One of the football teams from the Northern Neck that enters this season with a heavy dose of losses can arguably be Rappahannock High School. Yet the coaching staff, including William West, sees it as an opportunity for his younger players and returners to step forward.
“There are quite a few voids left from last year’s offensive attack so some guys really have to step up and fill some roles and be contributors,” West said.
Among those losses are Aaron Rock, Tylek Sorrell, Derrick Sumiel and quarterback Will Hoover.
West said his coaching staff has been doing a lot of teaching for some new players and those returners who will be seeing time in expanded positions. At the quarterback position, West said he is looking between Tevin Fisher and Ken Pierson to take the reins.
Marquise Lanier will be seeing time on both sides of the ball as defensive back and receiver. He will be joined by junior running back Marcus Byrd and junior running back Jaquan Thompson.
“We’re just trying to get some continuity and being able to continue as the season moves on,” West said.
Returning to the team this season is Romeo Jackson joined by newcomer Jamal Fisher.
“If we are able to continue to improve as the season progresses we will be competitive,” West said. “We must establish some depth and pray to stay free of the injury bug.”
On the offensive line, AJ Darby is the only returner after four seniors graduated, West said, adding that a lot of the team’s success rides on their shoulders.
Last season the Raiders finished the season dropping their final two games, once against the soon-to-be state finalist Essex and in the first round of the sectional playoffs at home to Covington.
Surry: 24-0 (w)
Mathews: 35-0 (w)
at Middlesex: 35-10 (l)
Franklin: 31-28 (l)
at King & Queen: 42-12 (w)
at Colonial Beach: 35-12 (w)
at Lancaster: 36-21 (l)
Washington & Lee (Montross): 14-13 (w)
Northumberland: 48-26 (w)
at Essex: 39-0 (l)
Covington: 51-28 (l)
Editor’s note: All teams scheduled are classified as 1A unless otherwise stated
Sept. 6: Rappahannock at West Point 7
Sept. 13: Middlesex at Rappahannock 7
Sept. 20: Washington & Lee at Rappahannock (non-district) 7
Sept. 27: Rappahannock at King & Queen 7
Oct. 4: Rappahannock at Mathews 7
Oct. 11: Colonial Beach at Rappahannock 7*
Oct. 18: Lancaster at Rappahannock 7
Oct. 25: Rappahannock at Washington & Lee 7
Nov. 1: Rappahannock at Northumberland 7
Nov. 8: Essex at Rappahannock 7
Get started with the upcoming school year by picking up a copy of the high school fall sports showcase tab due out Sept. 4. Additional football team previews are also available in Westmoreland News featuring Colonial Beach and Washington & Lee, and Lancaster and Northumberland in the Northumberland Echo.