When it comes to the Richmond-Scotland debate, both fan bases will give a million and one reasons why one is better than the other. Raider Nation may bring up its long history of winning, while supporters of the Scots may lead with their current six-year reign as football conference champions.
But most of that is gridiron talk.
There’s a number of annual showdowns between the Raiders and the Scots, across multiple sports, that fail to bring out more than 10,000 people but mean just as much to the schools as the final score on a fall Friday night.
And this past school year, from beginning to end, Richmond’s girls programs proved their school pride by dominating the Lady Scots in almost every meeting — from cross country to softball.
The Lady Raider basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball teams all combined to go 11-1 when facing Scotland in their head-to-head matchups. The girls cross country and track and field teams both finished ahead of the school’s rival when they competed in multi-team meets.
Not only did Richmond’s girls basketball team beat Scotland for the first time since 2012, it won all three games played against the Lady Scots this past season. Zariah Williams led the scoring efforts in all three victories, as her late-game heroics in the second meeting capped off one of the best conference runs the basketball program had seen under coach Rosalind McDonald.
Hat tricks and mercy rules highlighted the soccer team’s three victories over Scotland this spring. Richmond got a hat trick from either Jessi Graham, Cassie McFayden or Hannah Millen in each meeting and was able to win by nine goals in two of the three games. The closest match took place in the first round of the SEC tournament, where the Lady Raiders earned a 4-1 win.
The softball team scored 14 runs, and gave up none, in its two games versus the Lady Scots. Both Owen Bowers and Savannah Lampley had a perfect night at the plate in the initial meeting. The Lady Raiders would then turn around and shutout Scotland, again, on the road in order to claim their fifth consecutive regular-season conference championship.
Head coach Shellie Wimpey and the volleyball squad took care of Scotland in three sets last September and then escaped in five sets three weeks later, which clinched their third-ever conference title. Altman Griffin had the most kills for the Lady Raiders in both games.
Summer Moore, who ran a meet-best time of 24:11, led a first-place effort from the girls cross country team when it ran against Scotland and Purnell Swett in its second SEC meet of the season. Moore would come in eighth place when the Lady Raiders finished second — ahead of Scotland — a week later.
The Lady Raiders track and field team won its regular-season meet that featured Scotland, thanks to a total of nine first-place finishes (five individual, four relay). Richmond would tally 78 points and place third in the conference championship meet, while Scotland finished fifth with six total points.
Richmond’s girls tennis team would finish the year tied with the Lady Scots in the final SEC standings due to its 7-2 loss in the regular-season finale. The Lady Raiders escaped with a 5-4 win over their archrival when they first met in Rockingham, winning four of the five singles matches before Jayana Nicholson and Greyson Way picked up the decisive win in the No. 3 doubles.
WHAT WAS SAID
“Hats off to Scotland because they played one of their better games this year,” girls soccer coach Bennie Howard said of his team’s 4-1 victory in the conference tournament. “That’s what rivals are all about.”
The cross country, tennis and volleyball teams all begin their respective seasons in August. They’ll get their feet wet with a few non-conference matchups before jumping into conference play and taking on Scotland.
Richmond volleyball and softball are looking to extend their win streaks against the Lady Scots while also defending their conference championships. The girls basketball team hopes it doesn’t go another five years without a win in the rivalry.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.
The Richmond Senior girls basketball team was one of four teams to sweep its head-to-head matchups with Scotland this past school year. Zariah Williams, pictured above, led the scoring efforts for the Lady Raiders in all three rivalry games.