It’s time for Cougar football!

Official Virginia High School League football practice gets underway this week, and Pulaski County High School’s charges will hit the field at 8 am Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to get the first week started with a bang. Workouts will last until approximately the noon hour on Thursday and Friday and until 11 am Saturday.

The first week the team will be in helmets only. The following week practice begins on Tuesday, again at 8 am, and the Cougars will be in full gear. PCHS head coach Stephen James expects a turnout of 65 players for varsity and junior varsity play.

Also next Monday the Pulaski County Middle School team will begin official practice at 5:30 pm. and workout thru Thursday at that same time. Middle School coach Bryan Dalton is expecting approximately 30 players out for the team. Both the high school and middle school have increased football numbers this year. There will also be a “Middle School Jamboree” in Dublin again this preseason, but details are not yet final.

Other than practice, and practice makes perfect they say, the major preseason action the public will be interested in takes place at Dobson Stadium on Saturday, August 11. That’s the Touchdown Classic and action will get underway at 11 am. There is not an admission fee, but the football program is asking Cougar fans to make a donation of $10, and for that donation fans will not only see all the football action in the stadium, but also receive a big lunch while you watch consisting of pit cooked barbecue, baked beans, and cole slaw. The concession will also be open. If you do not wish to eat the lunch, and do not want to make the $10 donation, you may give what you want and still enter to enjoy the football.

And there will be a lot of football that day. The TD Classic will have Magna Vista and Bluefield, West Virginia coming to Dobson. Both opponents are highly regarded. Bluefield is coming off a 14-0 state championship season, and is expected to repeat in the mountain state this season. Also, the three junior varsity teams will also play each other, and all action is inside Dobson Stadium. There will be no activity in the practice field areas behind the stadium.

The following Friday, August 17, the Cougars will play a “Benefit Game” just seven miles down route 11 against Radford. That game is presently slated to get underway at 7pm, and the charge at the gate is expected to be $6.00, but that information could change and if it does The Patriot will keep you posted.

Notes From Around Class 4, Region D:

   Jeff Highfill will be starting his 38th and final season at William Byrd, as the old coach has made it official, this season will be his last carrying a whistle…….This will also be the final season that Pulaski County will play Carroll County in football for the foreseeable future as the Cavaliers have been allowed to drop in classification…………Class 4 remains the same across the state as last year, however, beginning with 2019 there will be major changes, some leave, some new ones are added. It certainly won’t make the challenge any easier as Hampton, Warwick, King’s Fork, Orange County, and Tuscarora will all be added to Pulaski County’s classification………….PCHS at one time had the 5th highest enrollment of any high school in Virginia. Beginning in 2019 it will rank 33rd in size in Class 4, and Salem has moved a notch above to 32. The Cougar football program will rank 6th in size in Region D. However, that’s the future, and everything remains in place for the upcoming 2018 gridiron season……..Photo Day for the Cougar football program will be Friday, August 10 in Dobson Stadium at 1:30 pm…………It’s only 26 days before the official season lid-lifter on the road in Roanoke against Northside.

By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot