The Mississippi Association of Independent Schools regular season has officially arrived and for Riverfield Academy in Rayville, that means the Boyd Cole era is underway.
Cole will make his debut on the road when the Raiders travel to Central Private in Baker this evening at 7 p.m. kickoff.
It may be the first time Cole is on the sidelines of a live Riverfield game with the head coaching hat on, but he and his staff have done plenty in the offseason. As a result, that makes tonight’s game even more exciting as they see what will come to fruition after a tough weightroom schedule, knowing they needed a bigger, more physical presence for Cole to run his longtime offense, the split-back veer.
“It was such a great summer,” Cole said. “We had 100 percent attendance on workouts. I don’t think I have had that at any school I have been at. Getting bigger, stronger and faster was what we needed, and it was important to our team. We believe it helps us. We are about to find out if it did.”
The split-back veer is a power running attack that the Raiders hope to use to control possession of the ball and wear down opponents.
“It is a physical offense,” Cole said. “We got stronger in the weight room … the guys have to be able to take a pounding in this offense. It worked for us for 11 years when I was (an assistant) at Sterlington. We don’t have a lot of plays right now because I don’t want to be adding things until we are doing what we are doing right.”
The numbers are certainly in place for the Raiders. Cole expects to dress out 39 players against Central, giving the team more depth than recent years.
“This game is going to be about what we do, and not about worrying so much about Central,” Cole said. “We can never overlook anybody. You see all the time in football a team overlook a team and slip up, but we have to execute and do what we do.”
Riverfield started last season with a 47-6 win over Central, who finished winless in 2013. The Raiders reached the postseason but lost in the first round of the MAIS Class AA playoffs and ended the year 8-3.
Connect with Cody on Twitter @cfutrellTNS