No. 9 Hermitage and No. 5 Patrick Henry (1-0) are set to meet Friday in a game agreed upon between the two schools this week after both had their games postponed because of circumstances arising within their opponents' programs.
The Panthers were set to play No. 3 Thomas Dale (2-0), and the Patriots were supposed to play Glen Allen (0-2). The postponement is Hermitage's third consecutive to begin the season, so Friday will be the Panthers' home- and season-opener, as well as the first game for new head coach Timothy Jean-Pierre.
"We were frustrated to miss what would have been our third game in a row, and we were looking to try and fill that so our kids could have an opportunity to play," said Hermitage AD Chris Rollison. "When we found out Tuesday that Patrick Henry was going to be free, (Patriots AD) Matt Crowder and I had a conversation, both coaches were open to it and we put it together."
Rollison remembers great games between Hermitage and Patrick Henry when the Patriots were members of the Colonial District. One of the largest games he's seen at the Panthers' stadium was a game against PH several years ago when both were undefeated and playing for the district title. The sides played annually every year from 1970 to 2014, but have not met since.
"We're really excited for our kids to have an opportunity," Rollison said.
"The hardest part of all of it was to continually tell our kids, week after week, that they weren't going to be able to play. We feel like we have a pretty good team, and they were excited to show people that. With the setbacks we've had, it was frustrating for everyone. I know they're amped up to play."