It was a rough 2012 season for the Ryle Raiders as they finished 3-8, with a first round playoff loss to Scott County 42-10. The Raiders closed the season on a 5 game losing streak, but the record can also be attributed to the tough schedule that Ryle played, which consisted of games against 4A state champion Highlands, 5A state runner up Cooper, 6A state semi finalist Scott Co, and national ly ranked Colerain out of Cincinnati, OH.
“ 2010 we ran in to some challenges with our schedule but had a great season and then ran in to a brutal schedule in 2011 and 2012” Said Ryle head coach Bryson Warner.
The Raiders will look to improve upon last season, despite losing 20 seniors, which included Quarterback Nathan Davis, Running back Tanner Pulice, and LB Travis Pavy. The start of every great season begins in the off season, and Coach Warner has already noticed a difference in this years’ group.
“ We’ve got great numbers in our program, with 40 sophomores coming in to the program. Both the Union Raiders and Boone County pee wee are paying off.”
The biggest area the Raiders will look to improve in is on the offensive side of the ball, where they averaged just 13 ppg last season. Running the offense this year will be 9 year vet, Russell Harden who has brought in a lot of new ideas and creativity to change things around.
Leading the way is senior athlete Ryan Hill, who will be counted on to play multiple positions and help any way he can with his speed, quickness and elusiveness.
“ Ryan Hill is going to be a big factor” Said Warner. “ He’s one of the top track guys in Northern Kentucky and he’s the same type of guy on the football field.”
Other key players include senior tight end Kevin Walker, and junior receiver Grant Arnwine, and sophomore receiver Colin England, as well as offensive linemen Lex Sowards, who is committed to Indiana State, and center Logan Ross.
“We’ve got some gaps to fill, but we’re excited about those linemen and our depth at each position.
Senior Lex Sowards also chimed in on the offense.
“ I’m trying to help the offensive line as much as I can. We’ve got some great skill players and I’m excited about the new offense.”
Defensively, the Raiders will look to put a lot of speed on the field to improve upon the 28 ppg given up last season. They will try do so without three of their top 4 leading tacklers from last season.
“ We’ve got a lot of guys on that side of the ball” Said Warner. “Zac Lamore is going to be big for us and in the linebacking corps we’ve got some young talent.”
Some of the players mentioned by Coach Warner as being impact guys this season include junior linebacker Ryan Wolf and senior defensive back Nathan Winegardner, who combined for 52 tackles last season.
“We really think Ryan Wolf is going to be a great leader in the junior class and up front you’ll see some of the same guys that are on the offensive side.”
On the scheduling front, the Raiders will once again play a competitive schedule that helps prepare them for their tough 6A district which includes Simon Kenton, Dixie Heights, Campbell County, and Boone County.
Coach Warner talked about the non district schedule.
“ We will play Covcath, Scott Co – who is a state power down in Georgetown and almost beat Trinity in the state semi finals. We open against crosstown rival Cooper, and we’ve also got both Shelby County and a good Sycamore, OH team on the schedule.”
With a tough schedule on deck for the upcoming season, Coach Warner and his players are excited that they get to compete and believe that’s what high school football is all about.
“ We’ve built a lot of excitement and team chemistry” Said Warner. “ We should have 45-50 guys at the varsity level which will establish good depth and guys that can all contribute.”
The Raiders will be young this year but senior Lex Sowards is looking forward to the challenges.
“I’m looking forward to getting out there on Friday nights. It’s my last season and I’m excited about getting everyone else ready and hopefully winning some games. Everyone is so much more motivated this season and have been showing a lot of heart and desire.”
Players to Watch:
Lex Sowards (Senior OL/DL)- The big man will anchor an offensive line with some new faces but with his leadership ability, the Raiders should be able to be successful up front. Lex is committed to Indiana State and said he’s just looking forward to go out with a bang in his final season.
Ryan Hill (Senior Athlete)- I put athlete for Ryan’s position because that’s exactly what he is – an athlete. Hill should make an impact in the return game as well as offensively at multiple positions because of his speed and play making ability. Hill is also a track star with tremendous speed.
Logan Ross (Senior OL/DL)- Ross will be counted on to man the middle of the offensive line at the center position and make the proper calls on defensive looks as far as blocking assignments go.
Nathan Winegarner (DB)- Winegarner returns as the leading tackler on this year’s defense with 31 from a year ago.
Ryan Wolf (LB)= Wolf returns as the second leading tackler from a year ago with 21 tackles.
Zac Lamore (LB)- As stated in the article, Lamore is a kid that will be expected to make a huge impact from his linebacker position this season. Lamore only had 3 tackles last season in 8 games, but Coach Warner is confident we will see those numbers improve tremendously this season.
