Ryce anxious, ready for playoffs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Red Level quarterback Preston Ryce | File photo

While taping up his fingers before Monday’s practice, Red Level senior quarterback Preston “Stoney” Ryce was literally at the edge of his seat in anticipation for his team’s first round playoff visit to Southern Choctaw Friday night.

Ryce, a three-year starter at the helm of the Tigers’ offense, was an eighth grader the last time his team made an appearance in the playoffs in 2006.

He said he remembers the first round playoff game against Hale County, where the Tigers won 47-6.

This game was especially important to Ryce because he said that’s when he scored his first touchdown.

Fast-forward four years later, and the excitement and importance of this week’s playoff game is still there.

“We’re glad to be back,” Ryce said. “It’s good to get Red Level back in the playoffs, because we haven’t been back in four years.”

Under then head coach Clint McCrory, Red Level advanced to the second round of the playoffs but lost to Luverne 26-13.

Friday, the Tigers will be facing a running attack type offense in Southern Choctaw.

Ryce said the keys this week on offense are simple, and said they must “hang on to the ball, keep your legs moving and get every yard you can get.”

Ryce said it felt like winning a “championship” upon learning that the team was headed to the playoffs.

“For us, it was like the championship because we haven’t been in so long,” he said. “Coach (Tony Ingram) told us, ‘don’t get excited that we’re in the playoffs, we want more than the playoffs,’” he said.

Ryce is the son of Cora and Rodney Ryce of Red Level.