By: Gary Dove
WN Sports Writer
Last Friday evening was a huge success on several fronts for Mount View High School.
First, the Golden Knights were able, finally, to unveil their brand new football stadium that features state-of-the-art artificial surface.
That unveiling, if you will, has taken a couple twists and turns from the originally scheduled first high school game at the new facility, starting with the September 11th game against Tazewell (VA), after all high school sports in the Old Dominion were placed on hold before the season ever started due to the coronavirus.
Imaginative replacement scheduling by Athletic Director Larry Barber and head football coach Maurice Gravely have paid dividends with three replacement teams, out of the initial four games, having been added to the original schedule, or added in a different position and venue.
This Friday evening’s guests, the Buffalo Bison, will move that stat to four-of-five schools, joining Westside, from the season opening contest, and River View to Sherman last Friday to Buffalo this Friday.
Westside and River View are now set, on paper, for a pair of games with the Knights this season on a home-and-home basis, however the Renegades are just coming off a two week quarantine period after a teacher at Westside tested positive and River View is just beginning its quarantine following a student testing positive last Friday.
A second success from last Friday was the “W” picked up by the Golden Knights over Sherman, the first such outcome in four games for the View this season.
Another accomplishment was the break-out game by the Knight offense versus the Tide.
Through three games, Mount View’s offense had not scored a touchdown.
That all changed last Friday, with the Knights scoring the first five times they had the pigskin and finishing with nine scores in a dozen possessions.
Among those in attendance to watch the first high school game at the new Vic Nystrom Stadium were Judy Nystrom, Coach Nystrom’s widow, along with their youngest son, Scott, who played for his Dad.
McDowell County Superintendent of Schools Carolyn Falin also took in the game, as did the school system’s Maintenance Director Will Chapman and his assistant Michael Dority. All three were very instrumental in the new Vic Nystrom Stadium becoming a reality.
Also in attendance was Kenneth “Frog” Bales, the now-retired longtime offensive coordinator for Mount View, who had to be thrilled with the 55 point offensive explosion.
Also most fitting was the Field Judge in the officiating crew, Jerry Lambert, who is a former Welch High quarterback who performed for the Maroon Wave gridders at the old Vic Nystrom Stadium before it became that, when it was simply Maroon Wave Stadium.
Zach Helton was on-site to broadcast the game via Facebook, as he has done this season and will continue to do throughout the campaign.
Last Friday, adding to the internet experience, Mikey Dority set up cameras and monitors so the game could be viewed on Facebook and synced with Helton’s call of the game.
The biggie that was missing was a large crowd of Mount View faithful, that was hugely diminished due to protocols in dealing with the coronavirus.
Once things clear up and anyone who wants to purchase a ticket will be able to attend, there will be many more “oohs and aws” coming from the stands to plays made by the Knights.
I read earlier in this week that WVU head football coach Neal Brown had said the Baylor game could only be called a turning point for the Mountaineers if the team continued to grow from that win.
The same is true for the Golden Knight football team, who played well last Friday evening, but that high level of accomplishment must continue to give even more meaning to the first high school game ever played at the new Vic Nystrom Stadium