Aug 23, 13 Cooper home 7:30 PM
Aug 30, 13 Scott County away 7:30 PM
Sep 6, 13 Sycamore, OH home 7:30 PM
Sep 13, 13 Conner home 7:30 PM
Sep 20, 13 Shelby County away 7:30 PM
Sep 27, 13 Simon Kenton away 7:00 PM
Oct 4, 13 Boone County home 7:30 PM
Oct 12, 13 Covington Catholic away 1:00 PM
Oct 18, 13 Campbell County home 7:30 PM
Oct 25, 13 Dixie Heights away 7:00 PM
Full Interview with Head Coach Bryson Warner:
Granted it's preseason and we haven't even seen any teams with pads on yet but....
Where do you see wins on Ryle's schedule?
As I look at their schedule, I honestly think it is possible they could win them all (Scott Co. and Sycamore being obvious upsets) or they could lose them all. I just don't have any idea what to expect from this team. If you look at Ryle over the past three seasons, they have been arguably the #1 team in N. Ky. (yes, including Highlands), a middle of the road team and a team that just didn't get it done. Do we have any way of knowing which of those three Ryle will be this year?
So if I have to find wins with what we know now, I'll split the difference between undefeated and unvictorius and say 5 wins - Conner, Shelby County, Boone County, Campbell County and Dixie.
I don't think there is anyway they go undefeated. I see 3 possible wins, Campbell Co, Dixie and possibly Boone although I think Boone may surprise a few this year.
Originally Posted by Voice of Reason
So you think Ryle this year is as bad as last year? Why?
Originally Posted by Hellbird
I could be totally off on this but it's hard for a new QB and new offense etc to find themselves in the first year. With the injury to their RB already it's a tough road and they already are in a hole.
Originally Posted by Voice of Reason
But I've been wrong before.
Best wishes to the Raiders in 2013. They are a group of great young men led by coaches who care about them. Coach Harden is a super guy and I'm certainly hoping he can bring more balance to the offense than the predictability that we have seen in South Union over the years. The season opener vs. North Union (Cooper) is a huge game IMHO with the Jags coming in with great confidence after a super season in 2012. I look for that to be a very close game that could go either way. The next two teams on the 2013 slate are the two best teams on the schedule - Scott Co and Sycamore.
I like Ryle's schedule but at the same time it will be very difficult. For a KY high school football team that is a Man's Town schedule.
Originally Posted by Clyde
This group won't lay down no matter what the score is. They will fight to the last whistle in every game. Probably steal a couple they shouldn't. Good group of kids.
Very very nice schedule, good luck to them.
It is a very nice schedule but not as hard as the 2011 and 2012 schedule. It has not changed much except for dropping the Colerain, Desales, Highlands, and Lexington Bowl they played in, all of which are great teams and adding a win in Shelby County who lost like 20 seniors, Sycamore who has great talent, Adding Scott County who has proven itself to be one of the top Public schools in the state and Cov. Cath, who I believe they scrimmaged last year. The schedules are tough, but this year is not close to being as tough as before. JMO. Best of luck to the Ryle bunch, heard in another thread they lost their RB, hate to hear that. Hope they have been developing because a starting RB could lead to a rough go at it, they have experience though with Elliott going down when he was going to be the load carrier, just have to wait to see.
We still have Hill and England.
Originally Posted by Carlosknows1
Perhaps I missed it somewhere in all the different Ryle threads and in the interview with Coach Warner that Walter provided (Great interview Walter!!! I love the fact that you go out and interview all the various coaches. Thank you for doing this.). However, does Ryle have a quarterback?
Is Rylewski the QB? I believe he was the JV QB last year and the now departed Morgan was the QB on the Frosh team. Who are some of the contenders for the QB position? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
The Sycamore Aves are going to create a lot of early season problems for Raider Nation.
Cooper's not a possible win? Come on... Cooper might get Ryle two years in a row but to say they're not a possibility...pssh
Originally Posted by Hellbird
We "Ryle" are going to have to earn our respect back. Apparently we've lost it and nobody is going to give us any. I hope everybody on the schedule takes us lightly. They might be surprised.
Originally Posted by AlbertFT
Cooper could lose, but I was stating the games Ryle has the best chance of winning. Don't worry I wasn't saying Ryle couldn't win, just pointing to the games they have the best chance to IMO.
Originally Posted by AlbertFT
You all are no different than any other Boone County school, your gonna have a good class come through every half decade, then rebuild/wait for the next one. Just how it is, the more schools that open the harder it becomes for the county.
Originally Posted by Fear the Nation
Very nice schedule, I coach in Ohio, Sycamore is a very good program. Ryle is well coached and competes well with what they have.