River Ridge Wildcats
The River Ridge Wildcats just missed out on the playoffs a season ago, as they finished at 4-5, but didn't have enough playoff points to make the field. In 2023, the goal is to improve each week and compete for a playoff spot.
Coach Doug Nicholas felt like the inexperience his team had last year cost them some opportunities for wins early in the season, including one in triple overtime and another in the final seconds. He wants his team to be able to finish those games this season.
The Cats should be able to improve quickly with the returners they have, including leading rusher George Winter. He has rushed for 1,262 yards and 15 TD's and has added another 430 yards receiving with 7 TD's in his career, and will be a key figure in their offense. Joining him will be fellow senior Seth Nicholas, who has rushed for 724 yards and 5 TD's.
Returning up front will be Ben Richmond and Brian Appleby. They will look to protect new QB Damon Dittmar and provide running room in their jet read and multiple set offense.
Newcomers looking to make impacts are David Buck, Joe Winter, and Lucas Holland.
Defensively, the Cats return some strong players as their top 3 leading tacklers all return in Nicholas, Appelby, and George Winter. With Richmond up front, and Buck, Holland, and Joe Winter adding to the depth, the Cats look to be ready to get back in the playoffs.
While River Ridge didn't open up the season in the state rankings, an earlier view of team ratings listed the Cats as a top 10 team. Now, it comes down to living up to expectations, execution, and meeting team goals.
Coach Nicholas feels you could see any of the power 3 (Amboy, Polo, Milledgeville) winning the division. He said all 3 teams will be very, very, very good.
Playoff History 2-1