FNF: Riverside Academy to lean on senior leadership in 2020

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The 2020 Riverside Rebels are on a mission.

“This is the year I’ve been waiting on since I took the job,” said head coach Kevin Dizer. “When I took the job we had real low numbers and a lot of young kids that were sophomores. Those sophomores turned to seniors.” 

Those seniors help make up 9 returning starters on offense, and 7 on defense.

Gage Larvadain said, “They don’t want to lose I don’t want to lose. I figure this is our last year. We have like 10 games, everything we got this year.”

Riverside’s veteran offense all starts with senior quarterback Gage Larvadain, who the team says epitomizes being a leader on and off the field.

Nick Washington said, “Gage is something special. Just seeing him with the ball in his hands it’s amazing just seeing him make stuff happen when the play might be busted. Just getting positive yards out of it.”

“He’s one of the most conditioned kids I’ve ever seen,” said Dizer. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Gage tired before. He’s the ultimate competitor.” 

Larvadain will have an expanded role this season playing both sides of the ball, as a defensive back.

“My first love is defense,” said Larvadain. “It’s kind of harder than offense a little bit. Constantly running, especially playing DB, they run routes.”

Dizer said, “I’ve limited Gage some I’ve never really allowed him to play defense in the past. Never really allowed him to return kicks or any of that stuff. We’re going for it all this year so I’m going to let him go.”

After a 3-8 finish in 2019 the team is hungry to make a statement, and will have a chance to do so right out of the gate.

Larvadain said, “I think momentum is huge. If we can beat Thibodaux, 5A we’re 1A, then come back and beat Ascension Catholic who beat us in the playoffs last year, we’re going to high horse it the rest of the year.”

Washington said, “The games that we had last year, we dropped a couple that we could have had. This year we’re coming out aggressive from the start.”

“We’ve got a talented enough program where if we schedule light we could go 8-2 every year, but I’m not interested in that,” said Dizer. “If were going to have a good team we’re going to have a good team, and we’re going to beat good people.”

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