By Molly Seales
At the first Riverdale football pep rally of the season, Riverdale Assistant Coach Cody Hillman, who is involved in helping coach both varsity and Little Rebel football, noticed something special that you can only get with a small school situation. He saw some of the varsity football guys talking to some of the Little Rebels, asking them how practice was going and if they were enjoying it so far. From that, an idea was born, “Riverdale Running Mates.” Hillman said, “When I saw that, I just thought that pairing them up would be a good idea. Those little boys really look up to the varsity football boys, and the big boys always like showing the younger players attention. They have no actual things they have to do with them. They just occasionally show up at the Little Rebels practices and surprise them. The varsity guys give some pointers. The varsity players give their ‘little brothers’ some extra attention when they see them around school.”
At a recent pep rally, some of the Rebel Running Mates paired off to play a game in which the Little Rebels were blindfolded and their “big brothers” had to give verbal instructions to guide them to fill a bowl with cotton balls using only a scooper. The competition was tough, but in the end, Denver Williams and Trevor Bell were declared to be the winners. Senior varsity players and their “Rebel Running Mates” are Chandler Nettles and Morgan Moseley, Denver Williams and Trevor Bell, Monroe McCarty and Kane Milner-Dortlon, Jake Messenger and Kaden McNeeley, Kaden “Big Kat” Cason and Jace Baxley, and Ty “Bones” Jones and Jackson Hillman. Junior varsity players and their “Rebel Running Mates” are James Wagoner and Ryder Shaver, Ben Almond and Karson Milner-Dortlon, and Tyler Parker and Blake Davis. Sophomore varsity players and their “Rebel Running Mates” are Ryder Huddleston and Jax Hearold, Hayden Hillman and Rylan Tingle, Kyle Guillory and Jase Johnson, and Jaxon Gates and Drew Curry. Freshman varsity players and their “Rebel Running Mates” are Kaidyn Williams and Sam Murray, Logan Grider and Junior Curry, Aston Hester and Lane Mancil, and Colton Caskey and Caden Spradley. 8th grade varsity players and their “Rebel Running Mates” are Ashton Almond and Milton Guidry, Tanner Carlisle and Benton Yount, and Ben Moseley and PJ Guidry.
The Little Rebels have been practicing hard every Tuesday and Thursday after school, and their season will kick off this Saturday, September 11. They will travel to Jesus, the Good Shepherd School in Monroe for their jamboree. Their games will be at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. We are looking forward to watching them this season! Good luck Little Rebels!