This season, the folks at Coalfield Sports are picking five of the most intriguing matchups in the area to be the games of the week before you the fans select THE game of the week.
Each week, Ryan and Brady, the hosts of the SWVASports Podcast will pick the five contests and be joined by a special guest each week.
So far, the records are as follows:
Guest: 31-9 (Eugene Hilton: 3-2, Lloyd Combs: 5-0, Rick Baker 4-1, Casey Goetz 3-2, Anthony Stevens 5-0, Chase Parker 4-1, Nolan Knight 4-1, Frank Browning 3-2)
Trivia Question picker: 12-3 (Dakota Hamilton 5-0, Michael Dotson 4-1, Jeff Atwell 3-2)
Frank Browning finished 3-2 last week with Bluefield and Grundy falling. Be sure to check out Frank on WRIC 97.7 FM and @madmaninthemorning on Facebook every Thursday for his podcast, Madman in the Morning. Do not forget that this is his launching pad for “Madman Turns Santa.” Last year, Browning helped 18 local children have a Merry Christmas. The Madman’s goal this year is to help 40 local children. To nominate a child, all you have to do is send a letter telling of another family with children explaining why they need a Merry Christmas. You can send letters and donations to The Madman P.O. Box 625 Cedar Bluff, VA 24609. We are happy to support The Madman and his goal to make sure every child has a great Christmas.
Thank you Frank for participating!
This week’s guest picker is WCYB’s Heather Williams. The Kansas City, Missouri-native joined the WCYB crew in August 2015 as the weekend sports anchor and a multimedia journalist. Williams spent time working in television in Nashville, Tennessee, Wichita, Kansas, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Greenville, Mississippi and Springfield, Missouri before taking her post in Bristol three years ago. Williams is a big time motorsports fan, where her work covering the sports has been honored in many aspects. Williams is a big time KC sports fan. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Heather when she may just stop by your school’s game on Friday night.
Last week’s trivia question winner, Jeff Atwell, went 3-2 against the experts. Congrats, Jeff! Thank you for playing!
This week the trivia winner is Trevor Ramsey. Congratulations, Trevor! Best of luck!
The five games are: Rural Retreat at Northwood, Rye Cove at Twin Valley, Patrick Henry at Honaker, Ridgeview at Abingdon and the CoalfieldSports.com Game of the Week, Richlands at Graham.
Let’s get to it!
Rural Retreat at Northwood:
Brady: I watched Rural Retreat first hand last week take a thumping by the best team in southwest Virginia. They showed potential in their defeat. I think Dorian Delp is a shifty little tailback for the Indians. Rural Retreat can hurt you through the air or on the ground. The question is if they can just get it going. Chris Duble and Northwood had an extra week of preparation for this home contest. However, I think that the Indians will throw the spear into the side of the Panthers in this one.
Heather: Two teams that are 1-6 and in need of a win. When breaking this one down, I had to take a close look at who these team beat for their one win. Rural Retreat beat a decent Bland team that had a shutout win over Northwood. The Panthers win came over a winless Twin Springs team. That tipped the scaled to the Indians for me.
Ryan: Both of these teams have struggled this season, each holding a 1-6 record. Coach Duble’s men have a win over Twin Springs, while the Indians have a surprising win over Bland. In the end, history plays a role here. Rural Retreat is 28-5 in this series, and they’ll move to 29 wins this week.
Rye Cove at Twin Valley:
Brady: It has been a season of ups and downs in Oakwood this season. Twin Valley quarterback Tylor Keen has proven he is one of the region’s best. Tailback Brandon Lester has also proven he is one of the best in the area. Rye Cove has not defeated a team from the Commonwealth since 2014. Twin Valley has been on the wrong end of a streak being busted already this season. I don’t think they will be again. The Panthers extend their winning streak over Rye Cove to five.
Heather:Rye Cove broke their winless streak last season and this week, I think they finally get a win over at team from Virginia. The Eagles have come against Thomas Walker and Castlewood and I think it finally happens this week against the Panthers.
Ryan: It’s Brady vs. Ryan in this one. We all know Brady has a soft spot for the Panthers, and I have a soft spot for the Eagles. Convention says Twin Valley gets this win, but not so fast! Rye Cove pulls the upset and has a happy ride home to Scott County.
Trevor: Rye Cove.
