HS FB Two-A-Days: Hudson & Rice Lake - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

HS FB Two-A-Days: Hudson & Rice Lake

Hudson won a program-best three playoff games in 2012 Hudson won a program-best three playoff games in 2012
Hudson head coach Adam Kowles Hudson head coach Adam Kowles
Rice Lake returns plenty of experience this season Rice Lake returns plenty of experience this season
Rice Lake senior quarterback Shawn Magee Rice Lake senior quarterback Shawn Magee
Rice Lake senior linebacker/tight end Austin Roberts Rice Lake senior linebacker/tight end Austin Roberts

Hudson, Rice Lake (WQOW) -- 

Before 2012, the Raiders had just two playoff wins in program history. But last year's squad picked up three postseason victories, finishing just one game short of a trip to Camp Randall. Hudson graduated a number of talented seniors, but coach Adam Kowles says the new crop of players are ready to step up.

 "You know, I think these guys realize it's a new season, it's their team now. We just have to go and play within ourselves. We might be doing some different things than we did last year, but we're going to try to attack it," says Kowles. "I don't think they're thinking about last year, they're thinking about -- you know it's such a cliche -- but one team at a time and one practice at a time. So far the reps have been good in practice and guys are working hard."

The Raiders will be tested right out of the gates, playing perennial powers from Minnesota, Minnetonka and Chanhassen to open the season.

"You know, I think the first two games are huge for us," adds Kowles. "To play a team like Minnetonka who played Arrowhead, it's a great great challenge for us. Chanhassen, the week two game, they won their league and they do some great things. So for us to get ready for the league with those two games is going to help us out, but we have a tough start, no doubt about it."

The Raiders open the season across the border, Friday, against Minnetonka, MN.
Rice Lake finished third in the Big Rivers a year ago, but are looking to contend for the conference crown this time around. The Warriors return a lot of experience, including senior quarterback Shawn Magee and Illinois recruit Austin Roberts. Coach Dan Hill says his team will not be hurting on leadership this season.

"There's a very strong core of guys. You know, we could have elected 16 captains with the type of quality kids that we've got. So that's fun to coach, makes it easy to coach, it's a privilege to coach when you've got kids like that. It makes it a lot of fun. We're just looking forward to getting going on this. We're tired of hitting each other. We're ready for that other-colored jersey," says Hill.

Even with talent and experience returning, players say they still need to produce.

"This team, it's a big team effort and everyone's got to do their job. We've been doing really well, going hard every practice," says Magee.

"Expectations are high, we have a lot of guys coming back," adds Roberts. "We're focused on game one, week one, that's what we're driving for right now. We're just putting our hearts into what's in front of us.."

The Warriors' first game is Friday on the road at Medford.

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