The rivalry between the Hunting Hills Lighting facing and the Lindsay Thurber Raiders always seems to bring out the best in young athletes. Last week, these old rivals squared off again on the soccer pitch south of the Collicutt Centre. The Raiders managed to steal a victory in the historic back and forth between the two schools.
“We ended up winning 1-0, after scoring with about 15 minutes left. We got one late and snuck out with the win,” Raiders’ Coach Logan Grenier said. “We are pretty on par when it comes to technical skills so that makes it great to beat the public school rival.”
The parity between the two Red Deer Public schools extends to the entirety of the Central Alberta High School Soccer League.
“Anyone can lose to anyone on any given day on the boys’ side. Olds always can surprise you and any of those other teams from smaller towns will give you a run for your money,” Grenier explained, adding the keys to his team’s success so far this season has been the play of his veterans.
“We have some great leaders who are talented, key players that lead us to victories,” he said. “Our desire to win each and every game is intense and up there. We follow through with our game plan most of the time.”
Talent on the Raiders roster doesn’t end with the Grade 12 players according to Grenier.
“I think we have a good mix. We have a good balance from Grade 9, all the way up to Grade 12. We are rolling with what we’ve got and it is working out well for us,” he said.
Grenier didn’t want his team to be too comfortable, especially considering the closely contested games.
“I think we forced it a bit today with the wind in our face. When we had the wind at our back, we got a few more balls go our way,” he said, adding that his team made some early season goals that they are hoping to stick to.
“I think finishing with a medal on the A side is a good goal for us to have and it is one we set at the bargaining of the year,” he said. “We are more then capable and it is just about us showing up every game. We just came off a game against CACHS and Hunting, both are big tests and we still have H.J. Cody and Olds. You can’t write off anyone in this league. Both of those games are important for us to separate from the rest of the pack.”
The Raiders will look to continue their winning ways June 5th when they visit Olds.