Carroll County High School Football Update

From The Carroll News


Carroll to renew old New River District rivalry
by Allen Worrell, Sports Editor
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Carroll County head football coach Tom Hale (right) and the Cavaliers will rewew an old New River District rivalry Sept. 11 when the Christiansburg Blue Demons come to Hillsville for a nondistrict tilt.

Carroll County head football coach Tom Hale (right) and the Cavaliers will rewew an old New River District rivalry Sept. 11 when the Christiansburg Blue Demons come to Hillsville for a nondistrict tilt.


Carroll County’s football team will have a new, yet familiar, opponent in 2009.

After opening the season with road trips to Piedmont District schools Bassett and Patrick County, the Cavaliers will open their home schedule Sept. 11 with the Christiansburg Blue Demons. Carroll County and Christiansburg used to go head-to-head on an annual basis as members of the old New River District, but the two have not played since 1995, Carroll’s last year in the New River before joining the Southwest District. Christiansburg is now a member of the River Ridge District.

Carroll County head coach Tom Hale said the Blue Demons will replace William Byrd on the schedule for a number of reasons.

“The series with William Byrd was a really good series for the two schools (the two teams split the series 2-2). We decided to put Christiansburg on there because they are much closer and to renew an old rivalry between two old New River District schools there,” Hale said. “We wanted to get that rivalry going and we think it is a close enough game where we can get fans from both sides to travel from each other’s school.”

And because of the power points required in the loaded Region IV, Division IV, keeping a Group AA school on the schedule to replace William Byrd was a must.

“That was the other thing, we didn’t want to lose a Double-AA school, so we were very fortunate in that regard in terms of finding a school in the same classification, and both being Division IV,” Hale said. “We both run basically the same type of offense and we are similar on defense. We have a lot in common really.”

Carroll will also get another quality opponent in the Blue Demons. Last year, the Cavs upset William Byrd, who went on to finish 7-4 en route to winning the Blue Ridge District. Christiansburg went 5-5 and 1-4 a year ago in the tough River Ridge, but has the bulk of that team returning.

“Coach (Tim) Cromer has done a heck of a job since he’s come there and their program is one of the top in this end of the state. They are going to be one of the top teams in that River Ridge,” Hale said. “Of course you always have Salem and Pulaski, but people are thinking they are going to be the sleeper. They have a lot of kids back. It will be our first home game of the season. We have to go to Bassett and Patrick and then come home and have Christiansburg, so those first three weeks will tell a lot about us.”

While Hale said the series with Christiansburg is originally set up for four games, he said Carroll hopes to keep the Blue Demons on the schedule as long as the two schools want to continue to play.

In a scheduling quirk, Carroll County will travel to Patrick County for the second year in a row in 2009. Hale said that was done because the two-year schedule cycle starts again this year, which would have put Carroll having six home games and four road games in one year, and vice versa the next.

“We had to do that in order for us to get five home games and five away. It came down to where we needed to make a choice of playing Tazewell again at Tazewell or Patrick again at Patrick,” Hale said. “After talking with (Carroll County Athletic Director) Darrin (Matthews), we felt it would be better to play Patrick County again at Patrick then another district game on the road. It also evened it out with three district games at home and three district games away. Since Patrick is a nondistrict game, we felt that would be better.”

Hale said Patrick will travel to Carroll in 2010 to finish the four-game series between the two teams. Like the new Christiansburg series, Hale said Carroll would like to keep Patrick on its schedule for the foreseeable future.

“It’s another team because of their proximity and the two schools have a lot in common, we would certainly like to keep them on our schedule for years to come,” Hale said.

One team that won’t be on Carroll’s schedule beginning in 2011 is Grundy. Hale said the Golden Wave would drop down to Group A in 2011, leaving the Southwest District. At that point, the Cavs will most likely be looking for a fourth nondistrict opponent.

“Unless something changes with the regional state format between now and 2011, it looks like we will be in six-team district trying to find an extra out-of-district game,” Hale said.

Carroll is scheduled to host Rural Retreat for a scrimmage on Aug. 15 before traveling to Galax on Aug. 21 for the annual benefit game between the two teams.

Carroll County 2009 varsity football schedule

Aug. 15 Rural Retreat (scrimmage)

Aug. 21 at Galax, 7 p.m. (Benefit Game)

Regular Season

Aug. 28 at Bassett, 7 p.m.

Sept. 4 at Patrick County, 7 p.m.

Sept. 11 Christiansburg, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 Tazewell, 7:30

Sept. 25 Grayson County, 7:30

Oct. 9 at Abingdon, 7:30

Oct. 16 at Marion, 7:30

Oct. 23 Grundy, 7:30

Oct. 30 Richlands, 7:30

Nov. 6 at Graham, 7:30

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