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Blevins Tabbed for PM Hoops Post

  • Written by Jeremy S. Franklin

 

Thurs., Aug. 21 -- To most observers, following Nelson Fox on the Parry McCluer boys’ basketball bench would seem like the most unenviable of tasks.

But while Josh Blevins understands the risks involved in succeeding a legend, he’s also excited at the opportunity to grab the reins of the Fighting Blues’ program.

Blevins, 27, who was confirmed by the Buena Vista City School Board July 24, steps into his first varsity head coaching position this season. He will also teach physical education and driver’s education at the high school.

Blevins takes over for Fox, who retired after last season – his 35th at the helm of the Blues’ cagers. Fox amassed an astounding 554 wins, taking his team to the 1994 Group A championship game. He also coached the PM golf team, recording 461 victories over 38 seasons and guiding the Blues to the 1981 state title.

Fox’s final PM basketball team finished 16-8, winning the Pioneer District regular-season title and advancing to the Region 1A East quarterfinals.

Blevins acknowledges the pressure of filling those gigantic shoes. But he also sees an enormous upside: namely, the excitement of boys in Buena Vista who hope to one day lace up for the Blues – all because of the tradition that Fox’s teams established.

“It’s intimidating, in a way, because the expectations are high here, and I understand that,” Blevins said. “I also understand that I’m at least coming into a program where the young kids are looking up to it, and have looked up to it – unlike a program where it’s not been so satisfactory and the young kids don’t even care. I’m excited about that part of it.”

Serving as a head coach at the varsity level will be a new endeavor for Blevins, who played at Giles High School and graduated from Radford University. Prior to accepting the PM post, he spent two stints as the junior varsity coach at Rural Retreat, including the past two seasons on the Indians’ bench.

In between, Blevins served as a varsity assistant and JV head coach at New Kent High School from 2010-2012. There, he worked under Virginia High School League Hall of Famer Ed Allen, whom Blevins describes as “my mentor” and “a father figure.”

Though Fox has retired, Blevins is hoping that his two longtime assistants, Jerry Tutt and Rad Patterson, will remain with the PM program.

“They’ll be there as long as those two guys want to be there,” Blevins said. “There’s too much wealth of knowledge in those guys. I’d be crazy to ever think about getting rid of somebody like that.”

As to what fans might see from the Blues on the court this season, the new coach describes himself as “a defensive-minded guy” and stresses the importance of organization and discipline.

But regardless of what schemes the Blues may run in 2014-15 and beyond, Blevins hopes that his new charges can maintain the high level of basketball that’s become standard for the PM program.

It’s a “big opportunity for me,” he said. “I’m just trying to continue on with what [Coach Fox] has started. I’m going to continue, hopefully, the success that he has had.”

 

Football teams raising money for ALS Foundation, Ice Bucket Challenge

  • Written by Jonathan Schwab

 

Thurs., Aug. 21 – Local high school football fans may have a chance to witness something unique for the season opener on Friday of next week.

With the growing popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for the ALS Foundation, a national organization dedicated to raising awareness of Lou Gehrig’s disease, the students from Rockbridge County High School and Parry McCluer High School will be collecting donations during the first quarter of the game at RCHS. If the students raise $1,000, RCHS principal Haywood Hand and PM principal Anna Graham will stand in front of the fans at halftime and take on the challenge by dumping buckets of ice on themselves.

Donations collected from the challenge will go to locals Tony Conway and Tammy Hamilton, who are both survivors of ALS, and to the ALS Foundation in honor of John Goodbar and in memory of David Burnette and Margaret Page.

RCHS teacher Donna Wallace, who is helping to coordinate this effort, said, “We may be fierce competitors on the field, but on the same team on this one.”

Game time is set for 7 p.m.

 

 

Football Teams Preselling Tickets, Providing Shuttle for RCHS-PM Game

  • Written by Jonathan Schwab

Mon., Aug. 18 – Rockbridge County High School will be preselling football tickets for its home football game against cross-county rival Parry McCluer High School on Friday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m., the season opener for both teams. Ticket sales will start next Monday, Aug. 25, at both RCHS and PM during normal school hours. Each ticket is $6 per person, with free tickets for ages 5 and under.

To help with transportation, RCHS will be providing a free bus shuttle from Tractor Supply to the high school from 5 to 7 p.m. and following the conclusion of the game.

Sherman’s Last-Minute TD Leads Wildcats to 7-7 Tie in Scrimmage

  • Written by Jonathan Schwab

Fri., Aug. 15 –A touchdown run in the final minute by Dylan Sherman and an extra point kick by Michael Bopp earned the Rockbridge County High School football team a 7-7 tie in its scrimmage against Jefferson Forest on Friday night in Lexington.

After quarterback Dalton Camden made several successful passes to get the Wildcats toward the end zone, Sherman dove in from several yards out.

Jefferson Forest scored on a long touchdown run about six minutes into the scrimmage. The teams practiced against each other before keeping score, with a 24-minute running clock.

The Wildcats will officially kick off the season when they play host to cross-county rival Parry McCluer on Friday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.

River Runners Preparing For New Season

  • Written by submitted

 
The River Runners will begin their 11th season on Monday, Sept. 8, and will continue through the fall. Practices will be held on Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. at Jordans Point Park.

The fall season will include time trials on the 1-kilometer and mini-courses and races of 4K and 5K distances in the area. Elementary school students will compete at the Run for Fun championship meet in Verona in October.

The River Runners are open to area elementary and middle school students. Signups can be done at any practice.

For more information, contact David Howison at 463-2116, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .