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SW Virginia teams take aim at state titles

Staff Report • Jun 3, 2013 at 9:29 PM

While most schools in Virginia have already had their last day of classroom instruction, the action on the fields and courts is still in full swing with state champions to be crowned in baseball, softball, soccer and tennis this week.

The VHSL Group A baseball quarterfinals are today with Gate City (7-19) looking to continue its improbable playoff run against Glenvar (13-9) in Division 2. The Blue Devils play the Highlanders at Kiwanis Field in Salem at 7 p.m.

The teams last met in the 2010 state quarterfinals — before division play — with Gate City winning 7-2.

Honaker (21-3), the 2011 state champion, hosts Grayson County (18-6) at 6 p.m. in another Division 2 quarterfinal.

In Division 1, J.I. Burton faces Auburn (16-6) at Calfee Park in Pulaski at 5 p.m., and Clintwood (19-4) hosts Covington (14-10) at 6 p.m. at John Flanagan Dam in Haysi.

The semifinals are Friday with Division 2 playing in Radford and Division 1 heading to Salem.

In Division 1 softball quarterfinals, Eastside (21-3) hosts Northwood (15-7) today at 5 p.m. The Lady Spartans won the state title in Division 2 in 2012 before dropping down this season.

On the other side of the Division 1 bracket, Honaker (18-3) travels to Holston (16-6) for a 6 p.m. game after losing to the Lady Spartans in Thursday’s Region D championship. Eastside and Honaker would have to each win twice before they could meet again in Saturday’s title game.

In Division 2 softball, Gate City (11-13) goes to Region C champion Floyd County (20-3) at 5 p.m. and John Battle (19-6) hosts James River at 6 p.m.

The softball semifinals shift to Radford (D2) and Salem (D1) on Friday.

On the soccer pitch, the Gate City boys and girls squads are vying for their first state titles when the quarterfinals get under way today at Sugar Hollow Park in Bristol.

The Lady Blue Devils (17-0-1) play James River (13-5-0) at 5:30 p.m. with the boys to follow. The Blue Devils (18-0-0) play host to Galax (20-1-0).

In other quarterfinal matchups, the Radford boys and girls host Lebanon and John Battle, respectively.

The Group A tennis tournament gets under way Thursday in Radford, with Gate City’s John Ferguson and Rosa Smith competing in individual singles. Smith, looking to win a title after losing last year in both the singles and doubles championship matches, also teams up with younger sister Emily in Friday’s doubles. The Blue Devils team of Ferguson and Luke Funkhouser plays in boys doubles.

Gate City’s boys and girls both play George Mason in the team semifinals Friday. The Lady Blue Devils won the state title last year.

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