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RichlandsAlum

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RichlandsAlum last won the day on May 26

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About RichlandsAlum
 
 
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    A complicated man, nobody understands me but my woman. Can you dig it?
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    Chinese arithmetic
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    Raconteur
 
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  1. Thanks! My inquiry is based solely on personal curiosity. My dad played there back in the late 1950s. Recently took my boys on a "field trip" to get in touch with our family roots in the area. They were wondering why the football field was located so far from the school. I somewhat facetiously asked them if they'd noticed 120 yards' worth of flat land anywhere else around there.
  2. That's a nice looking facility. Are there plans to do anything with the old field at Junior Poca? Or will the kudzu and the hillside be allowed to continue their advance on that space?
  3. Arguably THE best under that criteria. If the officiating crew hadn't blown the call on Chad King's touchdown reception in overtime against Virginia High, it's reasonable to think that we would have at least made it to the state semifinals. Of course the Bearcats really had our number that school year. They knocked us out of the regional playoffs in the first round in football, basketball, and baseball. I eventually started speaking to a lot of my Bristol-based friends again by the mid 1990s.
  4. Adam and Mike were both in the RHS Class of '88. Since he was also getting quite a bit of attention from Division 1 recruiters at the time, I think the decision to hold Lallande out of that particular game was a "better safe than sorry" kind of decision. Richlands defense was pretty impressive that year (recording 7 shutouts overall) which probably factored into the game plan as well. Observing the recruiting process around Compton in particular was fun that year. A log of big name coaches found their way into the guidance office at RHS at various times. I've also heard some amusing anecdotes related to some of the official visits he took.
  5. Don't know why but I've always had a soft spot for defensive struggles. Among the very best games involving Richlands that I ever witnessed was the 1987 game against Gate City. Our starting quarterback (Adam Lallande) had been injured the week before in a really goofy loss to Virginia High. Donnie Hess took over and kept our playoff drive going that year with a 7-0 victory over the Blue Devils. I was also present for the 1981 Region IV championship game between Graham and Tazewell. The G-Men won 6-3 in a classic game played in the snow at Mitchell Stadium.
  6. Quite a few "immigrant" kids at certain schools around here (using quotation marks because a lot of them are actually natural born American citizens themselves). With no intent to sound condescending or patronizing, those guys and their families are all great. They really contribute a lot to the game and our players (both LHS and the club) have always appreciated the opportunity to get to know them and "up their game" by the increased level of competition. Kind of the intent of sports at its purest level, I think. LHS really hit the jackpot with regard to exchange students this year. But other than Felix (our German player), we got lucky. The Italian guys wound up here mainly because Bedford was their cheapest option to come to America. I knew that Matteo was pretty darned good (his host family is just around the corner from us and he is a frequent guest at our house). But I only found out about his association with Juventus just the other day.
  7. It's a fairly common practice around here (Lynchburg/Seminole District area). Liberty has pretty much always had at least one exchange student on the roster. In fact our German kid this year is the younger brother of a kid who played at LHS a couple of years ago. Rustburg had a tough team a couple of years ago that was mainly carried by two Germans of their own. But it's hit or miss in terms of using it as a recruiting tool. For every year that it has worked out well (like our last regional playoff winner that featured two kids from Slovakia) it seems like there are two seasons in which the foreign players don't really pan out. Outside of the exchange student angle there are still plenty of opportunities for shenanigans in our area. The presence of LCA speaks for itself. And although the enrollment zones are adjacent and pretty close to one another, it seems that the better public school players in Lynchburg somehow magically wind up at E.C. Glass or Jefferson Forest -- while Heritage and Brookville always seem to be on the shorter end in terms of talent.
  8. Epilogue Part Deux.... Since his senior season of high school has pretty much evaporated, boy is now planning to give a serious shot at walking on the varsity team at Virginia Tech. If that doesn't pan out (and I can't imagine there are any kind of odds that it will), he will then take a stab at playing for the club level team and/or finding some kind of supporting/administrative role with the varsity program. Crazy world, ain't it?
