ROCKINGHAM — With the official start of 2019 in the books, Richmond Senior High School students are slated to return to the classroom Wednesday — and with them, the return of winter athletics.
Raider and Lady Raider student-athletes and coaches will return with a shortened three-day week, but all programs will be back in full swing by the end of next week.
The only teams to play in the coming days will be the boys and girls basketball teams. Both participated in holiday tournaments over the break, and the remainder of their schedules are a heavy dose of Sandhills Athletic Conference opponents.
The Lady Raiders and head coach Teddy Moseley will play twice in the coming three days, back-to-back on Thursday and Friday. After playing to a third-place finish in the Anson County Shootout and beating Parkwood High School 39-27 before Christmas, the Lady Raiders got back to the .500 mark at 5-5.
First up for the Lady Raiders will be Forest Hills High School (3-8) on the road Thursday, a team they took care of 50-33 on Dec. 13. Then they’ll return home Friday to battle SAC opponent Jack Britt High School (6-3, 2-0), the first of 12 straight SAC games to close out the regular season. Both games are scheduled for a 6 p.m. starting time.
On the boys side, head coach Donald Pettigrew and the Raiders got back on track over the holiday break by winning the Anson County Shootout and posting a 2-1 record at the Ashbrook Holiday Hoopfest in Gastonia. Senior forward Xavier Pettigrew was also named to the second-team all-tournament squad.
Entering the break, the Raiders were 1-5 overall, but now sit one game behind the .500 mark at 5-6. Pettigrew noted during the preseason that the non-conference schedule would be tough, and he hoped to see that level of competition pay off as the SAC schedule got underway.
Currently 0-2 in the SAC, the Raiders will look for their first win against a visiting Jack Britt (6-4, 1-1) team. Tip off against the Buccaneers is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday following the Lady Raiders’ game.
The next Richmond varsity team to see action in the new year will be the Raider wrestling team. Coached by Earl Nicholson, the Raiders also participated in two meets over the break, but had a limited number of wrestlers on the mat.
Junior Joseph Nicholson battled his way to a championship finish in the 113-pound weight class at the E.B. Memorial Clash at the Creek tournament at Mallard Creek High School before Christmas, before also taking first place at the West Stanly Duals this past weekend.
On the season, the Raiders are 26-26, and individual wrestlers will look to improve their own records at the Joel McCanna Invitational this Saturday at St. Andrews University. It’s another individual tournament, like the E.B. Memorial, and is set to begin at 9 a.m.
Not picking things up until the first full week back to school will be the Raider and Lady Raider bowling and swimming teams. Both programs are in their second year of operation, and all four respective teams are in the middle of the pack in the SAC standings.
Mike Way’s swimmers will wrap up their regular season at St. Andrews University on Wednesday, Jan. 9, a meet that Richmond and Pinecrest High School will host. It’s the fourth and final regular season meet ahead of the conference championship, which will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19. Swimmers will hit the pool at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 9.
Ralph Butler and the bowling teams will be in action a day later, Thursday, Jan. 10, on the road in Lumberton. It’s the next to last regular season meet for Richmond, as the finale will take place on Thursday, Jan. 24, in Fayetteville. Action in the lanes will get underway at 4 p.m. at both meets.
The last team to get back in the swing of things is the Richmond indoor track team, which will travel to South View High School for a meet on Saturday, Jan. 12.
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