Sunday, 11 August 2019 21:41

Raiders top Sandhills Athletic Conference pre-season coaches and media polls

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Bryan Till, Gavin Russell, Caleb Hood and Greg Williams represented the Raiders at SAC Media Day on Sunday. Bryan Till, Gavin Russell, Caleb Hood and Greg Williams represented the Raiders at SAC Media Day on Sunday. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

RAEFORD — With the brink of the 2019 football season just over 10 days away from beginning, the Richmond Senior High School Raiders are once again at the top of the pre-season rankings.

Players, coaches, athletic directors and media representing each of the eight high schools in the Sandhills Athletic Conference convened at Bayonet at Puppy Creek Golf Course for the annual SAC Media Day on Sunday.

By the event’s end, the Raiders were chosen as the pre-season favorite in two polls. Last summer, Richmond earned the top spot in the coaches poll, but finished second in the media poll. 

The Raiders followed through and snapped an eight-year deficit and won their first conference title in 2018. Richmond went 11-2 overall, including a perfect 7-0 mark against SAC teams.

High School OT released its pre-season polls earlier Sunday, seeing the Raiders tabbed as the No. 2 team in the East, behind three-time 4AA defending state title winner Wake Forest High School.

Richmond was selected as the pre-season frontrunner in both the SAC’s media and coaches polls this time around. Of the 10 media member votes, the Raiders earned six of them, edging fellow SAC powerhouse Scotland High School (four first-place votes). In the coaches poll, Richmond again was the favorite over Scotland, garnering six of the eight coaches votes.

SAC 2019 Pre-Season Media Poll: 1) Richmond (6), 2) Scotland (4), 3) Seventy-First High School, 4) Pinecrest High School, 5) Jack Britt High School, 6) Hoke County High School, 7) Purnell Swett High School and 8) Lumberton High School.

SAC 2019 Pre-Season Coaches Poll: 1) Richmond (6), 2) Scotland (4), 3) Seventy-First, 4) Pinecrest, 5) Jack Britt, T6) Hoke, T6) Lumberton and 8) Purnell Swett.

On hand for the Raiders were third-year head coach Bryan Till, assistant head coach Greg Williams, junior quarterback Caleb Hood and senior middle linebacker Gavin Russell. Ricky Young, Richmond’s athletic director, was also present.

SAC head athletic director and Hoke County’s Gary Brigman opened Media Day by stating, “football is big in our area and we want our conference to do things the right way.” Following the opening, those in attendance ate before players broke off to meet with the media while the coaches held a general information meeting.

With the eyes of the seven other SAC teams and the media on them, Till and the Raiders will look to repeat as conference champions this fall. ROSports spoke with Till, Williams, Hood and Russell to discuss SAC Media Day. To hear reactions from Media Day, see below.

That journey to reclaim the SAC title will begin on Friday, Aug. 23, as the Raiders host Clayton High School at 7:30 p.m.

Bryan Till (click photo for video) 

Greg Williams (click photo for video)

Caleb Hood (click photo for video)

Gavin Russell (click photo for video)


Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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