The Pulaski County football team participated in a three-day camp at Ferrum College in Rocky Mount this week and will now rest until next Tuesday. But for those that like to look ahead and possibly make plans the following is the 2019 schedule.
In pre-season activity the Cougars will host the “Harvey’s Touchdown Classic” on Saturday, August 17. The opposition will be Bluefield and Magna Vista. That’s a very strong day of football. That will be followed by a “Benefit” game, again in Dobson Stadium the following Friday, August 23 against Radford.
On Friday, August 30 the season will officially open with a home game vs. Northside. Game 2 will be on Friday September 6 vs. Bassett at home. Game 3 will be the first game on the road at Abingdon on Sept. 13. All games are scheduled for Fridays. Game 4 will feature a change as the Cougars will journey to William Byrd on Sept. 20. Game 5 will be Sept. 27 at home vs. Cave Spring. Game 6 will be on the road vs. Hidden Valley on October 4. Game 7 will be in Dobson against Christiansburg on Oct. 11. Game 8 will see the Cougars make the short jaunt over to Blacksburg on Friday, October 18. October 25 will be the open date for PCHS. Game 9 will see the team play at Patrick Henry in Roanoke on November 1. Game 10, the final game of the regular season, will be at home vs. Salem on Nov. 8. The region playoffs will begin the following Friday on Nov. 15.
I’ll begin this aspect of the column with this information. Present recruiting rankings in the ACC are as follows; 1- Clemson. 2- Miami, 3- Carolina. 4- Florida State. 5- Georgia Tech. 6- NC-State. 7- Louisville. 8- Wake Forest. 9- Boston College. 10-Virginia. 11- Pitt. 12- Duke. 13- Syracuse. 14- Virginia Tech.
It is very true and has been stated here many times that the recruiting process is far from over, however, with the early commitment date now available players are making choices quicker. Some programs are already in the 20s. Usually when football recruiting is going slow coaches like to say they are in the evaluation process. That usually means the top players on the board have gone elsewhere and we’re looking to put new players up and decide who to recruit. To be blunt, that means you are lowering the scale. Coaches like to say there is plenty of talent still out there. That’s true, but how much of it are you going to get and make no mistake there is not nearly the talent available today that there was two months ago. The talent pool is shrinking.
But what does it look like on a national scale? Pretty much the same. There is great improvement being shown by ACC schools in recruiting, but not Virginia Tech. Nationally Clemson is number one, Miami 4, Carolina under Mack Brown has made a dramatic jump and presently has the 7th rated class in the country. Florida State, even with all its problems the past two seasons, is 10th in the nation. Georgia Tech is way up at 13, NC-State is 17, Louisville, amidst all its problems, is still 24, Wake Forest is 26, BC 28, UVa 46, Pitt 51, Duke 54, Syracuse 70, and the Hokies 74! That’s last in the conference, 74th in the nation. What are your odds of defeating Clemson, Miami, Carolina and so forth on a Saturday afternoon when they have the 1st, fourth, and seventh rated classes in the nation and you’ve got the 74th?
It’s certainly not football season in the minds of most, but what happens this time of the year determines a great deal what happens in the fall. You’ve got to have players … talent. The following is what has happened over the past four years in the ACC.
Over the last four recruiting classes the conference has successfully recruited 15, five-star players. Most of them went to Clemson, FSU got a few, Miami got one. How about the four-star recruits? Same threesome. Clemson, FSU, and Miami have recruited 125 four stars the past four years. That’s 47 more than the other 11 teams in the ACC combined. So, with that knowledge is it reasonable to expect other ACC teams to beat that threesome. Probably not.
For a few years Tech and UNC battled and won a few four-star recruits. The past four years the Hokies have landed 20 and Carolina 16, but under Mack Brown the Tar Heels are obviously on the uptick, and the Hokies are not. The wheel never stops rolling, and how it rolls now determines a great deal on how it rolls come the fall. It is very true that the base of success for the Hokies program has been the recruitment of mostly 3-star players. It has also been my opinion that the players at Tech get coached up pretty good. They get better. But there is more talent than ever, more people from all over the country are coming to get it, and if you want to win, you better get your fair share, or more than that if you can.
There was a bit of good news for UVa this week. The Cavaliers landed a 6-4, 197 three-star linebacker Sam Brady out of Lincoln, North Carolina. Vershon Lee, the 19th rated player in Virginia, and a 6-4, 285 offensive tackle out of Woodbridge said this week he would play for South Carolina. That means that right now at least 12 of the top 25 players in the state will be leaving.
Time for the NCAA to Step UP:
Presently, there is a cloud hanging over college basketball. The NCAA needs to do the right thing in order to remove that cloud. If it does not, the NCAA will have no credibility left as an investigative body. In many ways, its reputation is at stake. Is the NCAA in control? Sometimes you wonder.
There have been FBI wiretaps, witnesses, undercover activities, and college basketball has been exposed as a sport that operates with no regard for NCAA rules and regulations. It’s time to do something. There are people already behind bars. Money has flowed into hands it was not supposed to go. It’s all been proven. It’s happened over and over at some schools, but when the power structure does nothing, there is nothing to fear. It’s time the membership felt a bit of fear from its governing body.
There are some schools according to published findings that should be shaking in their shoes. Those would be Louisville, NC-State, Kansas, Arizona, LSU, Auburn, Southern Cal, Oklahoma State, and South Carolina. Make no mistake, there are more.
It’s time. Is your sport clean? Some wonder. I do. I’m sure there are numerous sports writers who know, but they are riding the gravy train. I was there once. I know what that’s like. But the FBI has done the work. The proof is on the desk. Either do something and have a clean sport or fold your hand.
By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot