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Grizzlies blank winless Trail for seventh straight victory

The Nicholas County High School Grizzly football team rolled to its seventh straight victory with a 27-0 shutout over the winless Midland Trail Patriots on Friday evening, Oct. 24, at Hico.

NCHS defensive tackle Sebastian McClease returns a fumble for a touchdown in the first quarter of the contest.

The 7-1 Grizzlies, who were projected to drop from No. 6 to No. 9 this week in the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission Class AA ratings, will shoot for their eighth straight victory when they host the PikeView Panthers (2-7) in the final home game of the regular season on Friday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. at Nicholas County Memorial Stadium.

The Grizzlies, who have shut out three opponents this year, will host a post-season playoff game if they finish the season in the top 8 of the Class AA ratings at the end of the regular season.

Just as it has done all season, the Grizzly defense came up big last Friday and matched the offense by scoring two touchdowns of their own in the win over the Patriots.

One of the defensive touchdowns came right off the bat when Midland Trail fumbled on the third play of the game. The football was kicked around a couple of times before Grizzly 5-11, 282-pound junior defensive tackle Sebastian McClease picked it up and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. Tate Mayes kicked the extra point to make it 7-0 at the 11:05 mark.
The Patriots punted to the Grizzlies 17 yard line on their next possession. The Grizzlies methodically drove the ball down the field and several plays later crossed the end zone on an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tate Mayes to Carter Sweeney. Tate Mayes added the PAT to extend the lead to 14-0 at the 3:25 mark.

Key plays on the scoring drive were a 22-yard gain by Wil Mayes and a 16-yard rush by Tate Mayes.

Following an exchange of punts midway through the second quarter, the Grizzlies marched the ball down the field for another six-pointer. A couple of penalties helped keep the drive alive and it culminated with a one-yard run by Wil Mayes. Tate Mayes’ kick split the uprights to extend the lead to 21-0 with 57 seconds remaining in the first half.




Valley’s speed too much for Lumberjacks

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

Try as they might, the Richwood Lumberjacks could not match Valley Fayette’s speed last Friday night, Oct. 24, at WVU Tech’s Martin Field in Montgomery.

Richwood’s Logan Brown looks for running room as the Lumberjack linemen try and clear a path.

The Greyhounds averaged nearly 7 yards per offensive play — 9.8 yards per play in the first half — as they rolled to a 44-0 victory to snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 5-3 on the season.

In addition to the offensive totals, which included 299 net rushing yards and 69 through the air, Henry Barron-Houchins returned a punt 66 yards for a Valley touchdown.

“They’re fast,” RHS coach Jason Rogers said of the Greyhounds. “They’ve got a lot of speed. You can’t simulate it (in practice); you can’t coach it.

“They run the ball well. Benny (Valley coach Benny Hopkins) knows how to use his speed.”

Barron-Houchins also carried the ball 10 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns in about two quarters of action. The junior running back, coming off an ankle injury sustained in a loss to Tug Valley on Oct. 10, sat out the final minutes of the first half and then was pulled after the Greyhounds’ first possession of the second half.

Fullback Seth Harmon rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while backup Alex Williams had 9 carries for 59 yards.

Quarterback Damaria Davis completed his only two pass attempts, both to Tracy Conliffe, for 69 yards and a touchdown.

Richwood (2-6) had scoring opportunities.

Logan Brown recovered a Williams fumble at the Valley 39-yard line in the second quarter, but the Jacks were stopped on downs at the 22.

In the third quarter, Richwood, behind the running of Johnny Clevenger, drove to the VHS 5-yard line. But on second-and-goal, Clevenger, fighting for yardage as he neared the goal line, fumbled the ball into the end zone where it was recovered by Valley’s Patrick McKnight for a touchback.

Four plays later, Richwood’s Chase Reel recovered a McKnight fumble at the Greyhound 45, but the Lumberjacks couldn’t mount a drive and were forced to punt.




