While it is rightly not on the top of anyone’s list of worries when it comes to the impending hurricane, football in the region still has to be addressed with a bunch of nasty weather expected to hit as far inland as the Virginia-Tennessee border.
In anticipation of lots of rain and wind and just plain ugly weather, several of this week’s games in Southwest Virginia have been moved up a day and will be played Thursday night instead of Friday night.
Among the now-Thursday games are: Wise Central at Virginia High, 7 p.m.; Twin Springs at Patrick Henry, 7 p.m.; Holston at Castlewood, 7 p.m.; Christiansburg at Abingdon, 7 p.m.; John Battle at Lebanon, 7 p.m.; Richlands vs. Blacksburg at Christiansburg, 6 p.m.; Northwood at Twin Valley, 7 p.m.; and Galax at Rural Retreat, 7 p.m.
As of Tuesday afternoon, games still scheduled to be played Friday night include: Union at Ridgeview, 7 p.m.; Daniel Boone at Gate City, 7 p.m.; Eastside at Lee High, 7 p.m.; and Thomas Walker at Rye Cove, 7 p.m.
COLLEGE GAMES AFFECTED, TOO
As of late Tuesday, the Concord at Virginia-Wise football game is still set for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Carl Smith Stadium. But another small college game in Southwest Virginia was canceled outright. Emory & Henry and Methodist canceled their Saturday meeting that was to be the home opener for E&H.
The game was canceled to accommodate Methodist. The Fayetteville, N.C., school closed Tuesday until further notice to allow students to go home in anticipation of the hurricane.
King also postponed Friday and Saturday home volleyball matches with Barton, of Wilson, N.C., and Mount Olive, located just northeast of Wilmington, N.C.
Two high school games to keep an eye on this week will both still be played Friday, weather permitting.
Union at Ridgeview
This is it.
It’s still early in the season and others, particularly Abingdon, may very well have something to say about it. But many anticipate this to be the Mountain 7 District football championship game.
Last season, Ridgeview made some noise when freshman running back Trenton Adkins emerged on the scene. Union won the contest 34-19, but Ridgeview won six straight after that before losing in the opening round of the Region 2D playoffs.
This season, Ridgeview is surprising no one and Union is still strong. Both teams enter the game with 3-0 records. There will be a crowd on the ridge; come early if you want a seat.
Thomas Walker at Rye Cove
At the beginning of the season, this was just another game on the calendar. But in an interesting Cumberland District race this season, this game is key for both the Pioneers and homestanding Eagles.
Thomas Walker is looking to contend for the district title with Cumberland powers Eastside and J.I. Burton, but Rye Cove could provide a stumbling block. The Eagles under new coach Cheyenne Osborne, who is making his second trip at the helm of the program, are riding high after winning their second game in as many years last week against Hancock County.
The Eagles believe they can win and that is a big part of the puzzle in building a successful program. It’s one step at a time for Rye Cove, but a win over Thomas Walker would be a giant leap.
TOP SIX PICKS
Here’s a look at the top Southwest Virginia high school football teams in our region with their rankings, record heading into this week’s games and how they fared last week.
1. Union (3-0) beat Letcher County Central, Ky. 34-7
2. Ridgeview (3-0) beat Wise Central 54-0
3. Chilhowie (3-0) beat Twin Springs 51-0
4. Abingdon (2-1) lost to Pulaski County 42-14
5. Richlands (1-1) did not play
6. Patrick Henry (3-0) beat Eastside 53-46
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Houston Thacker, J.I. Burton
The robust personality that is J.I. Burton senior Houston Thacker is the Southwest Virginia player of the week.
Thacker threw for a career-best four touchdowns in the Raiders’ 38-13 win over Lee High last Friday night.
NEW BURTON BASEBALL SKIPPER
Jacob Caudill has been named the new baseball coach at J.I. Burton.
Caudill, a 2008 graduate of Burton, replaces Jim Adams, who managed the Raiders program for the past eight seasons. Adams — who has been with the Burton football program for 40 years, including the past 21 as head coach — resigned the baseball post earlier this year in order to focus on football and improving his health.