From the sidelines

17

High schools hit the hardwood


By Marty Gordon

Dribble, dribble dribble—high school basketball has officially started in the New River Valley.

The sport sounds have changed as players have traded in shoulder pads and volleyballs for basketballs. We will continue to cover the five high schools in the area, but a lot of it will depend on the help of coaches who call in their results during the season.

We would also love some help from parents and other administrators about interesting stories involving the student-athletes.

The Virginia High School League is moving ahead with plans for eight-man football this coming year. Citing the decline in participation, several schools, including Bland County, dropped their varsity football program this past year.

The VHSL is convening a meeting of the Eight-Player Football Ad-Hoc Committee December 15 in Charlottesville. The discussion will include such matters as field accommodations for the eight-player game and scheduling possibilities.

The VHSL is also offering girls wrestling under guidelines and policies dependent upon the ability to maintain sufficient participation numbers. The league plans to sanction five events during the 2019-20 wrestling seasons to determine female participation numbers and the ability to sustain a girls only wrestling championship.

All-District football teams for the Mt. Empire and River Ridge districts have not been announced yet. Athletics directors say they are waiting until football teams from each district complete play in the state playoffs. The River Ridge District includes Salem, while Galax still remains in play for the Mt. Empire District.