HAYSI — Altavista may have to travel many miles to face Haysi in Saturday’s upcoming VHSL 1A state semifinal game. But if the Colonels get their way, they won’t be playing at Sandlick.
According to sources at Haysi, Altavista — the No. 2 seed in 1A East — has filed a protest with the VHSL regarding the muddy conditions of Haysi’s home venue.
The Tigers (13-0) entered the playoffs as the top-seeded team in 1A West with the privilege of a home field advantage through the cross-bracketed semifinals.
Altavista (12-1) cited VHSL rule 68-4-7, which requires each region to determine at least three alternate sites “in the event of inclement weather or poor field conditions.”
According to the rule, an “Independent Inspection Study Team” has been appointed by 1A West to settle the matter. The team, which is supposed to serve as a “neutral decision making authority” will inspect the field at Sandlick and make an official pronouncement.
Haysi officials have not indicated which alternate site in 1A West the Tigers might prefer in the event Altavista’s protest is sustained.
One of the most famous state semifinal venue protests in Southwest Virginia football history occurred in 1992, when Parry McCluer objected to meeting Appalachia at Riggs Stadium.
The Bulldogs defeated the Blues 8-6 at Bullitt Park. The following week Appalachia beat Strasburg 26-20 for the state championship. That game, which was also played in Big Stone Gap, was held on a Sunday due to a winter weather postponement.