County schools seeking new coaches; popularity of E-sports grows

By Marty Gordon

Christiansburg High, Blacksburg High, Auburn High and Eastern Montgomery High are all seeking new coaches.

For the second time in three years, Christiansburg High School is seeking a new girls’ basketball coach. The opening comes just a year after the school hired Christene Cox after a three-month search. She stepped down after a season that saw the Blue Demons finish at the bottom of the River Ridge District. The two seasons before, the team had won a combined 38 games.

The program advanced to the state regional playoffs in 2017 and 2018 but has had four coaches in the last six seasons.

Auburn High School is also seeking a new girls’ basketball coach at Auburn High School.

The Mustangs of Eastern Montgomery High are searching for a new head volleyball coach,

The Bruins of Blacksburg High are conducting searches for a new cheer coach and an assistant varsity football coach.

Blacksburg Middle School is looking for a new head cross-country and track coach and a new head cheer coach.

The Virginia High School League met briefly last week during a ZOOM meeting but made no decision on this fall’s football season. Local athletic directors are hoping teams will be able to play a full schedule, starting in September.

Meanwhile, E-sports are filing some of the empty fields as schools like Radford and Christiansburg are following Blacksburg in adding the “virtual sport.” The VHSL approved a one-year trial with E-sports this past year.

Mike McCall is the VHSL communications director and expects the popularity of E-sports to continue to grow.

The VHSL executive committee last week approved E-sports as an emerging activity, which means E-sports will have three years to meet the criteria to be a recognized VHSL state event.

“We are confident E-sports will become a recognized VHSL activity,” McCall said. “The trial year was a huge success.  We had nearly 80 teams compete and have heard from more schools that plan to participate in the fall.  Since it is not yet a recognized VHSL state event, no state champion was crowned.”

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