Raider football faces a new season with fresh blood and high hopes

Vincent+James+prepares+for+a+pass+during+Moorpark+Raider+football+practice+on+Tuesday%2C+Aug.+20%2C+at+Moorpark+College.+James+is+a+leader+in+the+team%27s+search+for+this+season%27s+quarterback.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
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Raider football faces a new season with fresh blood and high hopes

Vincent James prepares for a pass during Moorpark Raider football practice on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Moorpark College. James is a leader in the team's search for this season's quarterback. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Vincent James prepares for a pass during Moorpark Raider football practice on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Moorpark College. James is a leader in the team's search for this season's quarterback. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Vincent James prepares for a pass during Moorpark Raider football practice on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Moorpark College. James is a leader in the team's search for this season's quarterback. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Vincent James prepares for a pass during Moorpark Raider football practice on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Moorpark College. James is a leader in the team's search for this season's quarterback. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Justin Borses

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In sports, every new year brings a renewed sense of hope and optimism. This fall, the Moorpark Raider Football Team is ready to get back on track after a dismal 2018-2019 campaign, finishing 1-9. As practice gets into full swing, they look to regroup and work on areas of their game that made them a successful football team in the past.

Head Coach Mike Stuart is entering his fourth year on the job and is looking to get his team back on track and it all starts with the staff.

“Its a great staff we have put together,” said Stuart. “Defensive coaches are constantly watching players alignments to see what needs to be improved.”

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Head Coach Mike Stuart (left), and Quarterback Ethan Postler listen to the assistant coaches during practice on Tuesday, Aug. 20, in Griffin Stadium. Postler was starting quarterback last season, but is facing the possibility of replacement this year. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

A new season also means new athletes looking to make a name for themselves and climb up the depth chart.

Telvin Thompson, a defensive tackle, talked about what he worked on this offseason, “I tried to stay focused and play within myself.”

For some players, its more than just playing football. Thompson also emphasized why he plays the game, giving him the ability to be a role model for others.

Thompson continued, “I make sure that people who couldn’t play football realize that I play for them.”

The Raiders practice for three hours, Monday through Friday. Along with classes, this schedule requires immense dedication and determination. Players have very specific aspects of their individual games to try and improve.

Wide Receiver Colin Mitchell talked about his skillset to move up the depth chart, “I had to work on my speed and fundamentals. Listening to the coaching staff is vital to my success.”

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Wide receiver coach, Nate Turner, addresses his group of prospective players during football practice in Griffin Stadium, on Tuesday, Aug. 20, in Griffin Stadium. Turner brings his experience as a former NFL player to the Raiders' squad. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The staff is the glue that holds everything together. Stuart is in his fourth year at the helm. He spoke about positions they look to key in on, including quarterback.

“Three guys look solid at quarterback: Isaiah Johnson, Trey Johnson and Vince James,” Stuart said. “And eight receivers look ready to be used this season.”

With regards to practice, full pads have officially been introduced leading to a truer sense of players’ abilities and physicality.

“We know how to tackle, we know how to make plays, and when we go live we’ll get more of the backup personnel in there,” Stuart claimed.

It is often beneficial for the staff to have a solid relationship as well, which Coach explained.

“It’s a great staff, we usually bring out headsets to understand what needs to be talked about,” Stuart elaborated. “Defensive coaches are watching players alignments to see what needs to be improved.”

In all, it appears that the Raiders have all the tools for success. Their first test is against Palomar College on Sept. 7.

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