Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Second Open Tryout a Success

Raiders quarterback Craig McClelland and wide receiver Sam D'Alie talk duering some down time at the tryout.Approximately 60 prospective players, both veterans and newcomers, turned out for the second and final open tryout of 2015 for the Racine Raiders. The two-hour tryout was held on Sunday, March 29, at the Tarble Recreation Center on the campus of Carthage College in Kenosha.

Prior to the start of the drills, Raiders second year head coach Wilbert Kennedy addressed those trying out.

“Regardless of who you are, we don’t owe you a position on our roster. You have to earn it,” he said.

Raiders running back J.R. Taylor talks to the prospects.With that, attendees broke out into position specific speed and agility drills for testing. Kennedy noted there were a lot more new faces this tryout compared to the last. And as with the first, he was impressed with the talent and condition of both the veterans and prospects.

Much more noticeable this time was the performance in the drills. The agility appeared to be more precise and the speed faster. There was also improvement in execution and a higher level of concentration than the first go around.

At the end when vets and prospects gathered up, Kennedy gave his insight into the upcoming season. He told them that the Raiders have a history of outstanding players that have moved up to play on Sunday afternoons, in the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. He emphasized being a Raider means team first and individuals second.

Raiders wide receiver LeRoy Hargrove goes out for a pass during the tryout.“If you’re here only for yourself, you’ve come to the wrong team,” said Kennedy.

As far as a repeat of the 2014 season, Kennedy told the prospects, “It will be difficult to go undefeated again, but it is a possibility with this team.”

He noted the enthusiasm during the tryouts and even saw prospects having some fun. He also had a warning for the team. He said it was good to see the prospects out there working hard and enjoying it, but he thought things got a little too loose at times.

Kennedy warned, “Don’t get complacent! You have a target painted on your back. Everyone knows what this team did last season and they are going to be coming after you.”

Raiders running back and receiver Connor Flannery runs through the 40 yard dash.Cuts will be made, but Kennedy told the players it didn’t mean the individual is a not a good football player.

“You may have come here for a position that we are already deep in, and the guy that did make it over you may have just had the extra step or experience,” said Kennedy.

As at the first tryout, he told those getting cut not to give up on their dream of playing at a higher level, and he would be willing to make a phone call if it meant the prospect making it on another team.

With the open tryouts done, regular team practices will start in early-April as the Raiders open their 2015 campaign in just eight short weeks on May 30.