Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


August 24, 2012

Historic weekend — Beaver-Graham kicks off activities

This is it. One of the biggest weekends in recent history for the two Bluefields is finally here. And it all begins tonight with the long-awaited Battle of the Bluefields.

Beaver versus Graham, or Graham versus Beaver if you prefer. It’s a historic rivalry that dates back to 1911. Bluefield won the 1911 game by a score of 17 to 5. The two teams didn’t play again until 1928. But in the 85 games of the series that followed, Bluefield leads with 62 wins, 21 losses and a pair of ties. Tonight, the Bluefield Beavers and the Graham G-Men will meet for the 86th time.

But the Battle of the Bluefields is only the beginning of what is shaping up to be a historic weekend for the two Bluefields.

For the first time since 1941, the Bluefield College Rams will take to the gridiron Saturday at 1 p.m. to do battle with the University of Pikeville. The historic contest also takes place at Mitchell Stadium.

After nearly two decades of competition in the sport from 1922 to 1941, Bluefield College gave up its football program shortly after the start of World War II. Saturday, a new tradition begins for the Rams with the long-awaited return of college football to Mitchell Stadium.

And the excitement continues on Sunday with the rescheduled Second Chance Rocks the Two Virginias concert. The gates open Sunday at 5 p.m. with Andy Crawford taking the stage at 6:15 p.m., followed by Jake Owen at 7 p.m. and Eric Church at 8:30 p.m.

Those who attended the canceled June 29 concert must have their original ticket stub to gain entry to the concert. If your ticket was lost or misplaced, you will have to purchase a new one. And while this may create an inconvenience for some, it is important to remember that the concert is being held for a worthwhile cause.

Proceeds from the event will be used to help support the Second Chance Learning Center.

The learning center — founded by Tazewell native Billy Wagner, a standout relief pitcher for 16 years in the major leagues — provides free counseling, mentoring and tutoring to high school students who are at risk of dropping out of high school.

Three days. Three historic gatherings. What a magnificent weekend for the two Bluefields. And it all begins tonight with a 101-year-old Beaver-Graham rivalry. Thousands will once again pack Mitchell Stadium for this football game. And, with hope, hundreds if not thousands will show up Saturday to witness the long-awaited return of collegiate football to Mitchell Stadium. And we are hoping for a huge crowd Sunday — in the tune of thousands —for Eric Church and Jake Owen at the rescheduled Second Chance Rocks the Two Virginias concert.

And if you can’t make it to Bluefield tonight, don’t forget that there is plenty of gridiron action to enjoy in surrounding communities. This includes the big Battle of the Views in McDowell County as the River View Raiders play their first home game tonight at their new stadium at River View High School in Bradshaw against cross-town rival the Golden Knights of Mount View High School in Welch.

Also on tap tonight: Princeton at Woodrow Wilson; Tazewell at George Wythe; Richlands at Gate City; Narrows at James Monroe;  Bland County at Patrick Henry; Twin Valley at Grundy; Montcalm at Hundred; Giles at Blacksburg; Lebanon at Honaker; Castlewood at Haysi; Mingo Central at Wyoming East; and Hurley at Eastside.

The true winner tonight will be the thousands of high school football fans across the region.

The wait is finally over. Today is game day in the two Virginias. And it’s just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a truly historic weekend for the two Bluefields.


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