CLAYTON — It wasn’t perfect.
Richmond Senior coach Paul Hoggard didn’t expect it to be, but it did mark the start of the new season for the Raiders.
Richmond took to the gridiron against Clayton and Garner Wednesday afternoon in a hastily thrown together scrimmage after weather forced the Clayton administration to postpone the Highway 70 Jamboree until this evening. Richmond was scheduled to participate in the event originally scheduled for Wednesday evening, but was forced to pull out because of the switch.
“I thought it went pretty well with the change of moving it up and all the logistics because of that,” Hoggard said. “I thought the kids played hard. We made some mistakes but that was expected. We will sit down and take a took at the film to see what we need to correct.
“We didn’t execute as well as I would have liked and we weren’t as sharp as I would have liked.”
Hoggard added he thought his team fared well against the Trojans, the No. 11 team in the NCPreps.com preseason 4A poll.
“I thought we played well offensively and defensively against Garner,” Hoggard said. “They’re a pretty good football team. I thought we were a little better than Clayton.”
The Raiders return a handful of starters on both sides of the ball including running back Dakwa Nichols, wide receiver Trent Bostick, offensive linemen Tyrone Crowder and Alex Norton as well as defensive end Devant’e Covington and safety Robert Williams. Hoggard said no one stood out during the scrimmage but everyone performed to their potential.
“There were no real surprises,” Hoggard said. “The kids we thought would do well did. The thing that stuck out in my mind was our defense and how fast we get to the football.”
Richmond will play host today to North Davidson and Glenn for another preseason warmup. The junior varsity teams will hit the fields at 6 p.m. followed by the varsity squads at 7 p.m.
With construction on the track at Raider Stadium still ongoing, the scrimmage contests have been shifted to the team’s practice fields.
Because of the change of venue, the gates off of U.S. Highway 1 will be the only ones open to spectators.
Kevin Mabe, Richmond’s athletic director, is encouraging fans to bring their own chairs to the scrimmages because of the limited number of bleacher seats on the practice field. In addition, vehicles will be parked along Raider Boulevard near the student lot.
Tickets for the scrimmages are $3.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org