Union alum Mitchell sees time on special teams in Hokies’ win

Kevin Mays • Sep 4, 2018 at 10:14 PM

Former Union football star James Mitchell did not see much playing time Monday in Virginia Tech’s win over Florida State. However, Mitchell did get on the field in his first game as a Hokie.

Mitchell was on the front line of the kickoff receiving team for the Hokies.

Just to get on the field in live action in your first game as a true freshman in an NCAA Division I Top 20 program is a big accomplishment.

Look for more playing time for the 6-foot-3 Mitchell, last year’s VHSL Class 2 player of the year, as the season progresses.


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

Lee High at J.I. Burton — Coach Jeremy Pendergraft’s Class 2 Lee High Generals travel to Norton to face coach Jim Adams’ Class 1 J.I. Burton Raiders. Pendergraft’s troops lost big to Tennessee High in the first week of the season before bouncing back to deliver a beating to Lebanon. Now, Burton stands as the next measuring stick for the Generals. Burton has dropped its first two games to two tough opponents, Union and Chilhowie. The Raiders face another tough challenge this week with Lee. A win would be huge boost for Burton.

Wise Central at Ridgeview — Ridgeview is off to a rolling start with back-to-back wins. On Friday night, coach Rick Mullins’ Wolfpack team faces its first Mountain 7 District opponent in Wise Central. The visiting Warriors have had two weeks to prepare for their trip to Ridgeview. The matchup is the first inside the district for Central as well. The Warriors opened up their season two weeks ago with a win over Eastside.

Letcher County Central, Ky. at Union — This is what coaches refer to as a “trap” game. Union goes into the contest with a 2-0 mark after an emotional win at Richlands. Letcher County — with its 0-3 record ­— is a perfect team to lull the Bears into thinking Friday night will be an easy game.


Martin Lucas, Abingdon

The sophomore running back carried the ball 12 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the No. 2 Falcons’ 45-13 win over Gate City.


Here’s a look at the top Southwest Virginia high school football teams in our region, their rankings after Week 2 and how they fared this past week.

1) Union (2-0) — defeated No. 1 Richlands 42-28

2) Abingdon (2-0) — defeated Gate City 45-13

3) Ridgeview (2-0) — defeated Shelby Valley, Ky. 49-0

4) Chilhowie (2-0) — defeated J.I. Burton 49-14

5) Richlands (1-1) — lost to No. 5 Union 42-28

6) Patrick Henry (2-0) — defeated Rye Cove 48-13


Justin Banks, a senior defensive back for Emory & Henry, was selected to the D3football.com team of the week following the Wasps’ 45-29, season- opening victory over Ferrum last weekend.

Banks, an Eastside graduate from Coeburn, is the first E&H player since Week 2 of 2014 to receive the honor.

Banks totaled nine tackles, including seven solo tackles and one for a loss, in the Wasps’ win.

E&H is off Saturday and is back in action on Sept. 15 at home against Methodist in a 1 p.m. contest.


Virginia-Wise looks for its first win of the young season on the road Saturday at winless West Virginia State.

Both teams opened their seasons last week. The Cavaliers fell to Glenville State 17-7, while West Virginia State dropped a 35-31 decision to Charleston.

Kickoff is set for noon.

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