The high school football season still has two more weeks until completion.
That won’t stop the VHSL high school basketball season from tipping off.
The VHSL season opens Monday with everyone hoping to lift the big trophy in March.
Northside (Class 3), Radford (Class 2) and Roanoke Valley Christian (VACA) won boys state titles last winter along with the girls from Parry McCluer (Class 1) and Faith Christian (VACA).
It could take upwards of 30 games to reach the ultimate goal.
The journey begins Monday.
Twenty percent of Timesland teams have a new coach with three schools — Lord Botetourt, Glenvar and Galax — featuring two new faces.
Veterans Chuck Pound (Lord Botetourt girls) and Pat Burns (George Wythe boys) are no longer coaching.
Assistant Renee Favaro was promoted as the girls coach at Botetourt, where Andrew Hart has taken over as boys coach after being the head man at Pulaski County.
Glenvar hired Todd Mann as boys coach after he took Roanoke Valley Christian to the VACA state title last winter.
The Highlanders’ new girls coach is Jeff Johnson.
Galax lost both its head coaches as Mark Dixon stepped aside to concentrate on his other job as the Maroon Tide’s football coach, and Howard Mayo left for the girls job at Fort Chiswell.
Galax’s new coaches are Chad Lipes (boys) and Glenn Burnett (girls).
Former Liberty boys coach Jeff Monroe has returned to Bedford County as the boys coach at Jefferson Forest.
Other new Timesland coaches include: Boys, Casey Burks (Covington), Tony Dunford (George Wythe), Phil Miron (Hidden Valley), Adam Burchett (Marion), Tyler Cannoy (Pulaski County), Charles Jones (Roanoke Valley Christian) and Mike Greathouse (Smith Mountain Lake Christian); and girls, Christene Cox (Christiansburg), LeBryan Patterson (Franklin County), Kyana Smith (Magna Vista), Bill Adkins (Carlisle) and Ron Gordon (Smith Mountain Lake Christian).
Comings and goings
The proliferation of transfers throughout the VISAA and increasingly in the VHSL increases seemingly exponentially.
There is no shortage this year.
All-Timesland standouts from the 2018-19 season such as Grace Hutson (Christiansburg) and Ty Farrow (George Wythe) have transferred to schools out of state.
Patrick Henry’s Tee Bryan also transferred to a school out of state.
Several players have changed addresses within Timesland.
Foremost is All-Timesland boys guard Jamonte Smith, who began his career at Faith Christian, played last year at Roanoke Catholic and is now at Patrick Henry.
PH also added William Fleming transfer Jalen Crump to its roster.
Taylor Robertson, who helped Lord Botetourt win the VHSL Class 3 volleyball championship after transferring from Cave Spring, also will play basketball for the Cavaliers, where she will join returning Timesland player of the year Miette Veldman in the frontcourt.
Other transfers include:
- Avery Alexander from Roanoke Valley Christian to Glenvar.
- Brooks Hagadorn from Hidden Valley to Roanoke Catholic.
- Luke Hale from Roanoke Valley Christian to Lord Botetourt.
n Dillon Porter from Pulaski County to Roanoke Catholic.
The next wave
Three boys players and one girl who made first-team All-Timesland in 2018-19 earned a Division I scholarship: boys player of the year Quinton Morton-Robertson and Miles Jones of Radford to Radford University, Northside’s Julien Wooden to James Madison, and Galax’s Essence Brown to George Washington.
Northside senior forward Tracey Hueston chose Pittsburgh over a bevy of women’s Division I offers and has been one of Timesland’s highest-recruited players in several years.
Pulaski County guard Maddie Ratcliff signed with Division II Concord (W.Va.).
On the boys side, Cave Spring 6-foot-7 senior forward Parker Huffman has committed to Division III Christopher Newport.
Ongoing construction at Cave Spring High School will prevent the Knights’ boys and girls teams from playing any games on campus this season.
Cave Spring’s boys will play home games at Cave Spring Middle School against Lord Botetourt, Christiansburg and Pulaski County.
The Knights will play home games against Patrick Henry and Salem at Hidden Valley High School.
Three other home games will be played at neutral sites: vs. Blacksburg at the Chance Harman Classic in Floyd, vs. Hidden Valley in the Lea’s High School Winter Classic at Roanoke’s Berglund Center and vs. William Byrd in the Adam Ward Classic at Salem High School.
Single games against Northside and Glenvar will be road games.
Cave Spring’s girls are playing eight home games plus their invitational tournament at Cave Spring Middle School.
The Knights girls will play Christiansburg as part of the Adam Ward tournament in Salem.
In-season tournaments have dotted the calendar for many years; now several of them are going head to head.
The Roy Stanley Memorial Classic at Roanoke College on Jan. 4 is on the same weekend as the Chance Harman Classic in Floyd.
Also, the Lea’s High School Winter Classic at Berglund Center is Jan. 11, the same weekend as the Rock the Ribbon Shootout at Rockbridge County High School, where Northside will take on 2019 Class 2 state runner-up East Rockingham, and where Martinsville will resume its rivalry with Staunton High, formerly known as Robert E. Lee.
The Adam Ward Classic (Jan. 31-Feb. 1) and the FlyCodes Invitational at William Fleming High School (Dec. 20-21) have expanded to two-day events.
Patrick Henry’s girls have added a two-night doubleheader including William Fleming Dec. 27-28.
Timesland schools will compete in a combined 38 in-season tournaments.