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Math can be a funny thing

By DAVID GRAVELY

david@southwesttimes.com

 

The points are out and they don’t look good. Pulaski County remains in ninth place, just outside of the top eight that will make the playoffs.

 

GW Danville holds on to the top spot by a fingernail. Their 7-1 record has earned them a 29.50 VHSL rating this week. Salem now sits in second place at 8-1. Their rating is now at 29.22. With a win over Patrick Henry this week, the Spartans could easily move into first.

 

Western Albermarle is in third at 8-1 and with a 28.33 rating. Unfortunately for them, EC Glass has the same record and rating, leaving the two teams tied.

 

Louisa County fell to 7-2 last week, falling 23-7 to Albermarle. That dropped their rating to 26.22 and puts them in fifth place. Orange County is now 6-3 and sit in sixth place with their 24.22 rating. Halifax County also lost last week, dropping them to 6-2. That record and their 24.00 rating have them in seventh place.

 

Then we find Amherst County. The Lancers have a 4-4 record and a rating of 21.50. If the season ended today, they would have the eighth and final spot in the Class 4, Region D playoffs. The Lancers will play a road game against Heritage to finish out the regular season. That will see them playing just nine games.

 

Pulaski County, now at 4-5, have a rating of 21.00. They’ll finish out the regular season against Christianburg. The Blue Demons have been on fire this season, holding a current record of 8-1. The Cougars will finish the season with 10 full games.

 

Last week after the loss to Patrick Henry, it seemed almost certain that Pulaski County would wrap up their season this week. Now, that isn’t exactly written in stone.

 

Christiansburg has eight wins. They are against Floyd County (4-4) who will most likely win against Alleghany this week, Abingdon (8-1) with a game remaining against 4-5 Lee High School, Central Wise (6-3) who has a game left against Grundy, Radford (6-3) with a game remaining against James River, Blacksburg (0-8) who will face Cave Spring this week, Hidden Valley (7-3) who lost to Patrick Henry, Christiansburg and Salem, Patrick Henry (7-2) who will play Salem this week, and Cave Spring (2-7) who is playing Blacksburg. The Blue Demons lone loss came at the hands of Salem.

 

Amherst County, who is playing 7-2 Heritage this week, has beaten Liberty-Bedford (3-6) who will play Jefferson Forest this week, Jefferson Forest (0-8) and playing Liberty-Bedford this week, Granby (0-8) who plays 7-2 Churchland this week, and Rustburg (4-5) who is playing a tough Brookville team this week. Their losses came from GW Danville (7-1), EC Glass (8-1), Brookville (5-3), and Liberty Christian (8-0).

 

So what does all that mean?

 

Math is a funny thing. It doesn’t care who you are or where you are from. All that matters are the facts. For math, one plus one equals two. Virginia High School League math, however, is a bit more complicated. Teams get points for wins, but they also get points for losses, just not as many. They get points when the teams they beat win. They get points for playing up in classifications, but only if they win.

 

COVID-19 has caused a few issues as well. Some teams have won games by forfeit. Some teams, due to COVID-19 pauses, are being allowed to call a game a “no contest.” Teams are awarded points differently based on how those games are listed, forfeit or no contest.

 

The teams that Amherst County beat have a record of 7-27. The teams that Amherst County lost to have a record of 28-5. Overall, their opponents are 35-32.

 

The teams that Christiansburg beat have a record of 45-26. Salem, their only loss, is 8-1. That’s an overall record for their opponents of 53-27.

 

If Pulaski County can find a way to beat Christiansburg and Amherst County falls to a very strong Heritage squad this week, along with a few other key wins that fall in favor of the Cougars, Pulaski County could find their way into an 11th game.

 

Pulaski County hasn’t reached the goals they set at the beginning of the season. With that said, however, they also haven’t given up. They’ve fought tooth and nail for every yard. It wasn’t always pretty or even fun to watch, but when you add up all the disadvantages the Cougars were faces with through the season, most of it makes sense.

 

The teams that Pulaski County beat this season are currently 11-23. The teams that beat Pulaski County have a stellar record of 37-8, with Graham still being undefeated. Salem has one loss at 8-1. James Wood and Patrick Henry are 7-2 each. Hidden Valley finished 7-3. That’s an overall record of 48-31 for Cougar opponents.

 

Several of the Cougar losses were blowouts, but the James Wood loss was by one point thanks to a terrible penalty administration. The loss to Hidden Valley was by seven points with a new sophomore quarterback working on a few days practice. That new quarterback couldn’t play against Patrick Henry.

 

Win or lose Friday night against Christiansburg, Pulaski County will be better next season when the large number of current freshmen, sophomores and juniors are a year older, wiser and stronger. With only a small handful of seniors graduating, the 2022 season can only be better.

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