By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — Low numbers and a string of injuries made for a challenging year on the field for the Davidson Raiders.
But in terms of team building and camaraderie, coach Jason Low said the Raiders reached new heights.
Low told the Leader that the team is starting to build traditions, growing as a unit and also having more fun on the field.
“I think the program took some great strides forward,” said Low. “I feel like we went to the next level this year, so I’m excited for next year.”
The senior football team finished its regular season with a 1-4 record, after which they lost in the first round of playoffs.
The Raiders visited the Lanigan Lazers on Oct. 13, losing 54-20.
The game was a rematch of their Sept. 8 season opener, in which Davidson had defeated Lanigan 46-36, their only win this year.
The second time around, the Raiders were coping with the loss of three starters due to injuries.
“When we played them healthy at the start of the year, we beat them,” Low said.
While Lanigan had improved from the season’s start, Low said missed tackles and other mistakes likely cost Davidson the game.
Jacob Schilling scored two touchdowns against Lanigan, while Hunter Wall scored the third.
Clay Murfitt, who suffered a twisted leg in the Sept. 22 game, was back on the field in a reduced role.
Low said the Raiders took time to warm up, a problem that has repeatedly plagued the team this season.
A decision in the last quarter to iron-man some of the senior players, getting on them on both sides of the ball, seemed to shift the momentum somewhat.
“It seemed like we were always a second half team,” the coach observed.