Patrick Henry at Honaker:
Brady: I’d love to be at this one. If ESPN Blacksburg hadn’t called me from the bullpen for the Blacksburg-Hidden Valley game, I would be at Fuller Field for this one. Mark Palmer and Doug Hubbard are the two most experienced head coaches in the area. The Tigers made a statement last week by scoring 39 in the mud at the Cliff. This serves as a potential trap game for the Rebels who are staring at a battle of the Goliath’s next week against Chilhowie. However, I believe that Palmer has his team heading in the right direction. Brown and Smith are speedsters and the turf in Honaker gives them an extra gear.
Heather: Honaker had a really nice win last week over Hurley on the road and Hurley is always a tough place to win. But I really became a believer in PH when they went on the road and took care of Class 2 John Battle. The Rebels pick up another big road win this Friday.
Ryan: This is a sneaky good game. Sure, Honaker is 4-3 and Patrick Henry is 7-0. But this matchup is closer than you think it is. Honaker is better than they were last season, and have played a pretty difficult schedule. Patrick Henry has cruised so far behind their man man Zack Brown. Tune up the band in this one, Rebels get the win
Ridgeview at Abingdon:
Brady: A Mountain 7 showdown. A win sends the district gold back to Rose Ridge for the Wolfpack. I think this one is gonna be close. Abingdon has faced some tough teams. The Pack cannot come out flat like they did a week ago against John Battle. If they do it will be a long night for Rick Mullins’ team. However, I think Adkins and Sexton will send the doubters back to their room after a win in Washington County.
Heather: I have said all year that Ridgeview is the best team in southwest Virginia, so I really can’t change my mind now. Abingdon has surprised me putting together a nice season after their head coach took another job, weeks before the season started. That being said, the duo of Trenton Atkins and Matthew Sexton is hard to slowdown and gives the advantage to the Wolfpack
Ryan: This game is Ridgeview’s last real test of the season, and the only team standing between them and a 10-0 season and the number 1 seed in Region 2D. Abingdon has been resurgent under first year coach Garrett Amburgey. Ridgeview has the one-two punch of Adkins and Sexton, and that’s enough for me. Pack wins.
COALFIELDSPORTS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK: Richlands at Graham:
Brady: This game will boil down to emotion. This is a contest that has been discussed at length in the James H. McVey Field House for months. It is also one that has been discussed at length in the locker room at Graham. I talked about this game at Bowen Field this summer perhaps almost as much as I did about the Bluefield Blue Jays. Graham assistant coach Dennis Palmer knows the Richlands way perhaps better than anyone not wearing a lightning R on their chest. Having played for him, I know he will be fired up to take down his former colleagues. His brother, Ronnie Davis, leads his defense into a matchup against the best Graham player since some kid named Bradshaw. I think Cam Allen is the best player in the area. However, I think the Blues will key in on Allen. Levi Forrest returns from an illness to give the Blues a crucial upset heading towards the post season.
Heather: Two words in this one…Cameron Allen. The Purdue commit has the G-Men rolling this season. I think this is going to be a really fun and probably a close game, but one team has Cameron Allen and one doesn’t.
Ryan: It’s the Game of the Week for us, for the SWD and in Tazewell County. This is a rivalry, folks. Richlands doesn’t like Graham, and Graham doesn’t like Richlands. Graham has Cam Allen as a Purdue commit and a nice stable of running backs. Richlands has Race Moir and Trey Brown in the backfield and a nice stable of wide receivers. Graham has more speed, Richlands has played a tougher schedule. This one should be fun, folks. Give me the Alma Mater. Blues steal one in Mitchell Stadium.
I am a graduate of Richlands High School—class of 2014. In May 2018, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism and History with a minor in war and Society from Virginia Tech.
My passions in life are numerous. We don’t have all day. This is not the place to divulge into Hokie Football, so I will shed some light on one of my other favorites.
I was born and raised in the coalfields of southwest Virginia—Richlands to be exact. I remember the first time I ever went to a high school football game (Richlands-Tazewell ’02). Since then, a passion has grown that is stronger than the current in the Clinch River. As a football player in this region, I was able to witness the passion oozing out of the hills firsthand. It was something that when I began college, people had a hard time believing the spectacle that is high school football in the coalfields. Luckily, I was able to go 42-8 in between the white lines on Fridays and Saturdays from 2010-2013. I look forward to having another platform to tell you my stories, your stories and their stories. Here’s to the good times and hoping I don’t leave you like I did Coach Greg Mance numerous times—by saying, “Gosh Durn It!”
Let’s talk, SWVA sports, Hokies, history or maybe even barbecue.