NS Raider’s 2022 Football Season Comes to a Close
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By Mary Schwanke
On November 11, 2022, the North Shelby Raiders played their final game of the season. The freezing cold fight (temperatures in the upper 20’s) ended with a 40-46 loss to the Sweet Springs Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds and Raiders took turns scoring. Sweet Springs had two successful two point conversions while NS had none, putting them four points behind at the end of the first quarter. Brendyn McDaniel punted the ball to the 6 yard line for NS at the start of the second quarter. The Greyhounds scored on their first down. Brendyn McDaniel received a touchdown pass for NS. Then the Greyhounds scored off of the kickoff return. The score at the end of the half was 20-30. Gabe Orr was the only person to make it to the endzone in the third quarter.
The Greyhounds would score twice more, as would North Shelby. The game ended with the Raiders on defense, the Greyhounds taking a knee to run the clock out, NS just six points from advancing to the district championship.
“You know, it hurts,” said Head Coach David Stuckey. “It always hurts when it comes to a close. These guys just fought so hard. There were so many times when we could’ve just quit playing tonight and these guys just kept fighting. We lost to a good team. I was so proud of the character of these kids. They just would not ever quit. A big play would happen and they’d have a chance to hang their heads, but they answered right back instead. We just didn’t get it quite done tonight.”
The Raiders finished their season with an 8-3 record and 572 cumulative points.
Coach Stuckey reflected on the season. “I just think my favorite moments were those days in practice where the boys were enjoying being around each other, but working at the same time: when they were just enjoying being a brotherhood. It created so many special moments for them when they look back. Watching these guys love on each other and grow up and have each other’s backs is what drives me to coach these guys. I know they’re all gonna be successful in life.”
In regards to the seniors, he said, “You never want to let go of guys like that. You have to every year, but this group… They came out knowing that people didn’t expect much from them. They just decided that they were gonna play their guts out. And they did. They made a lot of great things happen this year and a lot of exciting times for the fans. We’re so happy that the fans got into it and kept cheering on tonight to help spur us on and lift us up when we needed it. We are so thankful for the seniors and the fans we got.”
Letters from the Seniors:
“Well, my high school career came to an end way too soon last Friday night, but I wouldn’t trade a single day for anything. Thanks for all the memories and brothers I made along the way. To all the coaches through the years, thanks for believing in me and pushing me to be great. To the community and fans who came out to support us no matter the weather, thank you for always being loud and proud of us. I’m proud to say I am a North Shelby Raider. Thanks for everything, football. #10, out.”
-JD Rich #10
“Football is the only sport in which every player needs every teammate on every play to survive. To win, you need a relationship with everyone on the field, no matter your differences with them. There is nothing like this sport. I am forever grateful for the brotherhood this game has given me.”
-Jeremiaha Pratt #88
“Couldn’t ask for a better brotherhood to play this amazing sport. Thank you.”
-Clay Cook #2
“Dear North Shelby fans and supporters, thank you so much for everything that you have done for this team and your support for the past four years. It has been full of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade this team or the last few years for anything. Thank you and remember: Stay North!”
-Brayton Cook #34
“Don’t take anything for granted. This sport builds some of the best brotherhood you can ever have.”
-Casey Shockley #58
“I just want to say, thank you ladies for this amazing season. I could not have done it without you guys. Danielle, you have truly made a legacy for NS cheer. Thank you for everything you have done for us this year. I have some words of wisdom. The three hour practices suck, but you’ll miss them. Some of the girls might make you mad. Don’t dwell on it. You’ll miss them. Not everything is always going to go your way. Try again. If it makes you nervous, it’s probably worth it. If it makes you sad, it was probably really wonderful while it was happening. I love you all more than words can describe. The big question is, are you proud to be a Raider? The answer is: Yes I Am.”
-Zoe Barrick, Cheer Captain
I don’t play football. I’m not a cheerleader. But my career delivering football write-ups for the paper ended with this game. As a North Shelby Senior, I am going to miss Friday night football. In the past four years, I remember missing only one game, due to quarantine my sophomore year. My first two years of high school were spent as an NS cheerleader. When the Lord called me away from cheerleading, I wondered if I would still make it to every game. I was very blessed to have Marlana Smith and Kerri Greenwell ask me at the start of my junior year if I would write football articles for the Herald. Without hesitation, I agreed. It has been a learning experience. My dad, Jesse Schwanke, had to teach me more about football than I’d like to admit. Some of the games were several hours from home, making for very late nights. But it always was (even when rain was soaking through my notebook) fantastic. When the crowd filtered out Friday night, I was left alone on the field, with numb extremities and a notebook containing nearly every play of the season. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. The encouragement I’ve received throughout this venture has motivated me to seek writing as a future career. The past four years have been a ride I will never forget. I will always be thankful for this community. So long and goodnight, Shelby County Herald.