MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - 2013 was a big year for Atlee football. The Raiders finished the season 11-2 and made it to the 5A South regional final, where they lost to L.C. Bird. Now they enter 2014 hoping to follow it up with another solid showing.
The Raiders have lost two big pieces of their offensive line to graduation. Alec Eberle has moved onto Florida State, and Nick Clarke is now at Old Dominion. Head coach Roscoe Johnson isn't worried, though. He says he has three returning starters on the line and a lot of lineman coming up from the JV ranks who are more than capable of making an impact.
Atlee returns seven starters on each side of the ball, and is mixing in a good bit of young talent with the experience. Senior linebacker Chad Vanlandingham says he's impressed with how quickly the younger players have learned the ropes of the varsity level, and that it reminds him of last year's team.
Loumond Dandridge Jr. returns to get a bulk of the carries at running back. Lamont Stubbs shared the carries with Dandridge in 2013, and he has moved on. So has quarterback Reid McCoy, who Johnson and the Raiders are faced with the task of replacing as well. Still, Johnson says he wants to get to a point where the team reloads, not rebuilds.
The Raiders open up their 2014 campaign on September 5 at Deep Run.