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Raiders remain team to beat in 2017

Appomattox is two-time defending Class 2A state champs

APPOMATTOX, Va. –  The Appomattox Raiders have drawn upon the "Power of One"  to record back-to-back state titles in 2015 and 2016. The titles are impressive, but they have also strung together two perfect seasons. They now carry a 30-game win streak into the opening game of 2017. Coach Doug Smith's team and the community are as close-knit as any in recent memory. Brought together through community tragedies two years ago, the town and the football program leaned on each other, and the titles followed. But despite all the success, Smith explains it's about the new group that takes the field in 2017.

  "The reality is it really doesn't matter for this season. It doesn't have anything to do with the season. It does get kids excited about the game and it gets new kids to come out, but you want kids to have confidence because of what they're doing not what someone else just did," Smith said.

 'We always think back but coach always tells us the past couple years haven't done anything for this season, " senior starting quarterback Javon Scruggs said. "So we just come out here with that under our belts and come out here for hard work because we know teams are going to try to knock us off the map." 

 " I mean it brings a whole lot. It's a target on our backs so it's pressure but we kind of look forward to it because it's competition, senior wide receiver De'von Graves said.

    The Raiders open on Friday when they travel to Buckingham County.