The Lebanon Pioneers (0-6) host the Castlewood Blue Devils (3-4) at Earl “Tommy” Bryant Stadium on Friday night. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. Lebanon leads the series with a 29-10-1 record. The first time the two schools played was in 1957. The Blue Devils haven’t defeated the Pioneers since their 7-0 victory at B.C. White Stadium at Castlewood in 1987. They haven’t beaten the Pioneers on Harry Stuart Field since 1979. The Devils look to break that streak as the Pioneers are looking to get their first win of the season. Lebanon is coming off a tough loss at Graham last week while Castlewood is coming off a win at Twin Springs. “The kids have been upbeat all year and have practiced great all year,” said Lebanon coach Michael Webb. “I expect nothing less from them this week.”
Castlewood’s strength is in their running game. Slowing it down is a key piece of the puzzle according to Coach Webb. “Stop the run and pickup their blitzes. Limit and hopefully eliminate mistakes on our side. Tackle better,” said the head Pioneer. At 6’1 and 205 lbs, Blue Devil tailback Brue Mullins is a tough and physical runner. Mullins, formerly an offensive lineman, transitioned to RB and has been a nightmare for opposing defenders. DT Calleb Meade was a first team all district selection last season and has posed a problem for offenses all season. As Mullins and the offensive line go, the Blue Devils go.
Lebanon running back Seth Stanley has consistently ran the ball on every defense the Pioneers have faced this season. His mixture of power running and speed continues to pace the Lebanon offense. QB Casey White has improved with every game. The receiving corps has developed into a bright spot for the Pioneers. While they have plenty of speed and athleticism to create separation and make plays, the downfield blocking of the receivers has been impressive. “I think it’s always good to let your younger kids get opportunities throughout the year,” said Webb. “They will see more action as we move along but I’d expect a big dose of Seth Stanley and Cole Stoots as well.”
Football fans in Russell County are sure to be treated to a hard fought game Friday night. Castlewood historically brings a very energetic bunch of fans. On the Lebanon side of the field, not only is it homecoming, but this game is also a “Black Out” game. Pioneer fans are asked to wear black to the game. See you all in beautiful downtown Lebanon Friday night on what is sure to be a great night for football.
A 1992 graduate of Castlewood High School, I left the mountains of Southwest Va to spend over a decade in the Army. During that time I was blessed to play & coach football at various levels in South Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, and then over in Germany. I ended up with over 15 years of coaching and playing experience. These days I enjoy watching my son play. The athletes in Southwest Virginia are just as talented and gifted as those from other regions, but often they don’t get the coverage and exposure that others do. It’s my pleasure to help cover their games and hopefully assist them in getting the exposure they need to continue playing.