Interview by Carl Frederick
A new season is on the horizon for Coach Ridenour in his second season as the Head Coach for the Lampeter-Strasburg Pioneers. This year will not only bring in several new starters, but several new opponents for the defending Section Champions. Gone from LS are the stars of Nick Del Grande, Berkeley Wagner, Giovani Malatesta and Beau Heyser just to name a few. Only making this transition with Berks County Merger even more tricky for Coach Ridenour and the Pioneers. The challenge begins this Friday when the welcome Section 3 favorite Solanco to town, Coach was kind of to stop by to give his thoughts on the game and a few more topics:
Carl Frederick: Seems hard to top what your previous Senior Class accomplished, what has been your message to the kids this pre-season?
Coach Ridenour: We have the pieces to be a good team. We need to work every single day in practice. We must take advantage of every single repetition you have in practice. That is the only way you will get better. I tell our kids, only you know if you have given it all you had in practice. For our seniors, this is their team. It’s time for them to be leaders in both actions and words.
CF: Solanco is returning 26 seniors, what stands out to you the most as you prepare to face them Friday?
Coach Ridenour: They always play a physical brand of football. Their lineman on offense come off the ball hard. They play for each other. They have tons of varsity game experience and in the style of offense they run, they are well versed in the intricacies of that offense. It will be a huge challenge for our defense. Defensively, they are disciplined, and they are outstanding tacklers. They all hustle to the ball. It is such a great physical, hard-nosed rivalry.
CF: What are you looking forward to with the Berks County Merger?
Coach Ridenour: I think the merger is great and I love the section we will be competing in this season. Those games will be a continuation of a physical season. What a great opportunity for our kids and our program.
CF: Are there any kids on your roster who we may not be aware of but come Friday we will be?
Coach Ridenour: Great question and a difficult one to answer. We have some kids that have the potential to be very good football players and I’m excited to see how they all play. The majority of the kids have played at least a little last season.
CF: Give us some insight on what the day of the game entails for Coach Ridenour?
Coach Ridenour: Game days are long days. I typically get to school between 6:15 – 6:30 AM. I’ll go over my game plan until 7 AM. I am happy to have the school day as a distraction on game days. I think I would go stir crazy if I had the whole day to only think about the game. When the school day ends, we eat together as a team and then get ready to go. I usually get home on game nights sometime between 10 and 11 PM. The next morning, I wake up at 4 AM to breakdown our film.
If any team from the LL is ready for the merger, it is the former District Finalist who will take on all comers. Look for a hard physical matchup between them and Solanco this Friday night in Willow Street, I will be covering all the action! For score updates follow me on twitter @carljfred