Riverheads football program among the state’s best

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:51 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - When you think of Riverheads football, you likely think of winning.

Under the guidance of longtime head coach Robert Casto, the Gladiators have built one of the best high school football programs in the state of Virginia. Riverheads has won four straight state titles at the Class 1 level while making five consecutive appearances in the state championship game. The Gladiators play a style of football that relies on a stout defense and strong running game with multiple running backs seeing action.

“We stay the same, we don’t change a whole lot,” said Casto. “We don’t deviate from what we believe in. Obviously it’s the kids. They buy into what we are doing, they work hard. We have been fortunate to have some really good players and some good talented kids here but they have worked really hard to be that.”

Over the last five seasons (2015-2019), Riverheads has a 66-5 overall record and has been especially dominant in the postseason. During that span the Gladiators are winning playoff games, on average, by 33.7 points per contest.

“We have good, hard-nosed kids who weigh 150 pounds and think they weigh 250 pounds," said Casto. "We don’t tell them any different obviously. We want them to think they are a little bigger than what they are and it’s all about attitude obviously. Our kids believe in what we are doing. We believe in them.”

Riverheads is preparing to take the field for a condensed, six-game season in the spring of 2021. The Gladiators' season opener is Saturday, February 27 at home against Tazewell.

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