Red Devils still a work in progress

A pleasant surprise was sitting on my desk last week inside a vanilla envelope when I came into the office Wednesday afternoon.

Lo and behold when I opened it up, there was the 2017-18 Runnin’ Red Devils basketball program.

Although I’ve only had a chance to peruse the annual Ravenswood media guide, if anyone gets the opportunity to pick one up or go through it, make sure to check out page 25. Located there are a few pictures of head coach Mick Price and the one circa the 1980s is just great.

It also was great to finally get to see Parkersburg Catholic and the Red Devils compete on the hardwood Friday night.

While coach Price’s squad was able to use a strong fourth quarter to upend the Crusaders, there will be plenty of time down the road for rematches as the sectional rivals should be expected to vie for Class A state tournament berths.

Of course, it was just last season when Ravenswood made a run to the state championship game, where it came up short against Notre Dame.

Sure, the Red Devils return a lot of experienced talent from that group. But despite a current 6-0 start, coach Price knows his team has a long way to go.

Ravenswood graduated its point guard in Hayden Mandrake and all-stater Riley Heatherington, who is playing for Charleston in the Mountain East Conference.

Even though the Red Devils checked in at No. 2 in the Associated Press preseason rankings, that and where Ravenswood fits in the single-A landscape isn’t something Price thinks too much about.

“I don’t know where we will fit in there. There are a lot of games to be played and we got to get a lot better. There is a lot of work to do,” Price admitted. “The only thing I’m worried about is my next practice.

“I’m trying to get the kids (to understand) we’re only going to be as good as we are going to be at the end of our next practice. We’ve got work to do to correct things and get better.”

Price fully understands “there are enough people and outside influences” to let his team know they are among the state’s best. However, being the best at the end of the season is Price’s goal.

“Ask Nick Saban. He calls it rat poison and they haven’t done anything yet,” Price added, making reference to Alabama’s head football coach about his frustrations with how the media was hyping up the Tide’s early-season success.

Saban said in the postgame press conference after a narrow win against Texas A&M back in October, “I’m asking them (his team), are you going to listen to me or are you going to listen to these guys about how good you are?”

Needless to say, if I were a Red Devil, I know who I’d be listening to.

“If you get caught up worrying about those things, you forget about the process of the things you need to do to get good,” Price remarked.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com.

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