Lady Grizzly Soccer Team wins Sectional title

The Nicholas County High School Lady Grizzly soccer team won the Class AA-A Region 3 Section 1 title last week by blanking Pocahontas County 6-0 in the championship game on Thursday evening, Oct. 23, at Nicholas County Memorial Stadium.

The victory improved the Lady Grizzlies to 11-4 on the season and they advanced to the Class AA-A Region IV title game played on Tuesday evening, Oct. 28, against defending regional champion PikeView at the East River Soccer Complex in Bluefield with the winner of the contest earning a berth in the State High School Soccer Tournament in Beckley next weekend.

It is the second straight sectional championship for the Lady Grizzlies.

Head Coach Jennifer Gatewood’s team advanced to the sectional title game with a 5-0 semifinal round victory over the Midland Trail Lady Patriots on Monday evening, Oct. 20.

Senior Mykenzie Martin had two goals and an assist in the victory.

Dominique Villasenor, Alisha Hudkins and Serena Mullins each added a goal for the winners.

Lady Grizzly goalkeeper Allison Givens had three saves in the contest and Jessica Fox had 16 saves for Midland Trail.

In the other girls semifinal contest played on Tuesday evening, Oct. 21, Pocahontas County topped James Monroe 2-0.

In the championship game, Nicholas County played well both offensively and defensively, Besides netting six goals, the Lady Grizzlies limited Pocahontas County to one shot on goal.

Martin again had two goals for NCHS in the winning effort.

Arianna Crawford, Hudkins, Mullins and Villasenor each had a goal in the shutout victory.

Goalkeeper Elena Strader had the save for the Lady Grizzlies on the Lady Warriors lone shot at the net.




NCHS girls’ and boys’ teams qualify

for State Cross Country Meet

Both the Nicholas County High School Grizzly boys’ and girls’ cross country teams have advanced to the State High School Cross Country Meet this weekend.

The girls’ team placed second and the boys’ team third in the Class AA-A Region IV Cross Country Meet held Thursday afternoon, Oct. 23, at Camp Virgil Tate near Sissonville.

The state meet will be held on Saturday, Nov. 1, at Cabell Midland High School in Ona.

Girls’ results
Nicholas County scored 49 points in their runner-up finish behind regional champion Charleston Catholic which scored 30 points.

With five complete teams in the meet, third place Wirt County with 69 points also qualified for the state competition.

Other teams were Scott with 90 points and Tolsia with 121.

Teams with not enough runners to compile a team score were Ravenswood, Sissonville, Buffalo, Huntington St. Joseph’s, Gilmer County, Roane County, Wayne County, Herbert Hoover and Calhoun County.

NCHS placed three runners in the top 12 to pace their runner-up finish. Junior Aidan Payton was fourth in the field of 45 runners with a time of 21:18. She was also named Performer of the Meet.

Sophomore Madison Kelbaugh was 6th over the 3.1 mile course with a time of 22:06 and freshman Lucianna Martin was 12th in 23:22.

Also running for NCHS were freshman Molly Prutsok 20th in 25:03 and sophomore Kaitlyn Barker 26th in 26:09.




RHS girls’ team, Bard qualify

for State Cross Country Meet

By Pat Hanna
The Nicholas Chronicle

The Richwood High School girls’ team qualified last week for the State Cross Country Meet, and senior John Bard is headed back to the state meet for the second straight year.

The state meet is set for Saturday, Nov. 1, at Cabell Midland High School in Ona.

The girls’ team qualified by finishing second in the Class AA/A Region III Meet held on Oct. 23 at PikeView High School.

PikeView was the girls’ team regional winner with 21 points. Richwood was second with 44 points and Westside was third with 66. The top two teams advanced.

Freshman Amelia Bard led the Lady Jacks, finishing third in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 24:26. Sophomore Madison Frame was seventh (25:10), senior Amelia Sark was eighth (25:14), senior Shanley Amick was 17th (28:00) and senior Evelyn DaSilva was 25th (32.43).

Frame and Amick competed in last year’s state meet.

John Bard qualified for the state meet as an individual by finishing seventh in the boys’ regional race with a time of 19:22.

The top three boys’ teams in the regional meet qualified for the state meet.