Wednesday, 20 November 2019 19:11

Local residents, football fans encouraged to attend Raider football bonfire

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ROSports File Photo: Richmond's football team will host a playoff pep rally bonfire on Thursday near the school's softball field. ROSports File Photo: Richmond's football team will host a playoff pep rally bonfire on Thursday near the school's softball field. Jimmy McDonald — The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM — A little Raider Magic and positive community energy is what the Richmond Senior High School football program hopes to spark during Thursday’s pep rally bonfire.

For the second time in the last three seasons, the Raider football team and the school’s administration are teaming up to host a community get-together ahead of the playoffs. Head principal Jim Butler announced via Twitter that the bonfire will be held on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

The burn pile has grown larger over the last 36 hours, which is located in the parking lot next to the softball field on the back end of Richmond’s campus. 

Both Butler and head football coach Bryan Till are calling for a strong showing of community support for the No. 1 seeded Raiders, which will host No. 8 Hough High School in the second round of the NCHSAA state playoffs on Friday.

“The bonfire was a great success when we did it before,” Butler commented of the event in 2017. “The hurricane changed our schedule last year and we were not able to do it. We all like to have these types of events that can create positive memories for the Raiders.”

Till, along with a handful of Raider players, is expected to speak to the fans at the event. Also on hand will be the Richmond marching band and band director Edwin Carter. The speeches, music and the high-intensity crowd are hoped to create a stronger sense of school and community spirit for Richmond’s playoff run.

“It’s important for the boys to see that support prior to the game so they know what they are playing for,” Till said of the community’s backing. “It’s also important for our guys to convey how important this game is to them.

“Any positive energy can help put our players in a place where they play better,” the head coach added ahead of his fourth career playoff game with Richmond. “When people work together, they can accomplish so much more. And with every game being more important, we need all hands on deck.”  

Till noted that the talk and attention ahead of the meeting with the Huskies gives the Raiders the opportunity to involve more people in their playoff run, “therefore having a more positive impact on our guys.”

Butler explained that Raider Magic has been around a lot longer than he’s been the school’s principal the last three and a half years. However, it’s a tradition he’s proud of and he wants the football players to carry it and the bonfire’s energy with them onto the field on Friday.

“It was created when our teams pulled out big victories when defeat seemed inevitable,” Butler shared. “But I also think (Raider Magic) is when a student overcomes odds to be successful in the classroom. 

“It happens when a school organization launches a service project that changes the life of another person,” he closed. “In truth, it isn't really ‘magic’ at all -- it’s usually the hard work, dedication, practice and effort of a great team of athletes, students, coaches and teachers coming together to make something special happen.”

The Raiders (11-0) will look to make something special happen starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday against Hough (8-4).

Last modified on Wednesday, 20 November 2019 19:22

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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