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

By Stephen McKay
Sports Writer 

Red Raiders get chance to do some hitting

Scrimmage gives coaches time for evaluation


Stephen McKay

Sidney High quarterback Brady Radcliffe takes a snap under center during Saturday's scrimmage.

With 100 or more spectators watching from the stands, the Sidney High School football team donned full pads for the first time on Saturday for a Red-White scrimmage just 13 days before its scheduled season opener at Chadron.

Dressed and ready to go, the players arrived at Weymouth Field about 8:45 a.m. The morning began with stretching execises and warm-ups before the action began shortly before 9:30. The freshmen team took the field first and the game progressed toward those likely to be in the mix for starting varsity jobs.

Each offensive series went eight plays and started from 40 yards out. After each series, the offensive and defensive players switched sides. Following several series, each group was replaced by another to loud applause from the gathered crowd.

"A lot of kids need playing time, and we really need to see film on this more than anything else," said Red Raiders' first-year head coach Chris Koozer. "From here, we just want to look at each position and begin to build depth charts."

With the Red Raiders coming off two consecutive playoff seasons, there is plenty of excitement for the upcoming year. While Raiders' fans will see plenty of familiar faces, several players have been lost at key positions. Still, a solid core of veterans remain with experienced former backups ready to fill the voids created by graduation.

Among those suiting up with the varsity was senior Brady Radcliffe, the likely starting quarterback. Radcliffe has played behind Lane Harvey the past two seasons. He looked comfortable in his role, though he had one pass picked off by Coby Haas.

Stephen McKay

Raider running back Jake Heeren follows a Jack Fedderson block.

Lining up behind Radcliffe were familiar faces from last season, including 2014's leading rusher Jake Heeren. Others in the backfield were Alex Linneman, Derek Robb, Josh Austad and Jack Fedderson. Returning senior Tyler Wintholz took his place at wide out.

Among those who battled in the trenches and at linebacker were Dominic Beyer, Jake Olsen, Hunter Sercrest, Cody Hofrock, Cade Price, Patraic Hayes and Dalton Schilz. The majority of players went both ways.

"The kids were excited and ready to go," Koozer said. "We want to give each kid an equal opportunity to show what they're capable of. For today, what we wanted most is to be able to gather more data on film."

The Red Raiders will follow the Lady Raiders' volleyball team in their annual Gatorade Scrimmage this Friday. The first serve on the volleyball court is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., while the football teams take the field at 7 p.m.


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