ROCKINGHAM — Even though the first games are still a month away, the administration at Richmond Senior released the spring sports schedules this week.
The baseball team, which reached the 4A East Region finals last season, will be the first to take the field in February. Richmond will open against Terry Sanford at 5 p.m. Feb. 27 in Fayetteville before welcoming Charlotte Christian to Raider Field at 6 p.m. March 1.
The Raiders will have 10 home games and 10 away contests, not including their trek to Hilton Head, S.C. to compete in the Seahawk Invitational. Of the 13 opponents on the schedule, nine advanced to the playoffs last season.
“We tried to get some Charlotte teams and some Raleigh teams, but we couldn’t get it to work out,” Richmond baseball coach Ricky Young said. “The Fayetteville teams, except Terry Sanford, dropped us, but we were able to add West Johnston. They had a good season last year and tied for the summer league championship.”
Richmond’s softball and girls soccer squads will open their seasons on Feb. 28. Wendy Wallace and her team will hit the diamond at Jack Britt, while Bennie Howard and his team will play host to Forest Hills. The softball squad’s first home game will be at 2 p.m. March 2 against Eastern Randolph.
Wallace guided the Raiders to a second-place finish in the Southeastern Conference last spring before being eliminated in the second round of the 4A playoffs by Garner. This season’s schedule features 10 schools which reached the postseason, including Marlboro Academy, which captured the SCISA 2A title last year. Richmond will have 11 home dates and eight road contests.
“We generally try to schedule tough nonconference opponents because it will prepare us for the conference,” Wallace said. “We like to play tough competition early to see where we’re at and where we need to be.”
Nine schools which played in the postseason highlights this season’s soccer schedule. Howard and the Raiders will be travelling more this season than at home with 10 road contests and eight home matches.
Richmond will open with five straight opponents which reached the playoffs last year, including Jack Britt and Pinecrest. The Raiders usually face the Patriots in the fourth game of the SEC slate, but begin league play with them this spring.
“I called up people to see if they wanted to play and if they did, we did it,” Howard said. “What happened with Pinecrest was their spring break is different than ours so we had to move the game. That’s going to be two very good tests early against Jack Britt and Pinecrest.”
The Richmond boys golf team is tentatively set to open its season on March 11 at Bayonet at Puppy Creek in Raeford, while the track and field squads will head to Hoke on March 14 for a tri-school meet with Pinecrest. Richmond’s boys tennis schedule is expected to be finalized later this month.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.