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: 35-10 (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, Heather Williams: 4-1)
Trivia Question picker: 15-2 (Dakota Hamilton 5-0, Michael Dotson 4-1, Jeff Atwell 3-2, Trevor Ramsey 3-2)
WCYB’s Heather Williams went 4-1 in a big week in high school football. Abingdon’s overtime win against Ridgeview was her lone falter of the week. However, she did indeed get the best of Ryan and Brady this week. It was only one of the highlights for Williams over the weekend. Her footage of Holt Dotson’s miraculous catch has been on ESPN’s SportsCenter and NBC’s Sunday Night Football. What a week! Congrats Heather.
This week’s guest picker is Bluefield Daily Telegraph sports editor Brian Woodson. “Roll Tide” Woodson is not a stranger to southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia. Brian is a 1982 graduate of Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring. Brian became a Rebel after spending the majority of his high school days in Chilhowie. After his high school days, Brian attended Emory and Henry College, where he graduated in 1987. Woodson returned to school in the 90s at East Tennessee State University, where he graduated in 1996. Woodson has been a sports journalist for close to 25 years. Brian got his start writing for The Erwin Record in Erwin, Tenn. from 1995-1999. Woodson’s next stop on the scribe path was in the sports department at the Bristol Herald Courier. Woodson’s stories were regularity in the City of Bristol from 1999-2005. In 2005, Woodson became the sports editor at the Bluefield Daily across the Mountain State and the Commonwealth. If you see Brian out at your school, be sure to say hello.
Last week’s trivia question winner, Trevor Ramsey, went 3-2 against the experts. Congrats, Trevor! Thank you for playing!
This week the trivia winner is Ramey Automotive sales associate, Matthew Ball. Congratulations, Matthew! Best of luck!
The five games are: Patrick Henry at Chilhowie, Gate City at Wise-Central, Grayson County at George Wythe, Bluefield at James Monroe and the CoalfieldSports.com Game of the Week, Abingdon at Union.
Let’s get to it!
Patrick Henry at Chilhowie:
Brady: I have been high on both of these teams all season long. Two of the best teams in southwest Virginia are getting it on in a battle between two 8-0 Hogoheegee District teams. Three of the best tailbacks in southwest Virginia will take the field in Smyth County when Chilhowie’s Greg Sanchez and PH’s duo of Zach Brown and Cody Smith walk out onto the field Thursday night. While both teams have established successful seasons and don’t give a man much reason to pick against them, it has to be done. I think Chilhowie is the best team in southwest Virginia. Their depth and some big runs from Sanchez will move the Warriors to 9-0.
Brian: Tough choice here, not only because both teams are 8-0, but I went to Chilhowie for two years and graduated from Patrick Henry. Talented Greg Sanchez and Warriors got all the way to the Division I state finals last year and fell short to Riverheads. The Zach Brown-led Rebels have the same aspirations as the Warriors. Thursday night lights will shine bright on the home team, who haven’t been challenged this season.
Chilhowie 38, Patrick Henry 20.
Ryan: The battle of our last two unbeatens. We all know how good Chilhowie has been this season. Patrick Henry has done it a bit more quietly, at least to the common man. Brown and Smith can run the ball, boys. But so can Sanchez. I think the biggest factor in this game is that Chilhowie has the weapons through the air that Patrick Henry does not. I look for the Warriors to make a large statement, with a dominating win.
Matthew: When you have a defense that is holding opponents under 7 PPG thats a recipe for success. Greg Sanchez runs wild. I’ll take the Warriors
Gate City at Wise-Central:
Brady: Gate City has come into its own in the last few weeks of the season. They played with Ridgeview before getting a win at Lee. Last week, they let a victory over John Battle slip through their grasp. I think they are still hot and have a lot to prove. I believe Luke Reed and the Blue Devils can run it down the throats of anyone. Blue-collared smash mouth football is the specialty. It is the last game of the year for Gate City, regardless. Look for Chris Akers, Aaron Daugherty and the gang to wrap it up at 2-8.
Brian:Still can’t get used to seeing the mighty Blue Devils with a 1-8 record. Lose this one and Gate City will finish with two straight one-win campaigns. Central has two victories, but, like Gate City, has played a brutal schedule. Both clubs also have wins over Lee High. Basketball starts soon, and both of these schools will have teams worth watching, even without Mac McClung.
