ROCKINGHAM — When Justin Jones and the rest of the staff at CarolinaGridiron.com finished compiling its pre-season Top 15 4A poll, there was a glaring omission.
No Richmond Senior.
Even Jones was surprised the Raiders were left out of the Top 15.
“When we were done, I noticed that too,” Jones said.
Jones said his group uses human voting as well as computer modeling to come up with its poll. Jones added his model examines the talent leaving and returning as well as the strength of a team’s schedule to come up with a season projection.
“I run it (the computer model) several times throughout the year,” Jones said.
Jones admitted the Raiders are an unknown quantity heading into the season that contributed to their snub.
“They have a couple of question marks,” Jones said. “Is Luke (Hoggard) able to get up to speed in their offense? They have some talent just too many question marks.”
Richmond will play three teams — Butler, Rocky River and Scotland— ranked in the CarolinaGridiron’s pre-season poll.
Butler is second behind defending 4AA champion Mallard Creek. Scotland checks in at No. 3, while Rocky River is ninth.
Jones added it wouldn’t be surprising to see Richmond once again post a 1-2 record against those three schools. He cited the fact Richmond will be traveling to the Charlotte area for the games against Butler and Rocky River.
The Raiders downed the Ravens 37-13 in the season opener last season. The Bulldogs pulled out a 49-32 win in Raider Stadium. And the Scots stopped the Raiders 49-14 in the regular season finale.
Dudley is fourth followed by Hough, New Bern, Independence and West Forsyth. Rounding out the rest of the poll is: Garner at 10th, East Forsyth, Northwest Guilford, Wake Forest, Middle Creek and Hillside.
Raiders ranked in CarolinaPreps.com poll
While it was on the outside of one poll, Richmond was included in another.
The Raiders are rated 12th in the CarolinaPreps.com pre-season power rankings.
Mallard Creek, Butler, Scotland, East Forsyth and New Bern are ranked first to fifth. Independence, Dudley, Hillside, Rocky River, Northwest Guilford and West Forsyth make up the next six spots in the poll.
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.