Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders Host First of Two Open Tryouts

Players gather around for instruction from the coaches.The Racine Raiders got the 2018 season underway on Saturday, February 17, with the first of two open tryouts. The tryout was held indoors at the Tarble Recreation Center on the Carthage College campus in Kenosha.

Over 60 veterans and rookie prospects went through various stations of speed and agility. During the last 45 minutes of the two-hour session, receivers, quarterbacks, and defensive backs went thru passing drills while defensive and offensive linemen worked on blocking and rushing techniques.

A prospective player goes through passing drills.Raiders head coach Wilbert Kennedy was pleased with the turnout and noted there were a good number of new faces trying to make the roster, especially in the skill positions.

The Raiders had a rocky season last year but did manage to pull things together to make the Mid-States Football League playoffs. But that isn’t good enough for Kennedy.

“The Raiders have a long history of being a championship team and that is what our goal is this season,” he said during the closing breakdown.

James Jackson prepares for a drill.Coach Kennedy was quick to point out that this is not a “rebuilding season” for the Raiders, but a transition season, trading off some size for more speed in the players that will fill the roster this year.

Kennedy noted that the Raiders have a good core on both the offensive and defensive line, but it’s still an area the coaching staff will be looking at. “We need a little more depth on both sides of the ball,” he said, hinting at a few unnamed potential retirements.

Last year, the Raiders were bitten hard by the injury bug. When asked how he hopes to reduce that Kennedy said, “We had a couple of season ending injuries, but most of them were things like muscle pulls and stuff like that. ”

A prospect tests his standing vertical leap.He pointed out conditioning and training is going to be important in keeping injuries down.

“We need to have the guys come to the first day of practice in condition, and they need to keep up conditioning on their own during the season. When you practice two times a week, the conditioning has to be done on the outside,” he said.

The next mini camp will be held in March and will be held outside.

“I want it outside because we start practicing right after that.”

The location of the camp is yet to be determined.