MADISON — Despite the rainy weather conditions, the annual Boone County Grid-O-Rama featured more than just football teams.
“This is a great event and we appreciate the community support,” said Rob Nelson, one of the event’s organizers.
The three high school varsity teams all scrimmaged each other. So everyone got to see the Scott Skyhawks, the Sherman Tide and the Van Bulldogs. This is the only opportunity to see all three (3) Boone County high school football teams compete together on the same field since all of the teams do not meet during the regular season.
The event also featured all the cheering squads, junior high teams, midget league teams, the bands, a ceremony honoring the U.S. military as well as featured guests from the West Virginia Coal Association, and former Marshall and West Virginia University football coaches.
The event was presented by Suddenlink and was also called “Military Appreciation Night.”
Organizers say 2014 is the third consecutive year for the event which has become a popular community gathering for all of Boone County to mark the kick-off of the new school year and football season.
“Suddenlink is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Boone County Grid Classic,” said Michael Keleman, Suddenlink’s Government/Public Affairs Director.
“The Boone County community is very important to us and we are pleased to be part of it in this way,” Kelemen remarked.
The opening ceremony included on-field introductions of all of the county high school, middle school, junior high school, and midget league football teams, cheerleaders and marching bands.
All current and former military personnel in attendance were recognized.
The West Virginia National Guard was on hand with a rock climbing wall, obstacle course, and other interactive games and equipment displays throughout the event and will play a key role in the opening ceremony.
“Last year’s tribute to coal miners highlighted a common tie that binds our community together. In addition to our coal heritage, another tie that binds the community is our rich history of military service. We expect our tribute to current and former military personnel at this year’s event to be memorable,” Nelson said.
The event featured the cheerleaders from each area of the county, which performed during their team’s scrimmages. Sherman’s and Scott’s marching bands performed at half-time shows at the completion of scrimmages one and two, respectively.
The regular season for all three high school varsity football teams begins this Friday.
(Fred Pace is the Editor for the Coal Valley News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-369-1165, or on Twitter @fcpace62)