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Rickards football team plays with Southside pride

The Raiders play Friday night for the Class 5A state championship
Posted at 11:37 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 23:37:34-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Rickards football team has already made history. They'll play for their first state title Friday night, but even more than making history, they're representing the Southside, and that's what matters most.

Southside pride. This week, it's bigger than ever.

"They know how important it is to win for this community," said Idris Smith, a 1998 Rickards graduate. "They're putting it all on the line for this community."

A community built on history. Redskins. Raiders. For the first time ever, the Rickards High School football team is trying to bring home a state championship.

"We all grew up over here, so it's good we're playing for the Southside right now," said senior Kameron Bell.

"Most times, it's about negativity around here," added Rickards head coach Quintin Lewis. "Just to have some positive light on the Southside, to have everybody in the city, the Southside of Tallahassee means something to some people. It should mean a lot more to everybody. That's our goal right now."

A goal built on hard work.

"We come from a side of town where we're not given a lot, so we have to take advantage of what we have and make the best of the situation," said Smith.

It's also built on a dream.

"We always had great football players and great football teams, and for these guys to make it, it just overwhelmed all of us," said Gary McPherson, Rickards High School 1990 graduate. "It's like we're playing football all over again."

"It fuels us a lot because Tallahassee's behind us," said Bell. "Their heart is with us too. We just have to keep going."

Keep it going for the whole town, but most of all, the Southside. Rickards plays American Heritage Friday for the Class 5A State title. The kick-off is at 7:00at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.