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The Week Ahead: Fall sports officially begin

The Richmond varsity and junior varsity volleyball, soccer and football teams begin their seasons this week. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — The past two weeks have flown by quickly, leading up to the first week of high school fall sports. 

On Monday, the Richmond Senior High School boys’ soccer and volleyball teams will cut the ribbon on the 2023-24 school year. 

Later in the week, the football program will also join the mix. 

Lady Raiders set for three-match week

Since rosters were finalized on Aug. 2, the Lady Raider volleyball team and head coach Ashleigh Larsen have had time to hash things out. 

The Lady Raiders will have the busiest week of those teams in action, playing three matches on consecutive nights. 

Facing a trio of non-conference opponents all at home, Richmond will begin with Harnett Central High School on Monday. 

That will be followed by matches against Montgomery Central (Tuesday) and Pine Forest (Wednesday) high schools. All varsity matches will begin around 6 p.m.

The junior varsity volleyball team, coached by Melissa Dennis, will precede each varsity match and start at 5 p.m.

Raiders ready to start non-conference play

Head soccer coach Chris Larsen has been pleased with the Raiders’ preseason efforts and hopes that will carry over into a pair of non-conference matches to begin the season. 

Playing on Monday and Wednesday, the Raiders will hit the road twice. 

Up first will be a trip to St. Pauls High School, followed by a match at Porter Ridge High School. 

The season opener will begin at 6 p.m. Richmond’s match at Porter Ridge is slated to start at 7 p.m.

Junior varsity head coach Bennie Howard and the JV Raiders will hit the pitch the same days, playing St. Pauls at 4:30 p.m. and the JV Pirates at 5 p.m.

Football teams to open with Seventy-First

The talk of the preseason has been the football team’s stacked four-game non-conference schedule to kick off the year. 

Up first on Friday night under the lights of Raider Stadium, Richmond will host Seventy-First High School, which is the top-ranked 3A team in some preseason polls across the state.

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With a lot of positives coming out of a pair of scrimmages last week, Richmond will put its talents to the test on both sides of the football.

Head coach Bryan Till and the varsity Raiders will kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

The JV Raiders will travel to Seventy-First on Thursday. Coached by Ryan Mercer, the game will start at 6:30 p.m. in Fayetteville.

The Richmond Observer will publish a preview article for the varsity football game later in the week.

Sports editor’s note: Also this week, the Lady Raider golf team will hold its first practice of the season. That will be on Tuesday at Foxfire.

The Lady Raider tennis team will start its season on Tuesday, Aug. 22. Richmond’s cross country teams will begin later this fall. 

The Richmond Observer will continue its award-winning coverage of all of Richmond’s sports teams this school year.