WINNSBORO — Richard Winn Academy looks to bounce back from a disappointing loss on homecoming night when they take on the Volunteers of Andrew Jackson High School at 7:30 p.m. in road action.
Like Carolina Academy, who defeated the Eagles last week, Andrew Jackson runs a four-man defensive front and uses a power running game from the I-formation.
This game has been testing the resiliency of the Richard Winn players, as head coach Kenny Atkerson acknowledged that the homecoming game’s lopsided loss was hard for his team to swallow.
“We were down as a team in that we felt we would have a better showing than we had,” Atkerson said. “We have stepped it up at practice this week as far as contact is concerned so that we can be ready, physically, to play.”
He noted that his players are healthy and ready for the match up, though some had residual soreness this week from a hard-hitting game last Friday.
The game against the Volunteers also figures to be a physical affair, according to Atkerson.
He feels like the Eagles can find favorable match ups and use the passing game to set up the running game and vice versa.
“I believe we will be ready to play. Carolina is a good team playing with a lot of returning players. Also, they had not had a win over RWA in years so they came here with a chip on their shoulder and we did not respond as a team,” Atkerson said. “We had some individuals play well but it takes everyone on the team to step up. That is where our focus has been this week.”
This week the team has focused more on its base defense and eliminating the long runs that hurt them against Carolina Academy.
Assignment football has been preached to the players as has taking the proper angles and leading with one’s shoulder to wrap up and make a tackle.
Atkerson believes his players know how the game is meant to be played-with heart and toughness.
He expects them to put last week’s disappointing loss behind them and channel their disappointments as fuel to help them play hard, physical, impassioned football.