RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Sixteen weeks of high school football have come down to one Saturday in December. Three teams from Central Virginia have a chance to win state titles in three different cities.
Highland Springs will kickoff against Stone Bridge (Ashburn) at 12:07 PM at Hampton University with the 5A State Championship on the line. This is a rematch of the 2015 title game, which the Springers won 27-7 to capture their first state title in the modern era. The Springers are playing for glory, history, and to honor the late mother of one of their seniors. Wide receiver Chris Thaxton’s mother passed away during the playoffs, and the team has taken up the motto Angie Strong in her name. The Springers have dedicated the season and a possible repeat to her.
At the same time across the state in Salem, Sussex Central will get a crack at the 1A State Championship against Riverheads (Augusta County). The Tigers are a perfect 13-0 on the season. The Gladiators are 12-1, with their only loss coming to the #1 seed in 2A, Stuart’s Draft. The Tigers last won a state title in 2003 when they finished with a perfect 14-0 record. Riverheads won state titles in 2000, 2006, and 2010.
The final local team playing for a state title is Dinwiddie. If the Generals can defeat Salem (Salem), it will be the second state title in school history and the second in four years. The 2013 team had a perfect 15-0 record and were more or less the perfect team in all areas besides their overall record as well. The 2016 squad has been compared to the 2013 team since the 2015 team lost to Hanover in the 4A playoffs. The Salem Spartans are 12-1, having won 12 in a row after dropping their season opener 42-40 to Amherst County. The Spartans are also the defending 4A State Champions and claimed titles in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2005 in addition to 2015. The game kicks at 4:30 at William and Mary.