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Youth Raiders Program to Host First Round of AAU North Carolina State Playoffs

Photo courtesy of The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM – Richmond County has a rich football history, but for the first time ever, the Amateur Athletic Union state playoffs will find its way to Rockingham on Saturday.

The Richmond Raiders Youth Football Association, an AAU organization, will play host to 32 teams this weekend, as the playoff tournament will determine which teams will compete for a national title in Florida later this fall.

Richmond league president Errol Hood, who coaches Richmond’s 14U team, said that the opportunity arose after his program (which consists of four teams) had a successful year.

“The AAU agreed to allow us to host the event because of how well we run our program,” Hood said. “We are proud of this opportunity to showcase all of the athletes and our program.”

With the influx of so many teams from across the state making their way to Richmond County, the slate of games will be played at Raiders Stadium, Ninth Grade Academy and Rockingham Middle School.

Hood noted that hosting the playoffs wouldn’t be possible if Richmond County Schools didn’t give the “okay” to do so. He expressed his gratitude to several people in the academic community, especially Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman, Richmond Senior High School Athletic Director Ricky Young and Raiders head coach Bryan Till for allowing the playoffs to be held at local fields.

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The only Richmond team to participate during the first round of the playoffs is the 10U team, which is coached by Travis Byers. The No. 5-seeded Raiders (6-1) will play the Triangle Hornets at 12:30 p.m. on Richmond’s field.

Hood expressed that this playoff tournament is a great way to expose young players and their talents, as well as the Raiders Youth program, which has worked so diligently to develop younger local players.

Admission to any of the playoff venues is $7 for anyone age 15 and older. Children ages five to 14 are $5, while anyone younger than five is free. AAU players who wear their game jersey will be allowed in for just $1.

Richmond’s 14U team will not play Saturday, but will play the following weekend against the New Age Panthers. The 14U squad made it to Florida last year, and its road back to the Sunshine State starts Saturday, November 11.

For more information regarding Saturday’s playoff event, contact Hood at 910-331-6896.

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-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.