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cityofRaven

Favorite area places to play/see a game, past and present.

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My top 3 would be Ernie Hicks, Mitchell and Bullitt. 

Richlands is fairly obvious. It's home. It also has great facilities other than bathrooms. 

Mitchell kind of sells itself. Massive stadium. Great sight lines. Good food. And the two Richlands/Graham games this year were rockin. I'd love to see a Bluefield/Graham game one day. 

Bullitt has so much history that it's hard not to enjoy the place. Parking sucks, but that's the case at most places. Richlands and Union also have the best rivalry in the state for the last 6 years, so that helps in my book as well. 

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Favorite is Legion at GC. Tradition and fun. I think Giles is underestimated. That's a pretty nice place/beautiful setting. I still like the little old stadiums that are not necessarily new, and where the fans are fairly close to the field. For example, I loved Riggs at Appalachia.  That was so cool. Narrows is rough and old, but the setting in the small town and near the River make it still......in my opinion, a cool place to watch a game.  

I am not a huge fan of the newer stadiums that seem like the fans are furthet away from the field. I love Bullitt Park as a park and the environment is cool, but man....add some seats for Gods sake. It's just to small in my opinion regarding overall seating capacity and this atmosphere could be better with more seats.

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When Gate City is good and the stands are full I think that Legion Field is one of the most intimidating places in Virginia to play a high school football game. I'll name five in no particular order. Bullitt Park, Legion Field, Mitchell Stadium, Riggs Stadium and Honaker and Ernie Hicks since the field turf has been added as 5a.  

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Going to throw an odd but sentimental favorite into the mix.  Old Fairfield Stadium in Huntington, WV.  In addition to Marshall, I saw several WV high school playoff games there as a child in the 1970s.  The place was a dump (to put it charitably), but I loved it.  Probably as much because of fond memories associated with my dad and my uncles as anything else.  

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Abingdon has one of the best stadiums in the area for a high school.  Plenty of seating, both home and visitor sides, great sight lines. those who may have never been on the actual field it is one of the best natural playing surfaces I've seen.

Mitchell Stadium is nice and I enjoyed seeing games there

Ernie Hicks is nice and they have a great turf field 

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42 minutes ago, Falcon Mania said:

Abingdon has one of the best stadiums in the area for a high school.  Plenty of seating, both home and visitor sides, great sight lines. those who may have never been on the actual field it is one of the best natural playing surfaces I've seen.

Mitchell Stadium is nice and I enjoyed seeing games there

Ernie Hicks is nice and they have a great turf field 

Agree with visitor seating, plenty of room and no trouble parking at Abingdon.  As for the HILL  going up to the visitor side, a killer.  I have looked for the escalator several times, but no luck.  lol

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Pretty much the same as Ryan has stated above,  but I think a place that is a little under rated is at Honaker,  mostly because I love the food there and my wife is from Honaker so i thought I would get a few brownie points with her..........

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Legion Field IMO. The best to watch and play at. I'm just a little biased.

Gene Malcolm isn't bad, plenty of seating, and the away stands are not total crap. 

Battle Hill is up on my list too, seats are the good ole concrete and are very elevated and on top of the field. 

I don't like places like Ernie and Bullitt because even the top rows on the away sides are so low that you cannot see what is going on on the other side of the field. Abingdon gets thrown out due to that stupid hill. Ridgeview, Wise Central, and Lee get thrown out because you are mile from the field due to the track and I believe it zaps the atmosphere. 

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I'll be the first to admit that Ernie Hicks needs an upgrade on the visitor side. 

One of my all time favorites was Ralph Cummins Stadium. That place during a big game was right up there with those already mentioned. 

Ernie Hicks and Mitchell are 1 and 2 for me. A big game at either place is hard to beat. 

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2 hours ago, cityofRaven said:

I'll be the first to admit that Ernie Hicks needs an upgrade on the visitor side. 

One of my all time favorites was Ralph Cummins Stadium. That place during a big game was right up there with those already mentioned. 

Ernie Hicks and Mitchell are 1 and 2 for me. A big game at either place is hard to beat. 

I don't see a way to upgrade the visitors side.  They can't really add higher or more seating due to the road and middle school directly behind.  I guess they could install some sort of endzone seating?  Best case scenario is they get bathroom or port-a-potty on the visitors side or concessions.  Either that or upgrade their home side facilities.

 

For those that say "Ohhhh Abingdon and that hill"  Probably the same people that walk 2 miles to Lane Stadium and then climb to the top row for their seating.  The hill is not as bad as most say.

