ROCKINGHAM — Mike Castellano and the Richmond Senior football team are ready to kick off their summer practices — which start next Monday, June 13.
“The summer is important for us,” Castellano said. “It builds team chemistry and lets us evaluate what players we have.”
Rising freshmen are to report to the Ninth-Grade Academy at 1 p.m., while all upperclassmen are expected to arrive at Richmond Senior High School at 2:30 p.m. The pick-up time for both groups is set for 6 p.m. at the respective practice sites.
Following Monday’s initial meeting, regularly scheduled morning workouts will begin Tuesday, June 14.
Tuesday-Thursday practices will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friday practices will run from 7:30-10:30 a.m. and Monday practices — beginning June 20 — will go from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
“We’ll be tweaking some things, but we (the coaching staff) will be following what we’ve done the past 4-5 years,” Castellano explained. “It’s a great opportunity to install fundamentals of what we want to do scheme-wise.”
The Raiders will be able to test their skills against other schools within the next two weeks, as hand-selected members of the team will travel to UNC-Chapel Hill (Thursday, June 16), Pinecrest (Saturday, June 18) and N.C. State (Friday, June 24) to compete in 7-on-7 tournaments.
“This gives our young men an opportunity to be evaluated by college coaches,” Castellano said.
The upcoming tournaments will give defensive back Steven Jones and offensive tackle Antoine Shaw, both rising seniors, a chance to gain even more college interest. Jones has offers from Appalachian State and Western Carolina, while Shaw received his first offer from UNC-Charlotte last Thursday.
There will be two dead weeks, meaning no coach-led workouts, next month — July 4-8 and July 18-22 — before wrapping up their 21 days of summer practice on July 28. A freshman camp will be held the following day, June 29.
On Aug. 1, the football team will enter season mode, as that practice will be its first of the fall. The lone change in the fall practice schedule from the summer schedule is the practices that will be held on Saturdays — Aug. 6 and 13 — from 7:30-10:30 a.m. The Raiders will also host a jamboree a week before its first game at Rocky River.
“You truly win and lose football games in the summer,” Castellano added.
All events are open to the public.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.