realized just how much they may have been taking football for granted once faced with the realization that the 2020 season may not happen. “You take a lot of stuff for granted and I think football was one of those things we took for granted and when it’s almost pulled away from you, you start thinking, ‘man, this could really not happen’ and we really thought last year, we weren’t going to have a season.”
Since Coach Hackney’s return to Riverdale in 2018, the Raiders have had winning season and advanced to the GHSA playoffs all three seasons and Hackney reached the 100 career wins milestone. For Coach Hackney, having the opportunity to rebuild Riverdale into a program that’s consistently talked about in post-season conversations is something he says “means a lot”. “Just to keep our kids on that level and I remind them every day, you can’t take it for granted,” Hackney said. The Raiders will open the 2021 season on August 20 when they face crosstown rival, North Clayton in a region match up.