By Marty Gordon
When Blacksburg and Christiansburg get together on the football, sparks will fly, and Friday night was no exception as the Blue Demons ended a five-year losing streak to the Bruins with a 21-14 win.
While the “battle of the burgs” is always the attention-getter in the New River Valley year-in and year-out, Blacksburg had dominated the rivalry for the past five years. This year, the game took on a new meaning as it was named one of the Great American Rivalry Series games broadcasted on the Internet across the nation and around the world. The series is sponsored by the U.S. Army.
In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high and followers are committed.
Each year select schools across the country are invited to participate in the Rivalry Series. They are schools that have always had the game as a traditional rivalry going back many years in which thousands of players, coaches and fans have participated. The Blacksburg-Christiansburg series dates to 1914.
By winning the contest, Christiansburg received the Great American Rivalry trophy, and each player received commemorative hats and t-shirts. In addition, because of his performance in the game, Christiansburg senior Maston Stanley was named the Rivalry game’s most valuable player.
The game featured a lot of hoopla off the field as part of the rivalry series. First, members of the Virginia Tech ROTC unit marched the game ball from Blacksburg High School, down the Huckleberry Trail to Christiansburg High School for the kickoff.
Earlier, the ROTC units from both high schools competed in agility events with Blacksburg’s unit coming out ahead.
Also,a student from each school was given a scholarships courtesy of the U.S. Army and the series itself. The winners were: Rally Williams of Christiansburg and Aiden Seeley of Blacksburg.
Williams has a 3.63 GPA and is a 2-year varsity letterman. He is the Senior Class Secretary, Co-leader of the Mentor Program, a member of the National Honor Society, FCA, FBLA and DSA. He’s a member of the Chamber Ensemble and was named Mr. CHS as a representative of the Corps of Cadets. Williams plans to join the Virginia Army National Guard, serve in the military and fulfill a lifelong dream of being a third-generation firefighter.
Seeley has a 3.97 GPA and is a 2-year letterman for the Bruins, leading them to a District Championship, a Regional Championship and a State Championship. He is a member of the National Honor Society and DECA and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. He will pursue a degree in business analytics at either Virginia Tech or Tennessee.