Bluefield College brought its football program out of dormancy after 70 years, and now the school is taking the team to the Town of Pocahontas for an intra-squad scrimmage game, Saturday, September 10 at noon.
When Bluefield College announced plans in the summer of 2010 to revive its football program, it did so at the former Pocahontas High School. A hub for the town’s football fans for decades until the school closed in 2008, the Pocahontas facilities were made available to BC for football training and practice through the generosity of the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority.
The revived Rams quickly began to use the space in preparation for their first competitive season on the gridiron since 1941, and while the official home for BC football games this fall is Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield, the Rams will treat the Pocahontas community to some college football action by using the former PHS field for an intra-squad scrimmage on September 10.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to showcase the new football team to the Pocahontas community on September 10,” said Chris Shoemaker, BC’s director of public relations, “and we hope the town and its residents will be as equally excited to see competitive football back on the old high school field.”
The blue-white intra-squad scrimmage, open and free to the public, will feature every Ram on the 65-player roster, including a host of athletes who excelled on local high school teams. As much as the game on September 10 is about renewing football traditions at BC and Pocahontas, it is about getting the Rams better for the remainder of the 2011 exhibition season and then full official intercollegiate action in 2012.
“So far, we’re progressing quite well,” said Rams’ head coach Mike Gravier, a coach with a history of building new football programs and developing players both on and off the field. “The guys are still learning how to practice the way we want them to, but the light is starting to go for many of them. Our last scrimmage had fewer missed assignments than the previous one. Overall, we’re very pleased as a staff.”
The staff also includes former NFL players Mike Compton and Stacey Hairston as assistant coaches. Other familiar names on the coaching staff include Mike Henry, Robert Henry, Bryce Bozman, Patrick Junor, and Maurice Gravely.
The first 150 fans who enter the gate at Pocahontas will receive a free hot dog, courtesy of Valley Food Services. And, since other plans are in the works by the college and other community partners for the Pocahontas facility, including making the space available for community recreational use and offering health services to local residents through BC’s Rural Healthcare Initiative, Clinch Valley Hospital representatives will be on hand to provide information about a proposed Pocahontas clinic.
For more information about Rams football, visit www.bcrams.com.