New era begins at Riverdale

Herrod takes over Raiders coming off playoff run

Photo by Derrick Mahone
RIverdale junior quarterback Greg Taylor prepares to participate in a drill during Monday’s spring practice.

Photo by Derrick Mahone RIverdale junior quarterback Greg Taylor prepares to participate in a drill during Monday’s spring practice.

RIVERDALE — One of the first things that new Riverdale coach Terry Herrod did when he accepted the job was tell his team that the offense would not change.

There were some worried that the former Dutchtown defensive coordinator would bring his former school’s run-oriented offense to the Raiders.

Riverdale will be a spread base offense that will utilize its talented receivers.

“I think that ease some of their minds,” Herrod said as goes through his second week of spring drills at his new school.

Each day, he makes the short trek from Dutchtown High to Riverdale while finishing up his teaching duties at the Henry County school.

Herrod has spent the last two days learning players names and evaluating the talent he will have at the Region 4-AAAA school.

“We are going to be in good shape,” said Herrod, who is in his first season as a head football coach on any level. “We have some talent over here, and the kids are willing to listen.”

Herrod replaces family friend Olton Downs, who accepted the job at Creekside. The two have similar paths as they both played at Shaw High in Columbus and were successful defensive coordinators.

“Our fathers were both in the military,” Herrod said. “We have some similar approaches to the game. Olton did a great job with this program, which has really helped me.”

The players seem open to the change.

“It is sort of a different environment now,” junior quarterback Greg Taylor said. “He is definitely keeping us discipline. We are looking to get back into the playoffs.”

Taylor started part of the season before Asania Aderhold took over. A moved earlier this season, which left the starting job open.

Herrod has install some of the offense, but is waiting to hire an offensive coordinator.

“Greg really knows this offense, and that has helped a lot,” Herrod said. “Not much will change with the offense. We are going to tweak some things.”

The Raiders, who made the first round of the playoffs, graduates their top two running backs in Tikeem Cooper and Kahmad Magwood. Cooper rushed for 709 yards and six touchdowns while Magwood had 815 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

While Herrod said their is some work to do, he said the last week and half has been ahead of his planned schedule.

“There are so many positive things about this team,” Herrod said. “They love football, and they do the extra things that it takes to win. They are willing to stay late or come in early to work on the things they need. Olten put together a good foundation for this team.”