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Clarendon Hall working to get through postseason speed bump

By TIM LEIBLE tim@theitem.com
Posted 8/22/19

Clarendon Hall has had one of the top 8-man football programs in SCISA the past two seasons. In 2018, the Saints lost just one game in the regular season, rarely needing four quarters out of their starters.

Clarendon Hall saw its season come to …

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Clarendon Hall working to get through postseason speed bump

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Clarendon Hall has had one of the top 8-man football programs in SCISA the past two seasons. In 2018, the Saints lost just one game in the regular season, rarely needing four quarters out of their starters.

Clarendon Hall saw its season come to an end in similar fashion in both 2017 and '18, falling to Andrew Jackson Academy in the semifinals of the state playoffs. Head coach Anthony Ritenour sees that game as a speed bump he hopes his players and coaching staff are learning how to get around.

"We've hit that speed bump on the same football field against the same football team for two years in a row," Ritenour said. "I'm kind of hoping this year it's like when you live in a cul-de-sac and you have that speed bump that gets on your nerves and you start finding a way to make it a little bit easier. I'm hoping this season the guys are more mentally prepared. They've been there. They've done it, it's nothing new. They're going to come out and work hard, and we're going to get right past that speed bump, and Clarendon Hall is going to be playing for a state championship for the first time in 30 years."

Wells Robinson, a senior linebacker, running back and wide receiver, knows he and his teammates are frustrated, but they also know what they need to do to get past that game.

"It's frustrating," said Robinson. "We fell short, we know what we did wrong. We'll fix it this year and we're going to be back."

Clarendon Hall won most of their games by a wide margin last year. The Saints didn't allow a point at home in the regular season and scored 40 or more points in seven games. As a result, the biggest change they're looking to make this season is in mindset.

"We've just got to stay focused and continue to prepare at a high level. We've gotta keep the intensity going up," said Ritenour. "We don't want to get into a coast mode or a lackadaisical mode where we're three games in and guys are starting to crank the effort down a little bit. We wanna keep them motivated all season long, because we've seen two seasons in a row what happens when you coast."