Hard Knocks – Rocky River Ready for Round Three
MINT HILL, NC – There might not be a younger team, or a younger head coach than the players and staff that makeup the Rocky River Ravens.
29-year-old Tyson Fernandez took over the Ravens a week before last years camp began. From the get go, Fernandez wanted to focus on the mindset of his men. Each week, as they dropped the ball or got in their own way, the snowball continued to roll,
“Sort of feel like the whole season was just trying to get to the finish line get them in the offseason ready to roll and make things happen. Once the season was over we were able to get into offseason work, that’s when I feel like now I have a good grasp going into the second year for sure,” said Fernandez.
Right from the first day of official practice, Fernandez found the effort and mindset of his guys still needed improvement.
“If you are going to mess up, mess up one hundred miles an hour. That was always my phrase when I was playing so it is just one of those things to try and engrain in to them to do that,” said Fernandez.
“I would say be more discipline, every body staying on their assignments and being better leaders, holding everybody more accountable,” said Taybion Kinney, a senior all around asset for the Ravens.
“Hard work, in the sun, so you know we really getting it in,” said senior lineman Kenard Marshall.
Conditioning is a crucial part of practice. All of that running, in the heat, shows where the resolve is strongest and where the cracks start to form. But in these moments, Fernandez does what he knows best.
“He gone push us. He can bring a lot of energy to the team. You can see us changing, he gone make sure we get right. He has done a lot for the team,” said Kinney
“I love that man. I ain’t gone lie, it’s been a journey,” said Marshall.
“While they may be young, the Ravens believe they can beat the best of the best. So do not be surprised if they deliver.
They see us as an underdog, but they gone do their homework on us. They gone see we gone be something else this year,” said Kinney.
“We can run the table. We can cause a lot of drama, we can cause a lot of conversations and I really feel like our guys have worked tremendously hard to have that opportunity. Iust give us a chance, I feel like that is the biggest thing I want is to be competitive every Friday night.
The Ravens open up their season on Friday, August 18, 2023 on the road against Porter Ridge High School.