Sandy Springs’ oldest and biggest high school football rivalry will be renewed Sept. 3 as North Springs hosts Riverwood at Thermopylae Stadium.
This will be Riverwood’s season opener after its originally scheduled opening game last Friday against Sprayberry was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
North Spring’s first game of 2021 last Friday was not successful as the Spartans lost to Chamblee 59-21 in their first game under new coach Jeff Phillips.
Phillips, the co-offensive coordinator at Wheeler last year, replaces Scotty Parker – who was fired in 2020 after an 0-6 start.
The Spartans will try to get back on the winning track against their crosstown archrival and snap a 16-game losing streak that dates back to August of 2019 as they try to achieve their first winning season since posting back-to-back 6-5 marks and qualifying for the state playoffs in 2016 and ’17.
Meanwhile, Riverwood will also attempt to return to winning form after going 4-5 last year. The Raiders were 11-1 and reached the second round of the state playoffs in 2019 after going 8-3 and qualifying for the postseason in ’18.
While North Springs leads the all-time series between the two teams 23-17-1, Riverwood has had the upper hand in the rivalry over the past decade.
The Raiders have won nine of the last 11 meetings with the Spartans, including a decisive 72-7 victory last year.
While Riverwood lost a couple of key players who signed with NCAA Division I colleges – SB/CB Khalil Anderson (Pittsburgh) and DE Tillman Weaver (Miami (Ohio), it nevertheless brings back a strong senior class to lead the way against North Springs.
Quarterback Avery Smith, wide receiver Tim Durce, defensive backs Jaden Harris, and Keith Harvey, LB/RB and twins Zach Cigelske and Burke Cigelske and offensive linemen Michael Simon and George Thomas are the key seniors for the Raiders.
Leading North Springs in its quest for victory over Riverwood will be senior WR/CB Fred White, senior linebacker Varciar Taylor, junior MLB Charles Seawell, junior WR/CB Lee Levingston III and sophomore RB/DB Drushon Phillips.