(WHNT) — Our first stop of Episode 12 of On the Road with Olivia and Claudia is on Garth Road, home of the Randolph Raiders.
The 2022 season was a historic one for the Raiders; they finished 10-3 and made a third-round playoff appearance for the first time in program history. They saw a lot of positives and success last season, but there is a goal the Raiders still need to check off their list and it’s certainly on their minds in 2023.
“We want to win the region. That’s been a goal of ours for a couple of years and we’ve come close two years in a row and fallen short, and these guys are excited about having their opportunity to do it,” head coach David Lloyd said.
“They have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder. A lot of people think maybe we’re going to take a drop off and won’t be as good because we did lose a lot of talented players. Our guys are taking that personally and that’s kind of what you want so our goal is the region championship. That’s what we’re practicing for, that’s what we’re playing for and that’s what we’ve got our eyes set on.”
Like Coach Lloyd said, Randolph had a bunch of talented seniors graduate last year and he says they left a great legacy and really helped set the standard for what they want this program to look like.
With the loss of those seniors, naturally, we’ll see some new faces this year. Lloyd says they might be a younger team, but he has a lot of talented guys and the Raiders are ready to roll into the upcoming season.
“We’re really excited about this group. They’ve had a really good summer, worked really hard, energy’s been great and we’ve had a lot of leadership showing and starting to develop so we’re just excited to get going and watch these guys get better every week,” Lloyd said. “Every team’s different and every year is different. This team has been a really fun team to be around all summer in the locker room, in the office, out here on the practice field and just being able to hang out and interact with these guys and our coaching staff it’s been a lot of fun. The day we don’t have fun out here is the day I’m going to stop doing this job, but we’re having a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Madison Academy Mustangs won the Class 3A Region 7 title in 2022, finishing 9-3 overall and ending their season in the second round of the playoffs.
Expectations for the Madison Academy football program are always high – and head coach Bob Godsey wants his team to embrace that day in and day out.
“I hope that’s why we’re all at Madison Academy because of those expectations and those demands,” Godsey said. “Embrace that and welcome that. Our motto is ‘live to the standard’ and we don’t just want to live to it – we want to improve it, so we feel like the way to do it that is handling all the little things. Our work ethic should never be questioned, our unity should never be questioned, our discipline should never be questioned and we’re working hard on that toughness that hopefully will give us those two or three plays we couldn’t find in the playoffs last year.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming campaign, Godsey says his team has excellent team chemistry and he credits that to the years of experience that many of them have with the Mustangs’ program.
“We have a lot of guys that have been through it for several years,” Godsey said. “They’ve kind of grown up in the program, they know the expectations, they know the routines and I think that has given some confidence as well as unity.”
Randolph hosts West Morgan to open the season on Friday, August 25 and Madison Academy will travel to Deshler.