Gage Bassham moved from Abingdon to Botetourt County in the spring.
Now he is moving on up into college football.
The 6-foot-5, 295-pound lineman, who left Abingdon to spend his senior season at Lord Botetourt, has committed to Liberty University.
Bassham is one of five Lord Botetourt players with an offer from an FBS school and the second to commit.
Senior linebacker Isaiah Stephens has committed to Coastal Carolina, while senior defensive back Evan Eller is mulling an offer from Army.
Junior running back/linebacker Hunter Rice and junior offensive lineman Colston Powers also have offers, including one each from Virginia.
Botetourt coach Jamie Harless said Bassham chose Liberty over offers from Old Dominion, Marshall and East Tennessee State following the Flames’ 24-0 loss to Syracuse on Saturday.
Harless said Bassham can be an impact player at the FBS level.
“No doubt,” the Botetourt coach said. “He’s a big, athletic kid and he’s strong.”
Lord Botetourt, a 15-9 winner last Friday at Brookville, visits Blacksburg this week.
Harless said Rice, who left the Brookville game with an ankle injury, is “week to week” concerning his chances of returning to the lineup.
Christiansburg fills vacancy in girls basketball program
Christiansburg has hired former Floyd County star athlete Christene Phillips Cox as its new girls basketball coach.
Cox replaces Joe Hutson, who resigned last spring after two seasons on the job.
It will be the first head coaching position for Cox, 23, a 2014 Floyd County graduate who was the Buffaloes’ JV basketball coach in 2019. She also has coached AAU basketball in the area.
Cox starred on state championship teams in basketball and softball at Floyd County in 2013.
Cox works full time in a family business, New River Polymers in Hillsville.
She said the job will not interfere with her coaching duties.
“I can come [to work] early,” she said. “My dad is my boss.”
Cox, who is married to Christiansburg boys basketball assistant Kevin Cox, said her relatively late hire should not prevent her from hitting the ground running. She will coach the Blue Demons in the Spectrum Fall League in Roanoke beginning Sept. 9.
“It was kind of late, but I’ve jumped right in,” she said.
Christiansburg will not have the services of two-time all-Timesland guard Grace Hutson, the daughter of the former coach.
Hutson, who initially started school at Christiansburg last month, has transferred to St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Huntington, West Virginia.
Parry McCluer to induct 5 into athletic hall
Parry McCluer High School will induct five members into its athletic hall of fame during a Sept. 28 banquet at the school.
The inductees are:
- Horace “Plug” Henson (class of 1937), who played football and baseball and was the Skyline League MVP for Buena Vista in 1941. He signed a professional contract with the Cleveland Indians.
- Ted “Footsey” Vest (1953), who compiled a 15-0 pitching record from 1950-53 and sparked the school’s 33-game winning streak before playing for four seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
- Leon “Cute” Coleman (1954), who starred in football and baseball and later served as a teacher, coach and administrator for more than 30 years.
- Tommy Cash (1964), a four-year star in football and baseball who was a starting guard on Ferrum’s national championship team in 1968 and the catcher for Ferrum’s baseball team that reached the 1969 national final.
- Neal Mohler (1981), a four-year football and basketball standout who played on VHSL football championship teams in 1977 and 1979 before playing linebacker for a nationally ranked James Madison football team.
The inductees and their families will be honored before Parry McCluer’s Sept. 27 home football game against Fort Chiswell.
Members of Parry McCluer’s 1979 football championship game also will be honored at the football game and the banquet.
PH boys basketball team adds 2 local transfers
Patrick Henry’s boys basketball program got better in a hurry recently as All-Timesland combo guard Jamonte Smith transferred to the Patriots from Roanoke Catholic.
Smith, a 6-foot junior, averaged 20.0 points per game last year for a Catholic team that won the Virginia Independent Conference Division II tournament.
He began his career with two seasons at Faith Christian.
PH also added Jalen Crump, who transferred over from William Fleming.
Christiansburg’s Stanley to walk on at Radford University
Christiansburg senior outfielder Kyndall Stanley has committed to play softball for Radford in the spring of 2021 as a recruited walk-on.
Stanley hit .485 and stole 20 bases as a junior this year, earning All-Timesland second-team honors.
Radford is coached by Christiansburg graduate Hope Creasy.