By Marty Gordon
High school two-a-days started Monday with several questions about area schools who have new coaches. Also, the Virginia High School League’s (VHSL) Alignment Committee has issued recommendations for changes in classification for several of area schools.
The changes were based on new enrollment numbers reported this past year and would take effect in the 2023-24 school year.
The biggest change could be the dropping of Pulaski County from Class 4 where it has become a stable force to Class 3 with Christiansburg. The change means Pulaski, Cave Spring, Christiansburg, and Hidden Valley will give the River Ridge District four Class 3 teams while Salem and Blacksburg will remain Class 4. Patrick Henry will move up from Class 5 to Class 6.
Christiansburg’s Region D will now include 13 teams.
The Three Rivers District, which includes Radford, will now have five Class 2 teams as Patrick County joins as a member and is bumped from Class 1.
Also, George Wythe and Grayson County will move up from Class 1 to 2.
The realignment committee also recommended that Liberty Christian Academy and Liberty (Bedford) High School move to Class 2 from Class 3.
Each school will be given an August 8 deadline to submit an appeal on the decisions.
Meanwhile on the field, David Seabaugh has regrouped at Auburn after the school’s last season was squelched after just four games. COVID did not play a role in that shutdown. Instead, it was the large number of injuries and the lack of depth that killed the season.
This year, Auburn looks to start the season with more than 22 players.
In Blacksburg, a new coach, Zach Leonard, will try to rebuild a program that had its share of success over the past 10 years but left it in the locker room in the past two seasons.
Leonard had coached for the past four years at Christiansburg High School after stops in Rural
Retreat, Glenvar, and Patrick Henry. He brings an abundance of football knowledge and experience to the program. He replaces Eddie Sloss who resigned last year after completing Blacksburg’s second winless season. Sloss will now fill an assistant coach’s role at Christiansburg.