My Top 5 High School Stadiums in our area:

1. Abingdon

2. Virginia High

3. Richlands

4. Bluefield

5. John I Burton

 

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Favorite places I have been is Honaker and George Wythe.  Honaker is a great stadium all the way around and GW has some short walks to get out of there after you learn where to park.  Abingdon has a great visitor side as well but sucks walking up that hill.  Ernie Hicks sucks from the visitor side.  Can't see much.  Never have like Mitchell stadium, been there for many games over the years and only once has the team I was cheering for won.  That includes pulling for Graham and Richlands back in the day.

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19 hours ago, Ryan4VT said:

Richlands is fairly obvious. It's home. It also has great facilities other than bathrooms. 

I'm a Richlands fan when I'm not a Ridgeview fan, but Ernie is a dump and needs renovations badly.  Sorry.

1 hour ago, Leatherhead Larry said:

I don't like places like Ernie and Bullitt because even the top rows on the away sides are so low that you cannot see what is going on on the other side of the field. Abingdon gets thrown out due to that stupid hill. Ridgeview, Wise Central, and Lee get thrown out because you are mile from the field due to the track and I believe it zaps the atmosphere. 

That's the biggest complaint I see on Ridgeview, that you are so far away from the action.  Also, when you're on the home side in the early season games, the setting sun nearly blinds you as it's right in your face.

1 hour ago, cityofRaven said:

One of my all time favorites was Ralph Cummins Stadium. That place during a big game was right up there with those already mentioned. 

Ralph Cummins for the final Haysi/Clintwood game ever was just a fantastic atmosphere to be in.

My fave 5 would have to be:

1. Sandlick (Haysi)

2. Mitchell (Graham/Bluefield)

3. Stone Castle (Tennessee High)

4. Bullitt Park (Union)

5. The Cliff (Hurley)

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11 minutes ago, Falcon Mania said:

For those that say "Ohhhh Abingdon and that hill"  Probably the same people that walk 2 miles to Lane Stadium and then climb to the top row for their seating.  The hill is not as bad as most say.

 

To be fair, I have a couple of relatives who are up there in years, and next year when we play you guys in Abingdon, that's going to be the first thing I mention to them in regards to considering to make that trip or not.

7 minutes ago, stu_bean said:

Favorite places I have been is Honaker and George Wythe.  Honaker is a great stadium all the way around and GW has some short walks to get out of there after you learn where to park.  Abingdon has a great visitor side as well but sucks walking up that hill.  Ernie Hicks sucks from the visitor side.  Can't see much.  Never have like Mitchell stadium, been there for many games over the years and only once has the team I was cheering for won.  That includes pulling for Graham and Richlands back in the day.

I almost forgot about GW.  Their stadium is fantastic!

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3 minutes ago, swva_havok_fan said:

I'm a Richlands fan when I'm not a Ridgeview fan, but Ernie is a dump and needs renovations badly.  Sorry.

That's the biggest complaint I see on Ridgeview, that you are so far away from the action.  Also, when you're on the home side in the early season games, the setting sun nearly blinds you as it's right in your face.

Ralph Cummins for the final Haysi/Clintwood game ever was just a fantastic atmosphere to be in.

My fave 5 would have to be:

1. Sandlick (Haysi)

2. Mitchell (Graham/Bluefield)

3. Stone Castle (Tennessee High)

4. Bullitt Park (Union)

5. The Cliff (Hurley)

 

C'mon now. You can't say that Ernie Hicks is a dump and then say Sandlick is your favorite... That place, although served it's purpose, was a dump. 

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Realizing that my previous response in this thread either stretched the limits of "area" or disregarded it outright, here's my amended list (in no particular order):

- Vic Nystrom Stadium (suburban Welch).  Admittedly, not stellar in terms of the quality of the facilities.  But it's the field my dad played on and I am a sucker for personal nostagia.

- Falcon Stadium (Abingdon).  Have to hand it to the designers -- they made brilliant use of existing topography there.  (Same is true of George Wythe, Pulaski County and -- albeit it to a lesser extent -- John Battle.)

- Legion Field (Gate City).  In addition to the great tradition and typically great football, they also usually had pretty good eats.

- Marion.  Don't know why, but I always found it kind of cool that they had a combination football/baseball layout.  It was also one of the furthest away games in the old SWD (if you went around the ridges to Abingdon and then up 81), which made it seem kind of exotic.

