College football kicks off in Southwest Virginia this weekend | Sports

The high school football season kicked off last weekend in Southwest Virginia.

This weekend, it’s the turn of the NCAA schools in the area to open their seasons.

Virginia Tech opens Friday on national television in a 6 p.m. showdown with North Carolina at a sold-out Lane Stadium in Blacksburg.

Several eyes will be on the game to watch former Union great James Mitchell.

Mitchell received dozens of accolades over the preseason as one of the best tight ends in the country.

UVA Wise opens its home season on Saturday against non-conference foe Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Emory & Henry also opens their season on Saturday against North Carolina Wesleyan.

Both matches are scheduled to start at noon.


The tally is up to three when it comes to preparing for football matches postponed this week.

The Eastside at Lee High competition scheduled for Thursday has been postponed with no catch-up date for now.

Richlands at Union, scheduled for Friday, has been rescheduled for October 22.

Hurley to Thomas Walker will not be played on Friday due to severe flooding in Hurley and the effect it has had on residents of the Hurley area. No catch-up date has yet been scheduled.


Brooklyn Rutherford, 12 from Coeburn, is a national champion.

Rutherford recently won the national Little League home run derby, beating about 6,400 participants from across the country.

The slugger, who finished third in national competition last year, won the local competition with 50 home runs. She went on to win the regional competition and qualified for the national competition in Williamsport, Pa., Where she won the national title.


Due to concerns centered on issues related to COVID, the executive committee of the JI Burton Hall of Fame has announced the cancellation of its induction banquet.

Committee chairman Steve Childers expressed the committee’s regret for the cancellation, but said there were too many concerns at the time to host the event.

The committee plans to hold a rally at the Norton Best Friend Festival in June for the induction of the classes of 2020 and 2021.

The 2022 class will be inducted in the fall of 2022.


Our deepest condolences to Abingdon football, the Abingdon community and all of Southwest Virginia on the loss of Falcon Assistant Football Coach Rob Ratcliff.

Ratcliff died on Monday after battling symptoms of COVID-19.

The line coach at Abingdon will be sadly missed.


Here’s a look at Southwest Virginia’s Top 7, handpicked by a collection of people related to the area’s sports scene. Teams are selected from Area D. Union teams topple Graham as football’s top voter, while Gate City retain the top spot in volleyball, despite a season opener loss to a very strong Science Hill team.

Polls are based on an 8-6-5-4-3-2-1 point system. Votes for first place in brackets, team record and total points are shown.


Union (10) 1-0 18

Graham (4) 0-0 87

Sage Central (1) 1-0 72

Abingdon 1-0 71

Rich lands 1-0 29

View from ridge 1-0 23

Virginie Top 1-0 21

Others receiving votes: Rural Retreat 8, JI Burton 6, Eastside 5, Holston 3, Patrick Henry 1.


City Gate (5) 0-1 65

Upper Virginia (2) 2-1 53

Sage Central (2) 3-0 51

Abingdon (2) 0-1 50

Patrick Henri (1) 1-0 28

John Battle 2-0 27

View from ridge 3-0 13

Others who received votes: Marion 12, Rye Cove 5, Union 5, Chilhowie 3, Eastside 3.

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