(Red Oak) -- The Red Oak Tigers football team is ready for the opportunity to return to the field Friday night when they face Riverside.
"Our kids are really excited that we're going to start playing some football," Coach Ryan Gelber said. "The preparation is continuing and ongoing. We are taking every opportunity we can to get ready for Friday night."
Coach Gelber has a relatively young team, with only three seniors and seven juniors on their roster. Coach Gelber says the youth on his team has led to an enhanced focus on fundamentals.
"It's just focusing on the little things and the small details that turn into bigger things in the end," he said. "Making sure that we are perfect in the playbook, our technique, really focusing on those little things right now."
Coach Gelber has emphasized his team's ability to execute, and he's seen progress so far this preseason.
"We have implemented and installed on everything we are going to have this season," Gelber said. "So we are really focusing on getting every detail right. If we get a bad start, it's hard to build back. Just focusing on us, and getting better as a team overall."
It starts in the trenches for the Tigers, where linemen Nicholas Fouts and Luke Sperling return to the mix. Austin Johnson and Dawson Bond figure to get most of the totes for the Tigers' rushing attack while Braden Woods is the top-returning passer from last season.
The Tigers are looking to snap a 12-game losing streak that dates back to September 28th, 2018. Their next chance to do so comes Friday night against Riverside.
The Bulldogs finished 2-7 last year, but return many contributors from last season including quarterback Austin Kremkoski, who tossed for just under 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
"Riverside's an incredibly talented team," Gelber said. "We're going to have to play some really good defense, that will be a big thing for us Friday night."
As for offensive keys for the Tigers, it's all about execution and enjoying the moment.
"Execute, execute, execute," Gelber said. "And just have fun. I tell the kids all the time that you don't get a ton of opportunities to play high school football. Enjoy the moment -- especially with the health situation -- enjoy what you have. It's going to be fun Friday night."
Matt Hays will be in Oakland Friday night providing updates. KMA Sports' coverage begins Friday evening at 6:20. The complete interview with Coach Gelber can be heard below.