  9. Since the 2020 soccer season looks to be a complete loss, I'm in a mood to be hypothetical. Liberty (Bedford) was positioned to have one of its most competitive teams in the history of the program. A large contributing factor was the presence of three exchange students (two from Italy and one from Germany). One of the Italians played within the youth program of Juventus FC. The German kid played aggressively on offense -- in a manner that apparently not many opposing players see around these parts. All three exchange students had demonstrated some flashes of brilliance over the course of the past several months. They were supplemented by a group of upperclassmen (including my son and his senior classmates) who have been playing together pretty much since they were four years old -- and who had experienced some decent success in travel ball over the years. The level of chemistry of this team was pretty amazing -- both on offense and defense. They really seemed to intuitively know where and how to play positions and formations at any given time. In the fall our local club organization played friendlies against several private schools in our area and up around Charlottesville and went undefeated against them all. Same was true in a showcase event played in January. Before things were scuttled, LHS played two scrimmages on the road. We beat William Byrd and tied Martinsville. Fact of the matter is that the Minutemen likely would have crushed them both in matches that had any real meaning. (And the German kid broke his foot in the first scrimmage at Byrd -- so we played at Martinsville without him.) The Seminole District is pretty well stocked with good teams -- including many perennial contenders at the 4A level. But by all conservative estimates we felt like we had a chance to make a pretty deep run within the 3A level (where we play as the smallest district school in terms of enrollment). Western Albemarle would have been our biggest obstacle at the regional level -- but playing at our best and firing on all cylinders, we thought we could at least hang with them. Of course, this is all just my opinion. The fact that we'll never know just how good this team could have been is a bitter pill. I apologize for venting. The Seminole District isn't even within the geographic focus of this site. Just felt the need to get this off my chest. What other teams had high aspirations that were denied?
  10. Initially I was pretty bummed about my son losing his senior year of soccer for a number of reasons. One is that I think this Liberty team really had some enormous potential. They played two friendlies before the plug was pulled and looked really good -- I mean they displayed amazing chemistry. On a personal level he was really starting to come into his own as well. After years of completely discounting the idea of playing in college (and passing on several pretty good options to do that), he had started talking about making an attempt to walk on at Tech this fall. [Reality check -- while I thought the chance of such was very close to zero, I wasn't about to discourage him.] But he's moved on completely now and so have his mom and I. I would still like to see Liverpool have a chance to get the 6 remaining points necessary to claim an EPL title. And I take some morbid satisfaction in the notion that the Nats are reigning MLB champs until they're not. But otherwise I've got several more important things on my mind right now.
  11. I've got an odd personal connection to Mooresville. Bought my first dog from a breeder there (very nice gentleman named Max Nanney who lived right behind the MHS football field and had retired as principal there). He was a really great little hound, and I always think of him when I hear that place mentioned.
  12. On its face that is a reasonable assumption. But it's not very practical in the specific case of Tazewell County. It's no overstatement to note that schools are enormously expensive to build. The politics associated with splitting the Tazewell enrollment zone could also get pretty ugly on a large scale. Plus you'd still probably have two Class 3 schools for a while as a result, and those would be geographically isolated from most of their other cohorts in that classification for some period of time. If there's any likelihood that you will end up with one county-wide institution at some point in the future, it makes very little sense to exert the resources necessary to construct two different schools within the interim period. If/when it happens in Tazewell, I think we will see the three schools dwindle to Class 1 numbers before they will be amalgamated into one school that has a shot at living within Class 2 at its maximum enrollment for a while. Buchanan and Dickenson appear to be the models for managing these variables very efficiently (albeit with "found money" in both cases). Counties that are able to do so will probably consider themselves wise to follow their example.
  13. In the really cosmic scheme of things, I believe that consolidation is the future for most (if not all) school systems -- including Tazewell County. But the exact timing is the issue that has to be defined -- and there are very definite hazards associated with jumping too quickly. Enrollment/population numbers don't work for Tazewell County to venture too far down that road right now. There are still estimated to be 40,000 people living in Tazewell County. The population in 1900 (before the coal boom really impacted numbers) was about 23,000. To hit the number that roughly existed prior to the coal-based economy, 42% of the current population would need to move away. That very well may happen over time -- but the timing is both unknown and a very important variable within the equation. Graham, Richlands, and Tazewell have a combined enrollment of over 1,700 students. That would land a consolidated school squarely within Class 5 and create a geographic outlier of huge magnitude within the Commonwealth. An ultimate loss of 42% would still equate to a Class 3 enrollment. Presumably Abingdon and Carroll County would be available as local traveling partners, but you'd still be facing trips to the New River Valley/Roanoke area for the closest competitors come playoff time. Of course, this is assuming that all other things remain equal.
  14. Hard to imagine any statistical model that allows Tazewell County to give serious thought to consolidation at this point. And an unforeseen influx of capital probably wouldn't resolve the impact of VHSL classification policies. Unless there is a clear trend in population decline pointing to historic numbers (like a reduction to levels in the year 1900 or thereabouts), Tazewell County probably doesn't have any better option than to simply sit tight for a few years.
  15. https://player.vimeo.com/video/392962652?fbclid=IwAR20u2386i2hZUQR7olyXhShA1itcYvgRpBgKpcOkIFS3vI4wP1qyYdP7NY Had the honor of coaching him in rec basketball when he was much younger. Great kid back then. Extraordinary young man now.
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