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Cougars vs. Bobcats in ’09

It’s only June, but already talk about the upcoming 2008 football season has begun. Friday Pulaski County did well in its first “7 on 7’’ competition of the summer. A final “7 on 7” will take place July 20, also at Soldier’s Field at Dublin Middle School.
A lot of things have not changed as far as the Pulaski County football program is concerned, but there have been some changes since last season.
The biggest change is the addition to the coaching staff of longtime Blacksburg coach Vaughn Phipps. He was on the BHS coaching staff for 32 years, and he was also a standout player in his high school career at Blacksburg, known as the Indians back then.
So why the change? “I’ve always wondered how it would be to coach at a football school. I promised myself before my career was over, I would coach at a football school.’’
I talked with Phipps at the top of the stadium late Thursday evening. The excitement in his voice was obvious.
“I’m having fun. I’m doing so many things that are new, or doing the same things a different way. It’s more exciting and I feel renewed. Anybody that knows me, knows there will always be a special place in my heart for Blacksburg, but I needed this change. I’m standing here right now wondering what it’s going to be like walking down those steps and hearing the fans cheer that first game against Northside. I bet I get goose bumps and I hope I do. That’s why I’m at Pulaski County,’’ said Phipps.
There is another addition to the coaching staff and that comes in the kicking game where “R’’ Raymond Ratcliffe will be in charge. Ratcliffe is a graduate of PCHS and Virginia Tech.

NEW QB TRANSFERS TO COUGARLAND
There is also a major change on the football team personnel wise too. Luke Watson, a student in the Governor’s School, has transferred from Auburn and is now officially a Cougar. Watson has been not only an outstanding student, but also an outstanding athlete for Auburn.
Watson, who will be a junior this season, was the starting quarterback at Auburn last season and was all-district in baseball in the Three Rivers District the past two years. Those are the two sports he will play at Pulaski County.
Watson has noticed two things primarily since coming to Pulaski County. “First, the intensity level is higher than I have experienced, and second, Pulaski County wants to win, and that means you work hard. That’s fine with me. That’s why I came here,’’ said Watson.

BOBCATS VS. COUGARS IN 2009
There is also some big news in the area of scheduling as well for the Cougar football program. Three present opponents will no longer play after this season; Franklin County, Jefferson-Forest, and Lord Botetourt.
They will be replaced in the 2009 season by Abingdon, William Fleming, and Radford. Yes, Radford! The two schools have agreed to renew an old rivalry that stopped in 1979, so next season the Cougars and Bobcats will battle on the gridiron for the first time in 30 years.
I believe you are going to see this type scheduling in the future more frequently. I also believe the VHSL should feel responsible to create some sort of system where schools can play opponents in a larger or smaller division and not have their seasons overly damaged with a defeat. With the price of diesel for these school buses, nobody is going to want to make long trips when neighboring schools are just a few miles and minutes away.
I applaud those responsible at both Radford and Pulaski County high schools for renewing the football series. The two schools have been playing in almost all of the other sports, so why not football?
School systems spend a lot of time complaining about not having enough money, and how hard it is to fund all the required activities. This is the way you do it. Pulaski County and Radford’s football teams will each have one eight-mile trip the next two years, and instead of spending a lot of money, they will make a lot of money because a lot of people will want to see this rivalry renewed, particularly a lot of the old timers.
I also think it’s time that efforts are made to begin football series with Carroll County and Giles, and maybe even George Wythe, but that’s a topic for another time, and will require a more receptive attitude.
But in the future, if schools don’t play games close to home, they may not play as many games, and that would be a shame.

7 ON 7 RECAP
Pulaski County had a good day in its first “7 on 7” action of the summer. The Cougars scored 10 touchdowns, and allowed just two.
The defense had a good day too as Taylor Akers, Jolly Martin, Antwyn Calfee, Seth Parris, and Trey Smith had interceptions on the day, five in all.
Against Carroll County quarterback Luke Watson ran for a seven-yard touchdown, Parris got his pick and returned it for a touchdown, and halfback Nubian Peak scored from 25 and seven yards out.
Against Patrick County Peak scored on a three-yard run, and Watson passed to Smith for another touchdown from 12 yards out.
Against Radford Watson passed to Peak for six from 12, and Peak ran for another score of 14 yards. Radford was the only team that managed to score on the Cougars and that came mainly due to a fine performance by quarterback Dontae Carter as his receivers helped him out with two or three outstanding catches.
The biggest strike of the day came when Watson fired deep to wideout Zane Quesenberry and found paydirt from 48 yards out against Galax. Tahrick Peak got the final score when Watson nailed him from 22 yards out.
Pulaski County head coach Jack Turner was pleased with his charges. “It was our first action and some of these other schools had already been to camps, so I’m very pleased. I’m as pleased with our defense as much as anything because we prepared for today defensively about 15 to 20 minutes Thursday. I did not expect us to play as well defensively as the kids did. Offensively, obviously we can throw the ball. Watson was good for his first time out, and we made some good catches, but unfortunately we dropped some easy balls too. We need to get better in that area, but we got a lot of players involved, had some success, learned a few things, and had a good day,’’ said Turner.
In all, six different players crossed the goal line for Pulaski County on the day, and eight different players caught passes.

