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I’ll never forget ‘The King’

He was a very quiet youngster. He didn’t have that much to say, but when he said something he meant it.
“He” was King Harvey. Those closest to him called him “Junie.” He was a good kid, a great football player, and used his abilities on the gridiron to get a scholarship to West Virginia and get a degree.
Many old Cougar fans will argue today that Harvey was the best running back ever at Pulaski County. I take no issue with that. I have never enjoyed watching any Cougar play football any more than I did King.
He was relatively short, but he was strong, and quick as lightning. He was everything that Joel Hicks ever wanted in a tailback. He suffered an injury against Sullivan South, a Tennessee school, early in his senior season or else he would have likely established a single season rushing record that would still stand today.
The biggest play he ever made was in the eighth game of the 1979 season against William Fleming in Victory Stadium with only seconds left on the clock. Pulaski County had the ball on its own 46 yard line. Hicks called for play “54.” Harvey went 54 yards on play “54” and when he crossed the goal line there was exactly 54 seconds remaining in the game. Yes sir, it was 54 for 54. That was the headline in The Southwest Times.
The last time I saw King was about two years ago. He was working in Pittsburgh and was so proud of his son. He talked about how he would like to bring him back to Pulaski County so he could play where his father did.
That probably won’t happen. King passed away over the weekend. I do not know the reason, nor do I care. I’m just very sad that he’s gone.
I don’t know that much about King’s life after he left our community, but that’s okay. I’ll cherish the memories. Old fans will remember the night he was injured and carried off the field in Dobson Stadium and how he held up his finger and signaled “Number 1.”
He vowed to come back. Most people didn’t think it was possible. Most felt King’s career was over, but in game nine there he was in Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield rushing for over 100 yards on what amounted to less than two good feet. He played in what was called an air-cast and it required him to wear a shoe two sizes too big, and he had a terrible limp, but he still took that pigskin to the house. There’s never been a player who played through such pain for the Cougars. The lead headline in The Spirit of Autumn that year was “Can Anybody Stop the King?” No, they couldn’t.
The following week he ran for over 100 yards again against Northside. West Virginia was playing at Virginia Tech the next afternoon. Following the game Mountaineer coaches came into the locker room and looked at King’s ankle, and could not believe that he still performed at such a high level.

One of the Mountaineer coaches immediately went to the phone and called head coach Don Nehlen and said, “I’ve found a great running back and the type of kid we want in our program.” Nehlen told the coach to offer Harvey a full ride and get him to say yes right now. King said yes, and what a proud moment for a very deserving young man.

King Harvey is a big part of the history of Pulaski County football. I weep and pray for his family, but I know with the kind of heart King had, everything will be okay, but for the moment, I’m going to be very sad.

I’ll never forget ‘The King’

He was a very quiet youngster. He didn’t have that much to say, but when he said something he meant it.
“He” was King Harvey. Those closest to him called him “Junie.” He was a good kid, a great football player, and used his abilities on the gridiron to get a scholarship to West Virginia and get a degree.
Many old Cougar fans will argue today that Harvey was the best running back ever at Pulaski County. I take no issue with that. I have never enjoyed watching any Cougar play football any more than I did King.
He was relatively short, but he was strong, and quick as lightning. He was everything that Joel Hicks ever wanted in a tailback. He suffered an injury against Sullivan South, a Tennessee school, early in his senior season or else he would have likely established a single season rushing record that would still stand today.
The biggest play he ever made was in the eighth game of the 1979 season against William Fleming in Victory Stadium with only seconds left on the clock. Pulaski County had the ball on its own 46 yard line. Hicks called for play “54.” Harvey went 54 yards on play “54” and when he crossed the goal line there was exactly 54 seconds remaining in the game. Yes sir, it was 54 for 54. That was the headline in The Southwest Times.
The last time I saw King was about two years ago. He was working in Pittsburgh and was so proud of his son. He talked about how he would like to bring him back to Pulaski County so he could play where his father did.
That probably won’t happen. King passed away over the weekend. I do not know the reason, nor do I care. I’m just very sad that he’s gone.
I don’t know that much about King’s life after he left our community, but that’s okay. I’ll cherish the memories. Old fans will remember the night he was injured and carried off the field in Dobson Stadium and how he held up his finger and signaled “Number 1.”
He vowed to come back. Most people didn’t think it was possible. Most felt King’s career was over, but in game nine there he was in Mitchell Stadium in Bluefield rushing for over 100 yards on what amounted to less than two good feet. He played in what was called an air-cast and it required him to wear a shoe two sizes too big, and he had a terrible limp, but he still took that pigskin to the house. There’s never been a player who played through such pain for the Cougars. The lead headline in The Spirit of Autumn that year was “Can Anybody Stop the King?” No, they couldn’t.
The following week he ran for over 100 yards again against Northside. West Virginia was playing at Virginia Tech the next afternoon. Following the game Mountaineer coaches came into the locker room and looked at King’s ankle, and could not believe that he still performed at such a high level.

One of the Mountaineer coaches immediately went to the phone and called head coach Don Nehlen and said, “I’ve found a great running back and the type of kid we want in our program.” Nehlen told the coach to offer Harvey a full ride and get him to say yes right now. King said yes, and what a proud moment for a very deserving young man.

King Harvey is a big part of the history of Pulaski County football. I weep and pray for his family, but I know with the kind of heart King had, everything will be okay, but for the moment, I’m going to be very sad.