ROCKINGHAM — While the Richmond Senior High School athletics department got an extended weekend due to Labor Day, several programs will look to use the extra day of rest to make an impact this week.
Week 3 of the 2019-2020 school year begins with three games and matches Tuesday, and will end with one of the most anticipated football games in the state this season on Friday.
Lady Raider volleyball looks to remain unbeaten
Perhaps the hottest team to start the new athletic year has been the Lady Raider volleyball team, which currently sits at a perfect 5-0 record. That includes a Sandhills Athletic Conference opening win against Purnell Swett High School the last time Richmond hit the court.
This week, the Lady Raiders will have two more chances to remain perfect, starting with a home match Tuesday against their biggest rival, Pinecrest High School. Richmond and Pinecrest (4-0, 1-0 SAC) are two of the three SAC teams without a loss; the other is Lumberton High School (3-0). Last season, the Lady Patriots got the best of Richmond all three times the two squads played, seeing two of the matches go to five sets.
The Lady Raiders will travel to SAC opponent Jack Britt High School (2-4, 1-0 SAC) on Thursday. Junior varsity will begin both days at 5 p.m. followed by varsity at 6 p.m. Coaching the Lady Raiders will be interim head coach Melissa Dennis while head coach Ashleigh Larsen is on maternity leave.
Raider soccer seeking consistency with two matches
Head coach Chris Larsen and the Raider soccer team have only played two matches so far this fall, and Richmond will look to find its groove this week with a pair of home games. Currently winless on the campaign, the Raiders will host non-conference Porter Ridge High School (3-1) on Tuesday, followed by their SAC home opener on Thursday against Purnell Swett (1-4).
Larsen noted that the consistency of playing multiple games a week will lead to more scoring, as seniors Luke Hawks and Lee Hayden are the only two players to find twine this fall. Against Porter Ridge, JV (1-0-1) will start at 4:30 p.m., followed by varsity (0-2) at 6 p.m. The matches against the Rams will start at 5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
Lady Raider tennis gets three chances for first win
Through three matches this fall, the Lady Raider tennis team has put forth a strong effort but has come up on the wrong end of the score sheet each time. Head coach Neely Herndon and her squad of nine players are looking to right the ship with three more SAC matches this week.
The Lady Raiders (0-3) will begin play on Tuesday when they travel to Jack Britt (1-0, 1-0 SAC), and follow up with another road match at Hoke County High School (0-0) on Wednesday. Richmond will cap its week at home on Thursday with a match against Lumberton High School (0-0). All matches will begin at 4 p.m.
Raider football to see all three teams in action in Week 3
The Richmond football program will see all three of its teams hit the field this week, the first time that will happen this fall. Following a whirlwind Week 2 game at Anson High School that saw the game called at halftime due to an altercation on the field, the varsity Raiders will host David W. Butler High School on Friday.
The Raiders (2-0) are ranked as the No. 1 team in the East in HighSchoolOT.com’s power rankings and should remain there when the new list is released this week. Butler (1-1) is coming off a 33-17 loss to Mallard Creek High School, and the Bulldogs should fall from No. 6 in the West. This will be the seventh-straight year the two teams have met, with the road team winning the last two seasons. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Friday in Raider Stadium.
In junior varsity action, the Raiders will look for their 31st consecutive win when they travel to Butler on Thursday. Richmond won its season-opener against Anson last Thursday, overcoming a halftime deficit to win 21-8. A season ago, the JV Raiders downed Butler 19-6. The game will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Butler.
After two weeks of seeing its games against Clayton High School cancelled, the freshman football team will suit up and play Cardinal Gibbons High School on Thursday in its season opener. Head coach Taivon Jones and the Raiders will kickoff against the Crusaders at 4 p.m. at Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy.
Note: The Richmond girls’ golf and boys’ and girls’ cross country teams will begin their respective seasons next week. ROSports will publish season previews ahead of their openers. Also, the Official Richmond County Male and Female Athletes of the Week presented by Moss Brothers Tire and Service for Week 2 will be revealed later this week.