Wise Central 27, Gate City 23
Ryan: This is the last chance for the Blue Devils to get in the win column one more time. Reed has shown that he is a playmaker in Scott County late this season. For Central, the loss of their quarterback earlier this month could have been a positive, allowing the next man up to get some much needed in-game experience last week, as well as a win. I like Central in this contest, as they ride the momentum of last week.
Matthew: Wise has home field advantage and they have the momentum after a big win last week. Wise gets the win
Grayson County at George Wythe:
Brady: George Wythe has been battle tested. They have some weapons in Simmons and Wells that have been impressive. I look for the Maroons to win this one. Grayson has been had to battle it out to win there last few. I think GW takes advantage of this.
Brian: The visiting Blue Devils are 7-1, with that lone loss coming to unbeaten Glenvar, and all that remains are stiff tests against the Maroons and then Galax. George Wythe have lost to three teams with a combined three losses so the Maroons are no strangers to competition. Look that experience to pay off in this one.
George Wythe 28, Grayson County 27.
Ryan: A sneaky game in the eastern part of our coverage area. The Blue Devils currently sit in the 3 seed position with just two weeks left to play. The Maroons were a little inconsistent early in the season, but have looked much better the past few weeks. Grayson County needs this game to remain in the top 4 playoff seed range. Give me the Blue Devils in a close one.
Matthew: Hollingsworth is tough to bring down. The Blue Devils need this game for playoff seedings. I’ll take Grayson.
Bluefield at James Monroe:
Brady: Cody Moore has been stellar for the Mavericks in 2018. James Monroe has strung together a six-game winning streak to set the stage for Friday’s epicenter in southern West Virginia. Bluefield picked right back up last week against a good Oak Hill team on senior night. There has been some rattling coming out of the Beaver camp with some disciplinary issues. However, don’t look for that to slow Fred Simon’s bunch. The Beavers gnaw at the Mavericks in a big way and get a win in front of a big crowd in Monroe County.
Brian: Currently 17th in the Class AA state football ratings, James Monroe brings a six-game win streak with an opportunity to earn plenty of much-needed points with a win over the Beavers. That will be a problem. Bluefield is 19-4 against the Mavericks, and looking to keep rolling after its 20-game win streak was snapped two weeks ago. They will.
Bluefield 45, James Monroe 16
Ryan: Lindside will be rocking this week. James Monroe is once again having a stellar season, and a win over the Beavers would be a statement win in West Virginia’s AA ranks. But Bluefield has weapons galore. More than just about every team in WV. For that reason, I’ll take the Beavers.
Matthew: They have the most explosive offense this side of Roanoke. & they have a plethora of division 1 talent. Bluefield doesn’t lose again this season.
COALFIELDSPORTS.COM GAME OF THE WEEK: Abingdon at Union:
Brady: It is crazy how the scenario has changed in the Mountain 7 in just a week. Abingdon walked away from last week’s bout with Ridgeview with an overtime win. This sent shockwaves across southwest Virginia. It also just provided evidence that Garrett Amburgey and his gang are not pretenders. It sets the stage at historic Bullitt Park for another larger than life matchup with Union. I think that the homefield advantage in a standing room only environment gives Avery Jenkins and the Bears an edge. Travis Turner thrives in big games. Look for him add another to his resume.
Brian: Game of Friday night right here. Abingdon knocked Ridgeview off the unbeaten list in overtime last week, and now plays Union, whose lone loss was to those same Wolfpack. It could be a rainy night at Bullitt Park, which won’t bother the Bears at all. This should be another thriller that goes down to the end. Not sure the Falcons can survive two weeks in a row.
Union 30, Abingdon 23.
Ryan: This game gained a lot of steam last week when the Falcons protected Falcon Hill and took down previously undefeated Ridgeview. Union has been rolling right along since that September matchup with Ridgeview. This one will be played in the heavy rain at Bullitt Park, and broadcast live on television, even. I think the weather helps Union, who will line it up in the T and go to work. Bears win.
Matthew: I’ve been on the receiving end of a loss at Bullitt Park. I know that it’s a tough place to play. Travis Turner is a great coach. I’ll go with Union.
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.