ROCKINGHAM – The junior varsity Raiders football team has been able to stay undefeated throughout a tough non-conference and Sandhills Athletic Conference schedule. But now on the horizon is what could be the biggest game of the year – facing Scotland County High School.
The Raiders will be hosting the Fighting Scots on Thursday after dismantling Seventy-First High School 44-8 last week. Once again, Richmond was able to get great play from its offense, defense and special teams, but in a rivalry such as this one, all that can be thrown out the window.
But head coach Patrick Hope knows personally how important it is for his players to remain focused on the task at hand.
“For a game against a rival with a conference title on the line, our guys have had great focus,” Hope said Tuesday. “We have stressed to our kids that when we’ve had big games, our preparation has been the foundation to victory.”
Hope said he and his staff have also reiterated to the team how there will be a little more emotion involved because of who they’re playing, but to keep them in check and just play ball.
“We also explained the history of the rivalry,” Hope continued. “I felt that they needed to know about how Richmond had won the last 18 of 19 games before Scotland started their run in 2011,” said Hope. “Thursday will be their introduction to the best rivalry in the state, and I want them to enjoy it, because the next two years they’ll be playing it in front of 10,000-plus people.”
The JV Raiders will welcome Scotland High School to Raider Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night.