Rural Retreat wrestling coach Rick Boyd is no stranger to success on the mat. He has led his Indians to multiple region and state tournaments over the years and turned Rural Retreat wrestling into a program to be feared around the local wrestling world. There may not be another sport in the state that has such clear-cut successful programs that remain at the top year after year. There is of course Grundy, a powerhouse constructed by current successful Virginia Tech wrestling coach Kevin Dresser. There's Christiansburg, also a product of Dresser's coaching talents. The next tier of local success consist of schools like Glenvar and of course Rural Retreat. 

Rick Boyd just led his boys to back to back state championships and Rural Retreat is primed and ready for a three-pete come next year. Coach Boyd was kind enough to lend me a few minutes of his time for a quick interview here on the site.

Hogo: Last year, Rural Retreat's wrestling team nabbed the school's first ever team State Championship. What was that like?

Coach Boyd: It was a great experience for our team, school and community. There may be other state championships, but this team will be remembered as being the first!

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Northwood varisty girl's basketball coach Tammy Gillespie lent me a few minutes of her busy schedule for an interview.  Her Lady Panthers are off to a hot start and just recently won the Hogoheegee District Tournament.  The Panthers also look to be one of the favorites for a top seed coming time for conference tournaments.  Coach Gillespie is proud of her team and was kind enough to share some insight with Hogoheegee.com

Hogo: Right now the Lady Panthers are 12-2 with premier wins over district contender George Wythe and defending state champs Chilhowie.  What are your thoughts on the good start?  

Coach Gillespie: We are very proud of our team, they've worked hard during the off season and we could tell this summer at camp that we were going to come on strong if everyone stayed healthy and continued to work hard.  I personally picked George Wythe to be the team this year so that was a very nice and big win for us;  Chilhowie and Northwood will always be a good game because it seems like both teams step up for the rivalry.  So to come away with two wins against Chilhowie in one season is very exciting for us.  (Continue reading...)

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Video courtesy of Andy Brown.

If you were like me on Friday night, you probably were thumbing through your Twitter feed non-chalantly like a bad habit when suddenly you saw a three-digit score beside the word "Chilhowie".  

"115? Points? Basketball points?"

Turns out... yep.  Chilhowie's newly adopted "System" tested out that third digit on their scoreboard.  To my surprise, it actually does show three digits for one team, so there's that.  The team broke the single game scoring record previously held by the 1974 team of 105.

Chilhowie head basketball coach Matt Snodgrass lended me a few minutes of his time for an interview about his team and their new fascination with hanging out behind the arc. (keep reading)

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I'm not happy to be writing about VHSL football playoffs in the past tense while they're still going but unfortunately all of our beloved Hogo teams have been sent home early and that's just how it goes sometimes. Our Hogo teams had a great season, though.  We saw lots of promising young talent all around and plenty of stellar performances week to week.  For me, it was among the most memorable seasons in some time.  The pregame shows were fun, the forums were alive, and the teams were fun to watch!  

But looking at this year's playoff system, I'm thinking a change in the number of seeds could be necessary.  Years ago I complained from my tiny soap box that the new playoff system was too open.  Bad teams get in, plain and simple.  The previous playoff system was too closed as good teams missed out on a chance they deserved.  But we've yet to find the happy middle ground where deserving teams get in and those teams who don't deserve the playoffs start dribbling.  

You could make a case year to year and point to exceptions to every argument about who deserves what and those debates are exhausting.  Yes a 9-1 George Wythe team missed the playoffs years ago but a 3-7 Appalchia team won state under the same system.  Nowadays 2-8 and 3-7 teams get into the playoffs every year and while the ghost of Appalachia might rear its head and once again shock the world, that's a long shot.  More times than not, teams in the 13th to 16th seeds get beat pretty bad and most of them have to travel a long way to do it.

Instead of a bunch of first round snooze fests, why not just let 12 teams in instead of 16 and let the top 4 have a first round bye.  Why not? They earned it.  Does a bye week give them an advantage? Sure, but again they earned that opportunity.  Check out the first round scores between 1st through 4th seeds against 13th through 16th seeds, it's awful for 1A and 2A this season:(keep reading)

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