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R-H feels like home for Conner

Ray Conner

Ray Conner is living his dream as he takes on the role of Randolph-Henry High School’s head football coach.

“It’s a dream come true for me to coach at the varsity level at this stage, and Randolph-Henry was probably my biggest choice,” he said.

Randolph-Henry stood out to him because it is a small school that, he noted, feels like home.

Conner is a 1991 graduate of Appomattox County High School, where he played football as a center, guard and defensive tackle.

It is within the Appomattox County school system that he spent 15 of his 16 years as a football coach.

He was the head coach of the Appomattox County Middle School football team that had a close relationship with the high school program that has produced the Virginia High School League Class 2 state champion four out of the last five seasons.

“I actually had guys to leave middle school (and) go directly to varsity,” he said.

He noted the Appomattox middle school squad enjoyed multiple 9-1 seasons under his leadership.

“We’ve had great success there at the middle school,” he said.

Conner also served as head coach of the Buckingham County High School junior varsity football team in 2017.

The coaching opportunity with the Statesmen will be his first time serving as a head coach at the varsity high school level. He confirmed he will also be serving as the team’s defensive coordinator. He said he, of course, has general football knowledge across the board, but defense is his specialty.

“I take more pride in the defensive side of the ball,” he said.

He noted his focus as Randolph-Henry’s coach will be in making sure the Statesmen are playing as a team.

While more details on his approach will come in due time, he noted the Statesmen will run multiple formations, and he communicated optimism for the future.

“I really believe that this program could have great success,” he said.