RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After playing rivals Patrick Henry, Mechanicsville and Hanover twice each this spring, it’s back to a normal schedule for the Atlee Raiders this fall.
Defensive lineman Owen Ham said that the short gap between seasons was beneficial.
“A lot of the guys were coming back still in football shape, but you can still be a little dinged up from last year still,” Ham said. “(There are) more pros than cons. Everybody is still motivated. Any battle wounds are still fresh, guys are still hungry.”
Head coach Matt Gray agrees.
“We came right out of the summer rolling right into training camp. These guys have been wonderful, have done what we asked and beyond. I am excited to see the fruits of their labor come game 1,” Gray said.
The Raiders were 2-4, suffering two tough losses to Hanover in particular by a combined six points.
Lineman Zion Bryson says lessons were learned from the spring experience.
“I think one of the bigger things to have a successful team is to have good leaders and having strong leadership around the team. The constant theme that I have taken away is finishing,” Bryson said.
“The direction that we are going is really positive. (We have) 18 seniors. Sometimes numbers are overrated, but when it’s a good group, everybody seems to be pulling in the right direction, that’s the most exciting thing,” Gray said. “A lot of things have been player-driven so I am excited about that.”
Atlee opens at home against Henrico on August 26.