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Football Friday 2023 Preview: Appomattox Raiders

ABC13's Football Friday (WSET)
ABC13's Football Friday (WSET)
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Appomattox Raiders

Head Coach: Doug Smith / Stephen Castello (12th year (Smith), 2nd stint as Interim HC (Castello) )

Last year's record/playoff result: 10-4, lost to Graham in state semifinals

Key Players (with position (s)): Tre Kelso, Sr. RB/LB, Gray Peterson, Sr. QB/CB, Demontay Fleshman, Sr. RB/CB, Nadir Abdussalaam, Jr. DE/DT, Josiah Perry, Jr. Tackle/Long Snap

Games to Circle: 8/25 at Buckingham (season opener), 9/1 vs. Rustburg (Battle of the Lantern), 9/22 at Gretna (District opener), 10/20 at William Campbell, 11/3 vs. Dan River

Team Schedule: (kickoffs at 7:00, home games in BOLD)

  • 8/25at Buckingham Co.
  • 9/1 Rustburg
  • 9/8 at Heritage
  • 9/15 Lord Botetourt
  • 9/22 at Gretna
  • 9/29 Altavista
  • 10/6 at Nelson Co.
  • 10/13 Chatham
  • 10/20 at William Campbell
  • 10/27 bye
  • 11/3 Dan River

Summary: Defensive coordinator Stephen Castello steps in for a second time to lead on an interim basis, as Doug Smith steps away for cancer treatment. 10 returning starters will help ease the burden, with QB Gray Peterson carving up opponents with his feet and his arm. Running back Tre Kelso has made big gains entering his senior year. Castello points to an experienced, but still young offensive line as making the biggest gains in camp. Appomattox has one of the toughest regular season schedules, so Castello will be focused on keeping Appomattox healthy for that grueling non-conference lineup, and a tougher Dogwood District lineup. Should they rise to the occasion, the Raiders could be right back into the state rounds again after Thanksgiving.

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