This post brought to mind several neat basketball venues.  So if nobody objects, I think I'll plagiarize this idea and throw something up over on the hoops board as well.

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Just now, cityofRaven said:

 

C'mon now. You can't say that Ernie Hicks is a dump and then say Sandlick is your favorite... That place, although served it's purpose, was a dump. 

I figured that was coming.  Lol.  You Richlands folk like Ernie because it's home.  I like Sandlick because it was home.  Sandlick was awesome because you had a little bit of a grass berm between the seats and the field where you could stand right down by the fence and watch the game. Also, dat MUD!  I think all of us are going to list our home stadium first.  The home seats at Ernie look like they could cave in on you at anytime when you're under them trying to grab a bite to eat.  

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6 minutes ago, RichlandsAlum said:

- Marion.  Don't know why, but I always found it kind of cool that they had a combination football/baseball layout.  It was also one of the furthest away games in the old SWD (if you went around the ridges to Abingdon and then up 81), which made it seem kind of exotic.

Marion is pretty neat, although it can be a bit difficult to actually find your way to the parking lot for a first timer there.  At least is was for me last year when I went.  

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8 minutes ago, swva_havok_fan said:

I figured that was coming.  Lol.  You Richlands folk like Ernie because it's home.  I like Sandlick because it was home.  Sandlick was awesome because you had a little bit of a grass berm between the seats and the field where you could stand right down by the fence and watch the game. Also, dat MUD!  I think all of us are going to list our home stadium first.  The home seats at Ernie look like they could cave in on you at anytime when you're under them trying to grab a bite to eat.  

Been trying to avoid committing this major act of heresy, but....  I have never been a tremendous fan of Ernie Hicks Stadium.

Not sure how many people remember just how bad the field was before the turf was installed.  But it was awful.  I'm not sure how the Emats stuff works in terms of drainage, but I don't think any civil engineer ever figured out how to address that issue with grass and dirt.  One notable attempt was the crown in the middle of the field (between the sidelines) running its full length in the very early 1980's.  As a midget league participant, my recollection is that I couldn't see the opposing sideline when standing on my own.  Although I did learn to make use of the effects of gravity when blocking near the middle of the field.

The visitors bleachers have always bugged me.  And I'm not even addressing the relative quality -- it's the scale that I find aggravating (I'm kind of OCD when it comes to symmetry in architecture).  As impressive as the brick and mortar home side is, it just makes the visitors' side seem that much more wretched.  And I realize it's due to site constraints and the tightness created by the presence of the world's ugliest middle school building.  But I've always thought that it would have been preferable to construct a brick and mortar visitors side to at least match the homestand -- or to even have some kind of wraparound structure on the Jones Chapel end to create a horseshoe.  But that's obviously not cost effective on any planet.

Just from an aesthetic standpoint, I've got to think that the visitors experience to Richlands is pretty bad.  But maybe that's somewhat by design.  

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1 hour ago, swva_havok_fan said:

Marion is pretty neat, although it can be a bit difficult to actually find your way to the parking lot for a first timer there.  At least is was for me last year when I went.  

Not fond of the visitor seats there either.  When action gets within the 10 yd lines, hard to tell whats happening.  From the home side now you can see quite well...

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1 hour ago, RichlandsAlum said:

Just from an aesthetic standpoint, I've got to think that the visitors experience to Richlands is pretty bad.  But maybe that's somewhat by design.  

Will give a big amen to that.  I think it was last year that a few of the "boards" in the main walk were sagging down no less than 4"  Sure didn't want to walk on them.  Several other places in the stands would sink down when walking on them.  Fix the visitor side and Richlands would be an ok place.  Fix parking and that much better.  I know both are impossible and out of control of tings but for me the whole experience weighs in on the places I enjoy traveling to the most.  My top three for the overall experience are:

George Wythe

Honaker

Abingdon

Of course Bulldog stadium is my favorite.  I know there are better ones but it's home!

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3 hours ago, Falcon Mania said:

For those that say "Ohhhh Abingdon and that hill"  Probably the same people that walk 2 miles to Lane Stadium and then climb to the top row for their seating.  The hill is not as bad as most say.

My grandmother has a bad ankle and can't walk on flat land very far, much less up that hill. And my grandfather has had 14 back surgeries and he's beginning to struggle getting around as well. That, and the fact that parking is not great when you're trying to get out of there, are the reasons I left Abingdon off of my list. It took me 50 minutes to get out after the game this year. That's just crazy. 

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