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The Week Ahead: RSHS sports hope for better results

ROCKINGHAM — Local students will return to Richmond County classrooms on Monday, and with it, the third week of fall athletics will begin.

After a tough week that saw just one win across Richmond Senior High School’s seven varsity contests, the Raiders and Lady Raiders hope to bounce back in the coming days.

The Richmond volleyball and boys’ soccer teams will open Sandhills Athletic Conference play this week, the girls’ tennis team will continue its SAC slate and the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams will compete for the first time.

Volleyball set for three-match week

The Richmond volleyball team (2-3) will look to hit the reset button after dropping a pair of non-conference matches on the road last week.

Over the next several days, the Lady Raiders and head coach Ashleigh Larsen will play three matches, two of which are home.

First Richmond will travel to non-conference Forest Hills High School (0-7) on Monday. That will be followed by two SAC matches at home against Southern Lee (2-3) and Pinecrest (4-4) high schools on Tuesday and Thursday.

Last season, the Lady Raiders swept Southern Lee and lost both matches to Pinecrest. All varsity matches will start around 6 p.m.

The junior varsity volleyball team will also play all three teams and start at 5 p.m.

Boys’ soccer hoping to carry momentum into SAC opener

Head coach Chris Larsen and the Raider soccer team split its two non-conference matches last week and are coming off a mercy-rule win.

Netting nine goals in a match for the first time in four seasons, the Raiders (2-2) hope that scoring binge continues in two more matches this week.

Up first, Richmond will travel to Sun Valley High School (2-1-1) on Monday, continuing the program’s tough non-conference slate. That will be followed by a home match on Wednesday against Southern Lee High School (2-1) to begin SAC play.

In 2022, the Raiders split their regular-season series with the Cavaliers 1-1. Both varsity matches will get underway at 7 p.m.

The junior varsity soccer team (1-1-1) and head coach Bennie Howard will play Sun Valley and Southern Lee at 5:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.

Girls’ tennis team eyes first victory

Like the volleyball team, the Lady Raider tennis team also fell in two matches last week and hopes to strike back with two wins.

Continuing their SAC-only schedule, head coach Jessica Covington and the Lady Raiders (0-2) will travel to Hoke County and Union Pines high schools on Tuesday and Thursday.

Richmond’s only wins came from No. 1 doubles team Neely Turner and Hanna Smith (2), while Smith won one of her singles matches.


Singles matches will start at 4 p.m. with doubles action to follow.

Cross country teams ready for first meet

Making their season debut on Tuesday, the Raider and Lady Raider cross country teams will run at Union Pines. Also competing will be fellow SAC opponent Lee County High School.

A season preview, including video interviews with coaches Ashleigh Buie and Morgan Tedder and runners, will be published Monday.

Football teams hoping for first win

After suffering its second straight loss by at least 28 points last week, the Richmond Raider football team is set to face another top team in the state.

Head coach Bryan Till and the Raiders (0-2) will welcome in familiar non-conference opponent Cardinal Gibbons High School (1-1) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last week, the Crusaders played nationally-ranked Cardinal Gibbons (Florida) and lost by a touchdown. Richmond has lost its last three meetings with Cardinal Gibbons, which is ranked No. 4 by HighSchoolOT.

The JV Raiders (0-2) and head coach Ryan Mercer go on the road on Thursday and will visit the JV Crusaders (2-0) at 6 p.m. 

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

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

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.