By Marty Gordon
In the wake of one of Christiansburg High School’s best football seasons in eight years this past fall, the Blue Demon senior trio of Casey Graham, Tyrique Taylor, and Drew Lloyd has announced they will continue playing football at Emory and Henry College this fall.
The Blue Demons finished the fall as the top seed in the region with a 9-1 regular season record. The team set a school record with 22 interceptions, outscored opponents 463-157, and set a new single-season school record for passing and receiving. Graham, Taylor, and Lloyd were a big part of that success.
All three were all-county honorees. Graham was the News Messenger/News Journal player of the year and the offensive player of the year. He finished the season completing 106 passes on 169 attempts for 1,850 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also rushed 39 times for 235 yards with seven touchdowns.
Taylor was last fall’s defensive lineman of the year with 30 tackles for the season, five for loss with seven sacks.
Lloyd stood out at linebacker on defense for the Blue Demons while playing wingback on the other side of the ball. He also handled punting duties. He finished the season with 36 solo tackles including four sacks.
“All of us as teammates set a solid foundation at Christiansburg for the younger guys to walk on, and I’m hoping we can do the same at Emory and Henry,” Lloyd said.
“Yes, it will be like nothing has changed at all to play with former teammates. I look forward to getting to work with them again,” Taylor said.
Emory & Henry’s campus is located outside Abingdon, Va. The school has a current enrollment of 999.
Emory & Henry is in the first of three years of provisional membership as it reclassifies from NCAA Division III to NCAA Division II. The Wasps will officially join the South Atlantic Conference on July 1, 2022, and will play a conference schedule during the 2022-23 academic year.
The Wasps finished 6-4 this past season, and the team’s roster includes Radford’s Zane Rupe and Justice Marshall. Chase Blocker of Narrows recently transferred from Virginia Tech.
Lloyd plans to major in exercise science while Taylor plans to major in education, and Graham expects to major in business and sports management.