SW Va. Notes: Gate City hoops star Ervin chooses Wofford

Kevin Mays • Aug 28, 2018 at 7:47 PM

In the midst of high school football season in Southwest Virginia, one of the area’s top prep basketball players quietly made a major decision about his future.

After receiving over 20 offers from NCAA Division I schools, Gate City senior Zac Ervin announced his decision over the weekend.

“I’m excited to announce that I will be furthering my basketball career and education at Wofford,” Ervin said in a social media post.

Ervin, who was also recruited by East Tennessee State and dozens of other schools, was part of the Blue Devils’ VHSL Class 2 championship team in March, along with Gate City graduate and Georgetown freshman Mac McClung.

While McClung grabbed most of the headlines, Ervin drew the eye of several college recruiters during a season in which he averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game.

He has 1,675 career points at Gate City and will be the main attention-grabber this season for the Blue Devils.


Football got its start on high school football fields throughout Southwest Virginia last weekend and will continue Friday night.

Here’s a look at the top teams and their ranking after week 1 and how they fared.

1) Richlands (1-0) — defeated Gate City 42-7

2) Abingdon (1-0) — defeated John Battle 34-8

3) Ridgeview (1-0) — defeated Grundy 47-12

4) Chilhowie (1-0) — defeated Marion 33-6

5) Union (1-0) — defeated J.I. Burton 35-20

6) Patrick Henry (1-0) — defeated Castlewood 37-8


Every Friday night brings a list of key football games for different reasons. Some of the contests to keep an eye on this week are:

Union at Richlands

Richlands never missed a beat in dismantling Gate City last week, while Union had some holes exposed by J.I. Burton. Can Union improve those gaps before traveling to face a strong Region 2D rival?

Lebanon at Lee High

Both teams are reeling from disappointing losses in their opening-week games. While it’s way to early to talk about playoffs, it will be games like this that could be key in determining power points and whether one, both or neither makes the postseason.

Chilhowie at J.I. Burton

A rematch of last season’s Region 1D championship game, which Chilhowie won. The Warriors have almost everyone back from last season’s state runner-up team. Burton had a better-than-average showing last week in a loss to Union. Friday could be a measuring stick for both squads.


Avery Jenkins, Union

The Bears’ senior running back is our inaugural Southwest Virginia 5-star player of the week.

Jenkins rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in Union’s season-opening 35-20 win over J.I. Burton last Thursday.


In the college football ranks, Virginia-Wise opens its season at Carl Smith Stadium on Thursday at 7 p.m. against Mountain East Conference foe Glenville State.

The game is a “white-out” with the Cavaliers asking all fans to wear white to support the home team.

Virginia-Wise defeated Glenville State last year to open the season. This year, the Cavs face an improved Glenville offense that includes senior Florida State transfer Mario Pender at running back.

The Cavs counter with a backfield that includes Victor Mitchell and converted linebacker Jamorya Cousin. Either Brycen Lee or Jarome Johnson will start at quarterback.


Emory & Henry opens its season Saturday on the road at Ferrum in a 1 p.m. Old Dominion Athletic Conference game.

The Wasps are led on offense by quarterback Hunter Taylor and wide receivers Derrick Yates of Abingdon and Jesse Santiago.

The defense is relying on defensive leaders Josh Fleenor, a preseason All-America lineman, and senior safety Justin Banks of Coeburn.

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