The season for high school sports begins

Floyd County High School varsity football coach Winfred Beale at the State Championship game several years ago.

Watch out for school buses on Floyd County roads beginning Tuesday of this week as classes begin for the 2019-20 school year.

High school sports are underway as the varsity Buffaloes golf team heads for Cliff View Golf Club in Covington for a match with Allegheny High.

Volleyball scrimmages begin Tuesday with George Wythe coming to Floyd to play the Lady Buffs.  JV Golf pits Floyd vs Galax at Great Oaks Country Club Wednesday and Auburn comes to Floyd Thursday for benefit matches against the FCHS volleyball team at the gym.

Football?  The opening scrimmage match begins at Cave Spring with the varsity Buffaloes.

The beginning of high school sports also means I need to make sure my cameras are ready for the action. Canon Professional Services just cleaned and checked out my two main cameras and lenses, and we’re ready to go.

Let’s hope I’m up to the task.  Talked to longtime varsity football coach Winifred Beale last week about the upcoming season.  This season is his 39th as head coach of the Buffaloes, and he has more than four decades of coaching at FCHS under his belt.

Football, basketball and softball remain the sports that draw the largest crowds and fan interest at Floyd County High but interest in volleyball has grown over the years, along with soccer.  The school’s track teams score well in state tournaments.

But football is struggling in some other school systems.  Bland County High School won’t field a varsity or junior varsity football team this year because not enough students came out for the sports.  Increased attention on the high rate of concussions that football players suffer in tackle football causes some parents to keep their boys off the gridiron.

“You never see something like this,” Bland assistant principal and athletic director Tyler Eastep told The Roanoke Times.  “It’s unfortunate.  Absolutely.”

Bland is the third Virginia High School League member to cancel its football season in the last two years.  Manassas Park and Charles City cancelled their football programs in 2018.  Two other schools — Park View Sterling and Bruton — reduced their schedule of games because they had fewer players.

At Floyd County High, JV coaches weren’t sure this year that they would have enough players to field teams for football but enough finally turned out.  Beale said his roster is down some this year.  The team lost 10 seniors last year and has another 10 this year.

 

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