Again, it's POTW Wednesday! The panel had a tough go deciding who should receive the honors for this week's Hogo hero but overwhelmingly decided on one player eventually, as they always do.
The player of the week is....
Photo from Tricities.com
I apologize for the unstable camera at times. We sat near some Marion folks and when they got excited the video got a little crazy.
Follow this link :http://tinyurl.com/ms7pbo3 Friday night at 7:30 to catch all the play-by-play action between this year's two premiere Wythe County teams. Also, don't forget to follow me on Twitter @HogoOnline for updates of other area games and extra tidbits about the one I'm watching.
There was once a time when this rivalry was as lopsided and one-sided as it could get. In fact, for two years this last decade the two stopped playing each other after George Wythe delivered three consecutive beatdowns of 63-6, 62-6, and 62-0. Despite having a handful of good teams throughout their history, Fort Chiswell had become a cellar dweller in the Mountain Empire which at the time had a reputuation for sending subpar teams to the playoffs.
Fast forward to 2008, Stephen James is in his 4th year of being the Pioneer's head coach and the Pioneers nearly knock off the Maroons, losing just 21-18. This was just one year after the two teams had resumed playing each other and a season removed from a 37-6 whipping courtesy of the Maroons.
The next season Fort Chiswell finally did it. James, his players, and the community had turned the corner with the program. It was not only evident on the scoreboard but the crowd as well. The wins tripled, the crowds tripled.
Since 2009, Fort Chiswell has been a force among Division 2 and now 1A schools. They're 2-2 against George Wythe in that span and this year they appear to be favorited against their long time nemesis and the defending Group A Division 2 State Champions. The two teams both enjoyed wins last week: Fort Chiswell throttled another Wythe foe, Rural Retreat, 49-7 while George Wythe took it to non-district rival Radford.
Will Fort Chiswell be able to contain returning star runningback Trey Skeens? Or will Tennessee Vol signee Coleman Thomas be too much for the 'Roons to handle?
I only have info since 1990 for George Wythe but since that season George Wythe leads the series 15-4. There were four seasons (90, 91, 05, and 06) where the teams did not play.
George Wythe Maroons
Coach: H.S. Ingo
2012: 14-1, Group A, Div 2 State Champions
Last Game: 21-14 Win over Radford
Next Game: 9/13, Marion
Fort Chiswell Pioneers
Max Meadows, VA
Coach: Stephen James
2012: 11-2, MED Champions
Last Game: 49-7 Win at Rural Retreat
Next Game: 9/13, Radford
Like we always do about this time, it's time to unveil who the Hogoheegee.com panel selected as this past Friday's Player of the Week.
The panel consists of a representative from each district school and myself as a tie-breaker, should there be a tie.
And the award for Hogoheegee.com Player of the Week goes to...
My allegiance to Virginia Tech is no mystery to some of you. My dad was never big into watching college football and only dabbled in pro if his teams did well. It was left up to me to form my own fanships and allegiances to teams as I saw fit. When I was 9 and learned that a football team about an hour away from where I lived often played football on TV and had a quarterback with a last name as awesome as "Druckenmiller", well enough said, I was a Hokie. I later graduated from Virginia Tech twice before finally working there as I currently do with plans to take yet another stint through VT's classrooms. The Hokies might not be your choice and this isn't going to be a Virginia Tech love-fest article by any means, but it is important to the rest of my point so hang in there.
I'm sure many of you have your own favorite D1 college teams. For one reason or another, whether you went there, your dad was a fan, your mom went there, you like their colors, or whatever - they're your favorite team. Your allegiance is strong and unwavering.
Although the D1, or FBS, landscape shifts constantly with teams entering and exiting conferences and with playoffs coming to fruition with a dying points system, our favorite colleges will always field football teams. In twenty years, I'll still be a Hokie fan. Frank Beamer will likely no longer be the coach and the Hokies may very well fall off the face of the planet and become the program they were prior to 1995 but that won't matter because college football will remain much the same regardless of what teams are on the schedule or what conference trophy is at stake.
Compare that to our local high schools. District champsionships have undergone a mass extinction and only exist to preserve tradition. While many, including myself, miss the days when a district championship was the rite of passage for the playoffs, we must now come to terms with the fact that a district champion may not even see the postseason. But that's not even my point.