As River Ridge coach Ryan Benjamin reflected on his team’s first practice of the fall, his first statement focused on his Royal Knights passing their conditioning tests.
There’s a reason for that. River Ridge has plenty of size, but its big bodies will have to play both ways this season. That includes center Kevin Harris, guard Hayden Krautner and tackle Carlos Santamaria.
“That’s why we need them in such good shape,” Benjamin said. “They have the ability to do that.”
A few new faces have already boosted River Ridge. TE/DE Damion Hicks transferred from Gulf, and LB TJ Petrizzi transferred from Ridgewood after recording 67 tackles last fall. DE Hunter McLaughlin should see plenty of time this fall with his return to the program, too.
Benjamin’s line still has openings, but he said he was pleased with the first day of practice for a program trying to build from its first winning season since 1999.
“The kids were all responsive,” Benjamin said. “We had a good, high-intensity practice.”