Roy-Winifred had been a bottom-feeder in the 6-Man South in recent years. The Outlaws haven't won a playoff game since winning the 6-Man state title in 2009 and hadn't hosted a playoff game in that span either. But that changed when the Outlaws finished second in the conference last year. They’re embracing the role of favorites in 2019.
“We’ve been underdogs for so long. To be ranked that high kind of means a lot to us,” Roy-Winifred senior quarterback Tyler Fordyce said. “We’ve been getting it kicked in the dirt for the last few years, so to be ranked up there we want to keep up there and prove ourselves daily.”
“We look at that and it just makes us better. We want to be better. We’re always trying to strive for greatness. It’s a good feeling, and I love my team,” Roy-Winifred senior tailback Calvin Rowell said.
Roy-Winifred leads the South early with a pair of conference wins. The quick start is no surprise, though, as last year’s early exit in the playoffs only fueled this team in the offseason. The Outlaws fell at home in the first round to eventual runner-up Jordan, 88-40.
“I think the playoff game was a little jittery for them, and they learned from that,” Outlaws head coach Dustin Kinkelaar said. “They’re hungry. They want to get that again and go as far as they can. They know they’ve got to get better and better every week.”
“We’re always greedy, we’re never satisfied,” Fordyce said. “We’re pretty confident right now, but we know we have a lot of flaws and are going to work on it. Never be too satisfied.”
The Outlaws were tested in non-conference play early this year, playing Richey-Lambert and Westby-Grenora out of the East. It’s given Roy-Winifred a measuring stick in relation to some of the state’s best teams in preparation for a playoff run.
“It gives us a good gauge of where we’re at and where we need to be. You’ve got to beat the best to be the best,” Kinkelaar said. “I’m happy to be playing the East. Everyone is a little gun shy to go play those guys, because they are tough and they’re good teams, but I want to go over there and see what we can do against them and see what we need to work on.”
Roy-Winifred’s next game is at Reed Point-Rapelje on Saturday, Oct. 5.