Lady Raider flag football ranked as top team

BELLE GLADE — The Glades Central Lady Raiders flag football team know that expectations are high for the program following their record breaking season in 2018.

Last year the team rode a wave dominating performances throughout the regular season all the way to a district championship over Jensen Beach.

Headed into the district championship game the Lady Raiders had a record of 13-1, but their only loss that season had come against the same team they now had to face for the district title, Jensen Beach.

But facing Jensen again didn’t concern the Lady Raiders or their head coach Sam Curry.

Special to the Okeechobee News
The 2018 Glades Central Lady Raider flag football team set the standard on what coach Sam Curry expects from the program.

“Honestly, we beat ourselves in the first game against Jensen,” said Curry shortly after defeating Jensen. “We were in the red zone six times that game and only converted one touchdown. They were only able to get into the red zone twice, but they were able to score both of those times. From what we saw on film, we knew we had a good chance of beating them.”

The Lady Raiders’ confidence proved to be well earned, thanks in part from another MVP performance from their senior quarterback Wiskierra Lemene, or as Curry called her, Miss Everything.

Lemene lived up to that name against Jensen, doing a little bit of everything for the Glades Central offense. Lemene got things started with a 20-yard touchdown run on the Lady Raiders’ first possession and she would rush for another touchdown as well as throw one against the Jensen defense.

The Lady Raiders were able to make it all the way to the state semifinal last year before losing to Miami Edison. Before falling in the state tournament the Lady Raiders were able to defeat Suncoast in the regional semifinal and Seabreeze in the regional final.

But as they get ready to kick off their 2019 campaign, the Lady Raiders will have to attempt an encore of last years performance without their ‘Miss Everything.’ With Lemene graduating last year the team has questions on who will step up and lead the squad this year.

“We are still looking for someone to emerge as a captain and take command of the team,” said Curry. “We are breaking in a freshman at quarterback which is very difficult because we don’t have middle school flag football like other counties in Florida. Although she’s very talented she has no experience playing organized flag football and she has to learn on the go. We have two returning wide receivers that had over 600 yards each and both know how to find the endzone, we just have to make sure we can get them the ball. We are fairly young this year but our expectations are the same.”

Even with the questions at quarterback the Lady Raiders are still rated as a top team in their class. Floridahsfootball.com lists Glades Central as the fifth best team in the 1A class in flag football.

“This year we are trying to maintain the tradition we have set for ourselves as top five team in the state of Florida,” concluded Curry.

The Lady Raiders will be playing their first home game of the season on March 11 at 7 p.m. against Wellington.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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