Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Coronavirus Forces Kennedy, Deates, Hicks Into Player/Coach Roles

Pete Deates, WIlbert Kennedy, and Chris Hicks Player HeadshotsThey say semi-pro football players never retire and that’s proving true for several of the Racine Raiders coaches in 2020. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, several Raiders coaches are preparing to come out of retirement and strap on the cleats again. Reported to be considering a comeback are offensive coordinator Chris Hicks, defensive coordinator Pete Deates, and even head coach Wilbert Kennedy.

“I can tell you, it’s not something any of us are looking forward to,” lamented Deates. “However, with the current crisis, we’re figuring we’re going to be down players with a short time to implement our strategies so who better to be out there than us?”

Hicks just stepped away from the game last year, after several great seasons as a tight end for the Raiders. Kennedy and Deates have been away from the game a much longer time.

“It’ll take awhile to get used to the speed again,” said Kennedy. “I’m not sure my cleats aren’t rotted from sitting in the basement.”

Some of the Raiders players are enjoying the thought of seeing their coaches out on the field again.

“I look forward to blocking for the two ton package that I saw Wilbert run when I was young,” said offensive lineman Caleb Gwin. “It would be awesome to get him into the end zone again, just as long as we can keep him upright because I don’t need him falling on me.”

The coaches said they’ll wait to see what things look like after the first couple of practices once they’re able to get the team together after the Coronavirus pandemic clears up.