MECHANICSVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Hanover and Atlee are more than just familiar with each other. The schools, separated by just under five miles, feature players who grew up with those from the other side. Many players went to middle school together, some have family on the other team, and some played together since they were five years old.
The two teams will renew their rivalry Friday night at Hanover, with both teams looking to bounce back from their first losses of the season. Hanover fell at Highland Springs, 20-0, while Atlee was upset by Henrico, 22-20. Both teams hope to improve on capitalizing on scoring opportunities. Hawks' head coach Derek Stoudt pointed out that his squad had the ball in the redzone five times and didn't score at all. Friday will mark the first time since 2007 these two teams meet with both coming off losses.
Stoudt, who calls Friday's match-up "the definition of a backyard rivalry," has seen his team start 3-1. The Hawks kicked off the season with wins over Patrick Henry, J.R. Tucker and Hopewell.
Atlee is also 3-1 and began the season with victories against Patrick Henry, Deep Run and Douglas Freeman, before last week's setback. The Raiders' wins have come by an average of 47 points per game.
Hanover leads the overall series, 8-4, but Atlee has won two of the last three meetings, including last year's 14-0 triumph.
Friday's kickoff is set for 7:00 at Hanover. Be sure to catch highlights during On the Sidelines, which kicks off Friday at 11:15pm.