Prep football practice begins Thursday, Cluesman named softball coach at Union

Kevin Mays • Jul 24, 2018 at 8:16 PM

The high school football season kicks off in Virginia in 29 days when J.I. Burton travels to Big Stone Gap to take on the Union Bears at Bullitt Park in a Thursday night contest. 

One day later, most of Southwest Virginia’s football teams will kick off the regular season.

This is the time of year that the enthusiasm and anticipation of the start of the regular season comes to a fever pitch.

With the preseason conditioning and drills, the 7-on-7 competitions and camps coming to a close, regular-season practice is set to begin on Thursday throughout the Southwest Virginia region.

Games of local interest in the first week include Richlands at Gate City, Eastside at Central, Lee High at Tennessee High, Hurley at Rye Cove, Northwood at Twin Springs and West Greene at Thomas Walker.


One week after Union and Burton kick off the prep football season, the local collegiate season begins with Virginia-Wise hosting Glenville State in Mountain East Conference action.

The kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Carl Smith Stadium on the Virginia-Wise campus.

This year is the final year that Virginia-Wise will be playing in the MEC. In the fall of 2019, the NCAA Division II school will join the South Atlantic Conference.

Emory & Henry is scheduled to begin its football campaign on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Ferrum. 


Former UVa-Wise basketball and Lee High three-sport star McKenzie Cluesman has been named as the new head coach for Union softball.

Cluesman joined Mike Rhodes’ staff in the spring of last season.

Rhodes resigned the softball position recently to accept the head football coach position at Eastside High School. 

This is the first head coaching job on the prep level for Cluesman.


Gate City’s Olivia Dishner is scheduled to sign a letter of intent to play collegiate tennis at Virginia-Wise on Thursday.

The signing ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the high school.

Dishner was the second seed for most of the season this past spring for Gate City.

The Lady Blue Devils won the Region 2D championship and advanced to the VHSL Class 2 state semifinals. 



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