The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Sidney volleyball, football teams ready for action with pre-season scrimmage


There were no clocks, no scoreboards, no scorekeepers and no final scores - at least not that anybody was paying attention to.

The Sidney Red Raiders volleyball and football teams took to Cabela's Gymnasium and Weymouth Field on Friday evening in its annual dry run. Both events were well attended and gave the public its first opportunity to see their Raiders in action.

The volleyball squads, combining freshman, junior varsity and varisty, opened the evening at 5:30 p.m. and were followed by the gridders at 7 p.m. In between there was some tailgaiting highlighted by entertainment from the cheer and dance teams.

While there was nothing too serious going on from a competitive standpoint, there was a little kicking of the tires by the Raiders coaches. An opportunity to see what kind of tweeking needs to be done before the real action begins at the end of the week.

"It's a nice opportunity to get them in front of a crowd and see how they respond," said volleyball coach Sara Wilson. "There were a lot of nerves out there but that's O.K. With the good turnout we had, it gave the girls an opportunity to see what it's like to play in front of a big crowd."


Wilson added that the scrimmage was helpful from a logistical standpoint. The teams were able to go through their pre-game routines including warm ups. 

Of course it's understandable that there would be nerves among the younger players. But even the seniors had pre-game jitters.

"I think we were all at least a little nervous," said senior Abbi Porter. "But it was nice to get the competitive juices flowing again. It's really hard to see where we are just based on the scrimmage - expecially the way the teams were so mixed up and all."

The volleyball scrimmage took on a different look than the football scrimmage that followed. Coach Wilson mixed up her experienced players and veterans hoping to find reasonably competitive sides.

Football squad looks strong in scrimmage

Following the action inside, the crowd moved across the parking lot to Weymouth field for some football. Between the gym and gridiron, however, was food and drink provided by Sidney's boosters. Entertainment was provided by the the Red Raiders' cheer and dance squads.

On the football field the first-team offense squared off against the second-team defense. Conversely, the second offense tried its hand against the first defense. Special teams were given the night off. Each offense simply took the ball from the 30-yard line and there was no punting or extra-points kicked.

The first offense looked well prepared as it moved the ball consistently throughout the night. The biggest play offensive on the evening, however, was a 70-yard scamper down the right sideline by sophomore receiver Josh Austad.

"The second offense stepped it up alot," said senior running back and defensive back Logan Lewis. "They played well and gave us a good look on where we need to be."

But of course the first offense looked to be stepping it up as well under the guidance of junior quarterback Lane Harvey. Lined up behind Harvey during the evening were Lewis, junior Chance Anglin and senior MIchael Deaver.

"It's not bad when you can keep giving the ball to Logan and Chance all night," Harvey said. "We're trying to go fast this year. We want to try and make the defenses really tired by the fourth quarter."

With a week to go before Raiders 6 p.m. season opener versus Grand Island N.W. at Weymouth Field this Friday, Head Coach Todd Ekart was cautiously optimistic.

"I think we can clean up our blocking and tighten up all the way around," Ekart said.

Grand Island N.W., from what Ekart knows, is a team that likes to throw it around.

While the football team opens its schedule at home on Friday, the volleyball squad will travel to Ogallala for its opener. In addition to the host team, Sidney will face North Platte in a triangular meet on Sept. 5, at 4 p.m.


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