The Richmond Oilers (0-5) won’t score any touchdowns or make any big defensive stops Friday night. As of Monday the team entered its bye week to focus on next week’s league play. But if players don’t watch what they do in the classroom, they may have to turn in their helmets and shoulder pads for the remainder of the season.
Oilers head coach Tashaka Merriweather said during Wednesday’s JV practice that after looking at his varsity team’s academic reports, he had no other choice than to cancel field practice this week.
“We’re always preaching go to class—school first,” he said. “It [their grades] wasn’t even close to what I wanted to see. There were some guys who at the beginning of the year I suspected would struggle [in the classroom] but they actually surprised me.”
Merriweather said low academic performances are nothing new for Richmond High, but that he was hoping to use the off week to develop newer players on the field. “But we’re not going to be able to do anything if they’re not eligible [to play],” he said.
The Kennedy Eagles (1-3), meanwhile, travel to Oakland Friday night to take on the McClymonds Warriors (1-3). Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Eagles head coach Mack Carminer told his squad during Wednesday’s practice that the Warriors have a lot of speed but that it was nothing to be fearful about. “That’s what they do have — speed,” he said. “We must respect it.”
To make his point clear, Carminer spent time coaching his players how to space Warriors wide receivers so that they don’t make big plays.
“I hope to end our preseason Friday night with a win so we can continue building off the one we got last week,” Carminer said, referring to his team’s first win of the season against Galileo Academy. “But I want to get more technically sound, and I want my players to get more comfortable playing with each other. This is one big family out here, and I want them to enjoy playing with each other even more.”