By Eva Owusu, News Writer
On March 7 the Raiders arrived at the most anticipated basketball game of the season, the final playoff game against Ridgeland/Hardeeville. The Raiders had already defeated previous teams during the playoffs, including Central, Abbeville, Chesnee, and Storm Thurmond. This was the final game standing between them and the rings they had been chasing throughout the entire season.
“Everybody wanted a ring; we all wanted to win the championship,” Junior Majerle Poole said.
The Raiders prepared all season for the championship game, keeping a focused mind as well as focused bodies. Practice and a plan was the key, and everyone knew it.
“I practiced hard and got a lot of rest,” Senior Kendric Gathers said. “I expected to win twenty games [as well as] region championships and state.”
Even students expected a positive outcome for the team this season.
“I expected them to have a good season [this year],” Junior Zachari Glover said. “They were ranked preseason number one in their region.”
The team was led by Coach Zachary Norris. The goal for him was to have everyone find their place on the team, and find how they could personally contribute towards the common goal.
“This team was more of a challenge,” Norris said. “They had to find their identity and identify the leader [as well as] grow as a family. This is much different from previous teams because in [previous teams] this has already been established.”
The team really grew together and helped each other as a family would, making the final victory all the better.
“I had prepared myself with a lot of practice and by staying focused,” Sophomore Tariq Simmons said. “It feels relieving; not a lot of players can say they have won State, and it feels good. We accomplished our goal.”
Although the team is losing a few graduating seniors, the players, fans and student body have already anticipated a positive outcome for the 2015-2016 season.