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RichlandsAlum

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RichlandsAlum last won the day on September 11

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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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  1. If they were an SEC school I would speculate about the existence of a big bag of cash.
  2. Indeed. But there appears to have been some discretion in those arrangements. Tazewell played a rotation of pretty much all Roanoke area schools (including some very strong Andrew Lewis teams) regularly in the mid 1960s. By comparison my alma mater pretty much stuck with playing William Fleming and Patrick Henry to meet the requirement. I think there is an argument to be made for giving credit where credit is due, but reasonable minds may differ.
  3. Prodigious! A willingness to take on tough opponents actually seems to be part of the historical DNA for the Tazewell football program. Examples from the 1960s include series against the Roanoke schools. And from my own childhood I remember them scheduling Narrows when the Green Wave were a powerhouse in the New River District. Good on the Doggies. I'll definitely be pulling for them in that season opener.
  4. Our soccer and football coaches have actually collaborated about the possibility of using this situation to get artificial turf. We think that's actually an attainable long term goal -- but it's unlikely that we could have it in place by February.
  5. For schools that play soccer that season is scheduled to run right up until the end of June. My reference to back to back seasons implied more than just football (although I didn't say so -- mea culpa). Assuming a quick turnaround to normal for 2021-2022, there isn't much time for recovery.
  6. I think there's a better chance of having fans in the stands in spring. I also think that several athletic departments are going to have budget issues when their fields are destroyed by essentially playing back to back seasons.
  7. Seems to be strong sentiment within the VHSL Executive Committee to make sure that spring sports get to play this school year (otherwise they lose two consecutive cycles). If there is any move to allow fall play, it's far more likely that they will shift spring sports to that time frame (and simultaneously eliminate the need to play into the end of June). But I honestly don't think we'll see any changes at all in the schedule as proposed for 2020-2021.
  8. Oddly enough, the wave of enrollment reductions really hit the New River Valley (and its eponymous district) well before it had major impact farther west. If anything, the SWD split in 1986 was an overly optimistic move by the schools who created the Highlands District. And it proved to be a short-sighted move based on enrollment trends and projections at the time. I picked 1995 as a benchmark because that's when the New River District finally went kaput. The fact that the SWD continues to exist in a pretty recognizable form is pretty significant IMO.
  9. I actually blame Lebanon. The Pioneers created the imbalance when they were assigned to Class AA in 1980. The days of the SWD in its 1970 realignment configuration were pretty much numbered from that point on. On the other hand, Grundy was a charter member of the SWD when it was formed circa 1956. The "I-81" schools who eventually went on to form the Highlands District complained constantly about traveling to Grundy. But in terms of distance Gate City was just as much of a geographic outlier (if not more so) for the "Highway 460" group.
  10. I think it was a combination of travel considerations as well as the desire to play an appropriately challenging schedule. Given Graham's proximity to the better roads within the region, it made a lot of sense for them to gravitate eastward for non-district match-ups. And that relationship worked both ways -- with Blacksburg being a prime example. On the other hand, I know that Richlands has historically been very enthusiastic about a series with Blacksburg. But that interest was extremely one-sided. Given the Bruins' proximity to good travel options and quality opponents overall, that makes perfect sense from an objective standpoint. It's also worth noting that scheduling of non-district games is an enormously complicated business. It's pretty rare when two AD's find something that works within their mutual operating margins. And if they do, they will go to great measures to preserve those relationships.
  11. A lot of flux within the AA ranks in Southwest Virginia from about 1995 onward, and there was a lot of shifting to keep Region IV somewhat intact as a functioning entity. Since the Highlands had dwindled to three members with AA enrollment numbers at the time, the SWD was essentially Lee's only option back in 2007. But travel times to/from Ben Hur were essentially prohibitive. The shortest trip (Abingdon) was about an hour and a half. The longest at the time (Carroll County) was about a three hour trip. So the argument for a geographic hardship made a lot of sense. Abingdon and Marion both came back into the SWD at that time (again, out of necessity), but Lee successfully opted out. About ten years prior to that, the New River District folded when Radford finally dropped to Single A (the Bobcats had been "playing up" in a manner similar to Graham for many years by that point) and left only three teams remaining. That's how Carroll County came into the SWD -- which was probably never a great fit either way. There was talk of bringing Blacksburg and Christiansburg in as well (which apparently had strong support on the SWD side), but those schools opted to align with similar sized traveling partners toward the direction of Roanoke. All of that maneuvering was the inevitable result of declining enrollment across Southwest Virginia. The New River District was the bellwether during the 1980's for what eventually happened further west. The VHSL's new four classification alignment could conceivably settle things in the region for a long time to come.
  12. Lee was never a member of the SWD. They successfully appealed to drop to Group A when the Highlands District went belly up. But a lot of SWD scheduled games with the Generals in a show of magnanimity. Just FYI....
  13. There was a longstanding policy aimed at keeping Graham, Richlands, and Tazewell grouped together (and those three also stood together with Grundy until numbers in Buchanan County tipped to move the Golden Wave downward in terms of classification). But Pocahontas was essentially left to fend for itself (other than the occasional "county championship" competitions in various sports over the years). Never really understood the dynamic behind that particular situation.
  14. Good info on all counts. I had forgotten the ADM calculation based solely on grades 10-12. That's ultimately what kept Richlands under the line for AAA. Ultimately I think the operational changes in the steel industry which took place in the late 1970s had both the largest and most direct impact upon demographics within Buchanan, Mercer, McDowell, and Tazewell counties.
  15. Population in Tazewell County peaked right around 1980. At that time Richlands had an enrollment of about 1,300 and there was a lot of chatter about us being bumped up to Class AAA and playing in the old Roanoke Valley District. (Guessing that we may have even been the beneficiary of a classification appeal ourselves at that time.) But those numbers started to drop pretty consistently shortly thereafter. By the time I graduated in 1989 RHS was down to about 1,100. Pointing all of that out on our end of the county because I'm curious if things were the same in Bluefield. Narrative I always heard growing up was that Graham "played up" consistently from the point of the 1970 realignment. And that does indeed make the athletic accomplishments of those teams more impressive, IMO.
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