Riverheads Football Looking for Back-to-Back State Titles

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Riverheads is playing in the Class 1 state title game for the third year in a row Riverheads is playing in the Class 1 state title game for the third year in a row
Gladiators head coach Robert Casto Gladiators head coach Robert Casto

The Riverheads football team will be playing in the state championship game for the third year in a row, as the Gladiators will take on Chilhowie in the finals on Sunday.

The VHSL moved all state championship games from Saturday to Sunday due to expected inclement weather.

Riverheads beat Sussex Central in the VHSL Class-1 championship game to win the title last season, after falling by one point to Galax in 2015.

Sunday's game will be Riverheads' sixth appearance in the title match.

They've won the championship four times.

The Gladiators had to replace eight starters on offense this season, including last year's VHSL Group 1A Offensive Player of the Year Harrison Schaefer, as well as running back Brett Hostetler, and quarterback Chase Armstrong.

"We're just not very big," says head coach Robert Casto.  "We're scrappy.  Our kids really get after it.  We don't have a superstar on this team.  We have a whole bunch of guys that do their job and do their role, and know what their role is.  We don't have those one or two guys who really stand out.  On defense, we have eleven guys who play really well together.  On offense, it's the same way.  We share the football, and that's really a neat thing to watch."

Riverheads (12-2) has a chance to win back-to-back title for the first time in school history.  

Casto says, "It's the number one goal.  It's awesome.  We love being here.  It's the third time in a row, and this is a special bunch of kids.  It's really mind-boggling sometimes, when you think about the numbers, and the things that have happened, and the kids we've had to replace from last year's team, for us to be here has been really unbelievable."  

Riverheads and Chilhowie will play for the state championship on Sunday at noon in Salem.