Led by a new coach, and in a new conference, Riverside is trying to have one of the best seasons they have had in recent history.
After coaching at Northern for two years and then taking a break for a year, Alex Ramirez came to Riverside as the JV coach in 2019. This will be his first year as Head Coach. One of his goals for the season is to have a record above .500, which would be the first time the team achieves this since 2016, when the team went 13-9.
Last season the team had a 2-8 record, and in 2019 they went 6-13-2. Part of the reason for the recent struggle was the tough conference Riverside was in. Last year the team had to play teams like Green Hope and Panther Creek. This year they play teams like Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill, as well as other schools in Durham. The team should be more successful than the last few years because “the level of competition is far more fair,” according to Ramirez. The new conference will have teams closer to the school, which means there will be more local rivalries causing the season to be more exciting.
The Pirates got off to a strong start, beating DSA 4-2, then Garner 3-0, but then losing to a really good Leesville Road team 9-0. They have split the series against Orange, winning the first game 3-0, then losing by the same score. They then lost 1-3 to Northern, evening their record at 3-3, before winning on Friday to Hillside 3-0. This week they play Jordan and Chapel Hill.
This year there will also be fans back in the stands, something Ramirez is looking forward to. “Last year covid impacted every facet of what we did,” said Ramirez. Players will still have to wear masks on the sidelines though.