RRHS Hoops

Roanoke Rapids forward Ethan Sledge contests a shot by Warren County guard Andrew Smith (12) during their Northern Carolina 1A/2A clash on Feb. 11. Sledge and the Yellow Jackets begin the 2020-2021 campaign this week with back-to-back trips to Granville County — where the competition figures to be taxing, at best.

When Roanoke Rapids kinda-sorta returns from holiday this week to take up winter athletics — in addition to completing a couple of items from the fall business agenda — it will do so on the road, booking 350 round-trip miles from start to finish.

Goodbye, 2020, and hello, something new — at long last.

VolleyballOn Tuesday, the Jackets (5-6, 5-5 Northern Carolina 1A/2A) travel to Warren County (0-8, 0-8 NCC), where they will, in all likelihood, pick up their sixth triumph of the season.

After all, the Eagles have not captured a set since October 2019.

And because there’s just no rest for the weary, RRHS will be back at the office a mere 48 hours later to entertain longstanding rival Bunn (6-2, 5-2 NCC) — a match that will be streamed live on the Jacket Sports Network.

BasketballOpening week for the RRHS basketball program comes with two trips to Granville County, and nary a mile marker of opportunity to squander.

Waiting for the men’s squad on Tuesday will be Granville Central point guard Terence Harcum, who enters the season with designs on improving a nightly line of 24.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.0 steals per contest.

As the kids say, the Appalachian State University signee is a problem.

Not that the Jackets catch a break later in the week, either, as their Thursday road appointment with Bobby Pettiford — who will play at the University of Louisville next year — also figures to be no clearance-aisle bargain.

The women’s team, helmed once again by head coach Jim Whitmire, should find this week’s southwest junket a bit more palatable, given an experienced roster which handled this portion of the 2019-2020 schedule in letter-perfect, 4-0 fashion.

On average, RRHS won each of those games by nearly seven points.

In other words, expect plenty of crisp offense and a superior edge on the glass for the Lady Jackets, who return 11 players — including the backcourt duo of Logan Abram and Ella King — from last year’s 15-10 ball club.