Cougars vs. Bobcats in ’09

It’s only June, but already talk about the upcoming 2008 football season has begun. Friday Pulaski County did well in its first “7 on 7’’ competition of the summer. A final “7 on 7” will take place July 20, also at Soldier’s Field at Dublin Middle School.
A lot of things have not changed as far as the Pulaski County football program is concerned, but there have been some changes since last season.
The biggest change is the addition to the coaching staff of longtime Blacksburg coach Vaughn Phipps. He was on the BHS coaching staff for 32 years, and he was also a standout player in his high school career at Blacksburg, known as the Indians back then.
So why the change? “I’ve always wondered how it would be to coach at a football school. I promised myself before my career was over, I would coach at a football school.’’
I talked with Phipps at the top of the stadium late Thursday evening. The excitement in his voice was obvious.
“I’m having fun. I’m doing so many things that are new, or doing the same things a different way. It’s more exciting and I feel renewed. Anybody that knows me, knows there will always be a special place in my heart for Blacksburg, but I needed this change. I’m standing here right now wondering what it’s going to be like walking down those steps and hearing the fans cheer that first game against Northside. I bet I get goose bumps and I hope I do. That’s why I’m at Pulaski County,’’ said Phipps.
There is another addition to the coaching staff and that comes in the kicking game where “R’’ Raymond Ratcliffe will be in charge. Ratcliffe is a graduate of PCHS and Virginia Tech.

NEW QB TRANSFERS TO COUGARLAND
There is also a major change on the football team personnel wise too. Luke Watson, a student in the Governor’s School, has transferred from Auburn and is now officially a Cougar. Watson has been not only an outstanding student, but also an outstanding athlete for Auburn.
Watson, who will be a junior this season, was the starting quarterback at Auburn last season and was all-district in baseball in the Three Rivers District the past two years. Those are the two sports he will play at Pulaski County.
Watson has noticed two things primarily since coming to Pulaski County. “First, the intensity level is higher than I have experienced, and second, Pulaski County wants to win, and that means you work hard. That’s fine with me. That’s why I came here,’’ said Watson.

BOBCATS VS. COUGARS IN 2009
There is also some big news in the area of scheduling as well for the Cougar football program. Three present opponents will no longer play after this season; Franklin County, Jefferson-Forest, and Lord Botetourt.
They will be replaced in the 2009 season by Abingdon, William Fleming, and Radford. Yes, Radford! The two schools have agreed to renew an old rivalry that stopped in 1979, so next season the Cougars and Bobcats will battle on the gridiron for the first time in 30 years.
I believe you are going to see this type scheduling in the future more frequently. I also believe the VHSL should feel responsible to create some sort of system where schools can play opponents in a larger or smaller division and not have their seasons overly damaged with a defeat. With the price of diesel for these school buses, nobody is going to want to make long trips when neighboring schools are just a few miles and minutes away.
I applaud those responsible at both Radford and Pulaski County high schools for renewing the football series. The two schools have been playing in almost all of the other sports, so why not football?
School systems spend a lot of time complaining about not having enough money, and how hard it is to fund all the required activities. This is the way you do it. Pulaski County and Radford’s football teams will each have one eight-mile trip the next two years, and instead of spending a lot of money, they will make a lot of money because a lot of people will want to see this rivalry renewed, particularly a lot of the old timers.
I also think it’s time that efforts are made to begin football series with Carroll County and Giles, and maybe even George Wythe, but that’s a topic for another time, and will require a more receptive attitude.
But in the future, if schools don’t play games close to home, they may not play as many games, and that would be a shame.

7 ON 7 RECAP
Pulaski County had a good day in its first “7 on 7” action of the summer. The Cougars scored 10 touchdowns, and allowed just two.
The defense had a good day too as Taylor Akers, Jolly Martin, Antwyn Calfee, Seth Parris, and Trey Smith had interceptions on the day, five in all.
Against Carroll County quarterback Luke Watson ran for a seven-yard touchdown, Parris got his pick and returned it for a touchdown, and halfback Nubian Peak scored from 25 and seven yards out.
Against Patrick County Peak scored on a three-yard run, and Watson passed to Smith for another touchdown from 12 yards out.
Against Radford Watson passed to Peak for six from 12, and Peak ran for another score of 14 yards. Radford was the only team that managed to score on the Cougars and that came mainly due to a fine performance by quarterback Dontae Carter as his receivers helped him out with two or three outstanding catches.
The biggest strike of the day came when Watson fired deep to wideout Zane Quesenberry and found paydirt from 48 yards out against Galax. Tahrick Peak got the final score when Watson nailed him from 22 yards out.
Pulaski County head coach Jack Turner was pleased with his charges. “It was our first action and some of these other schools had already been to camps, so I’m very pleased. I’m as pleased with our defense as much as anything because we prepared for today defensively about 15 to 20 minutes Thursday. I did not expect us to play as well defensively as the kids did. Offensively, obviously we can throw the ball. Watson was good for his first time out, and we made some good catches, but unfortunately we dropped some easy balls too. We need to get better in that area, but we got a lot of players involved, had some success, learned a few things, and had a good day,’’ said Turner.
In all, six different players crossed the goal line for Pulaski County on the day, and eight different players caught passes.