The school year is winding down, so that means it’s time to take a quick look ahead at what is on the docket for Pulaski County football.
First of all, off-season weight training and physical conditioning is winding down as the school year closes, but it will pick up quickly in June as workouts are already scheduled for the Cougar football program. There will continue to be work in the weight room, that hardly ever stops in football these days, but now there will be time spent outdoors working on schemes, fundamentals, reading keys, learning the playbook, and good ol’ fashioned physical conditioning and that never really goes away either. There are no padded practices or physical contact during the summer. That will not start until official preseason practice the final week of July.
Other than practice preparation the first real live action publicly for the 2018 edition of Cougar football will take place in Dobson Stadium at the Touchdown Classic on Saturday, August 11th.
And that should be a great day of football and an opportunity for PCHS fans to support Cougar football. The action promises to be entertaining as Bluefield, West Virginia journeys over the mountain. The Beavers are the defending state champion in the mountain state, and have been on a roll.
The other opponent in the Classic will be strong Magna Vista, and reports say this could be the season the Warriors win a third Class 3 state championship. So the Cougars will learn a lot about themselves on August 11th because the competition will be considerable, but great from a preparatory aspect for the coming season.
The varsity scrimmage action will get underway at 11 am in the stadium, and following the varsity, the junior varsity teams will also scrimmage against each other inside the stadium.
Also, the day will be a bit different for the fans. Their is no standard price of admission. The Cougar football program will request a $10.00 donation to attend the Classic, however, you will not only see all the football, but also be provided with a barbecue dinner, cooked hot and fresh on site that will also include baked beans and cole slaw. Plus the concession will also be open for drinks, popcorn and so forth. Should a fan not wish to donate $10.00 there is no concrete requirement and you do not have to eat the dinner either. You may simply make the donation of your choice if you choose, enter and enjoy the football.
As mentioned in a news article in The Patriot today, the following Friday evening, the Cougars will make the short 8-mile jaunt down Rt. 11 to Radford and play the Bobcats in a “Benefit Game” on August 17th. That will be a 7 pm kickoff.
There has been conversation in the county concerning the Cougar football schedule and that concern pertains to Cave Spring and Hidden Valley voicing the desire to move from the River Ridge District to the Blue Ridge, and BR schools have said they would be welcome with open arms. River Ridge schools feelings are totally opposite as one would expect. It is important that River Ridge schools stick together as a unified body in the effort to keep Cave and HV in place.
The issue will be up for debate at VHSL headquarters in Charlottesville shortly, and certainly if the move is granted, but do not assume that will be the case at this point, it would create an uncertain future for Pulaski County and the River Ridge. There has even been talk of bringing back the old New River District. That would be a huge change and Salem and Patrick Henry would not be interested in such a venture, but all the cards are going to be put on the table if change becomes absolute.
There are ideas about redistricting that seem to make good sense and some that are farfetched, but after being involved in this sort of thing for the past 48 years, do not remove any of the cards from the table. What may seem to make the most sense may not happen, and what may seem like that most farfetched likelihood, may indeed come true. Just stay tuned. But it’s not time to be swayed by rumors.
There are a couple of concrete schedule changes for Cougar football, but they do not take place until the 2019 season. William Fleming and Carroll County go off, and William Byrd and Bassett come on. There are no changes for the 2018 schedule. Everything is just as it was last season except home and away games have flopped.
That is the one thing that can be guaranteed. Any substantive changes concerning district affiliation or scheduling will not happen before 2019.
By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot