Bluefield, West Virginia
(Image from VirginiaPreps.com)
Listen up chiefs - I have another update for you kids on my hometown of Bluefield (West Virginia and Virginia), or more specifically, on one of Bluefield's greatest landmarks, the relatively reknowned Mitchell Stadium. Ahh.
The fact of the matter is that Mitchell Stadium, built back in Bluefield's hayday (well before Old King Coal died, so to speak) has aged pretty damned well. That said, some serious renovations are going on in the old house right now, to be finished in time for Friday, August 24th's high school kick-off, the granddaddy of 'm all, the Graham-Bluefield game (aka the Bluefield-Graham game). This decades old rivalry between the West Virginian and Virginian denizens of the East River Valley, should be even more visually stimulating than ever before. Why? Well, there is the new Shott Field, an artificial turf field, is incredibly cool-looking, emblazoned as it is with both a portrait of the two Virginias at mid-field as well as the tactfully neutral maroon and white "Bluefield" written at both ends of the field (maroon, for those of you know, is a major color for both the Graham G-Men and the Bluefield Beavers, and white is found in the uniforms of both, traditionally as piping and stripes for Graham and as stripes and stars for Bluefield). Furthermore, the rear of the stadium, opposite the main gates, has been improved with beautiful native stone walls (Bluefield and our neighbors, such as Bramwell and Tazewell, are mildly well known for our native stone buildings and walls) in the old, glory-days Bluefield style, and though I didn't see it, a blue vinyl fence is going to be installed around the field itself. There are also rumors that new gates will be installed at the front gates of the field (I've heard they're going to be blue, but I haven't seen any confirmation of that yet) as well as, and get this, a jumbotron (again, I have read plenty of rumors but haven't seen anything definitive).
Yeah. All this for a high school football stadium in the dead center of Appalachia. Eat your heart out Texas (just kidding - I don't want to get into that spitting contest).
Okay, I know this may not be huge news for everyone, but today, while I was in town for a baseball game (after a bachelor party with no less than 10 preachers - don't ask), on the recommendation of my friend Catfish, I drove up on the mountain above the stadium - sadly I didn't have a camera with me, but wow, I was impressed. I felt compelled to throw this out there on the old internet. So, after my brief ramblings, I want to share some links I've found on old Mitchell, its renovations, and of course, a couple on the Beaver-Graham game. I'll be there, by the way (assuming Sarah and I can get away from Knoxvegas), and I hope you can be too - it is an experience that rivals the finest college experiences - you're just going to have to trust me.
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph: "Dirt churned at Mitchell Stadium"
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph: "On schedule: Mitchell expected to be ready for 'The Game'"
cougarfootball.net: "Welcome to the Big Time, Pulaski County Cougars!
PC defeats Graham in preseason action"
VirginiaPreps.com: "Mitchell Stadium: New and Improved"
WVRSN: "Be a Good Sport, Charleston"