CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The Riverheads High School football team will be playing in the VHSL Class 1 state finals for the fifth year in a row, as the Gladiators (14-0) take on Galax (12-1) on Saturday in Salem.
Head coach Robert Casto says, "It doesn’t matter if you’re the New England Patriots, or whomever. At all levels, if you’ve accomplished this for five straight years, it’s a pretty amazing thing. You can sit back and say, ‘We’ve been here five times in a row,’ and most folks just dream of being there one time. It’s special for our kids, and the hard work that they put in, and the dedication that they have to this football program.
Riverheads is the three-time defending state champion, and they are coming off a 41-point win over Essex in the state semis.
Galax is in the finals for the first time since beating Riverheads in the championship game in 2015.
The Gladiators have won 25-games in a row, with their last loss coming in September of 2018 against Class 2 opponent East Rockingham.
Riverheads capped off 2018 with the program’s sixth state title (2000, 2006, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018), and all six have come under the leadership of head coach Robert Casto.
Casto won 222 games over 23 seasons before retiring at the end of the 2018 season.
The retirement only lasted a few months, as the Gladiators replacement at head coach, Thad Wheeler, did not work out.
Casto quickly resumed his old role, and now the long-time coach has a chance to add to his legacy.
Riverheads and Galax will face off on Saturday at noon in Salem.