NAUGATUCK – Tonight’s game at Naugatuck between Class AA Tolsia and Tug Valley, which is ranked No. 13 in Class A this week, renews an old rivalry.
The two schools used to play on both the grid iron and hardwood, but some past heated exchanges between the rivals, caused the administrations to stop scheduling games.
Times have changed and Tony Clusky, who is the head football coach and athletic director at Tug Valley, scheduled Tolsia again.
A little icing on the cake is that former Tug Valley football coach Mike Smith is now the head coach at Tolsia, where he is trying to rebuild that program.
Both schools are consolidated versions of old community schools. Tolsia combined Fort Gay and Crum and was founded in 1988, while Tug Valley consists of Kermit and Lenore, which was founded in 1987.
“This is a big fame for us,” Clusky said. “It gives us AA points and is very important. One of our goals was to not lose at home.”
“The seniors, once again, have to step up and play a very important role for us,” Clusky added.
“David Runyon, Tyler Conley and Thomas Baisden played well last week,” Clusky said. “Our offensive line is getting better.”
“Tolsia presents a big test for our team,” Clusky said. “They have a nice quarterback, with a lot of skill players around him.”
“We can’t commit turnovers, and our defense has to be solid,” he concluded. “We have to play till the whistle blows and ball control are all keys to the game. I expect a packed house and it should be exciting game.”
Meanwhile, Mingo Central will play host to the Man Hillbillies for the John Fry Bowl. The game will honor the late coach, who passed away unexpectedly last summer, at the age of 27.
Principal Deborah Harris also said that tonight would be “Midget League Night” at the Miners’ game. All midget league football players and cheerleaders from the Burch, Gilbert, Matewan, and Williamson areas will be introduced during half-time and get a chance to go out on the new field turf.
“Players and cheerleaders must make certain they are on the announcement roster by the beginning of the 2nd quarter,” Harris said. “All players and cheerleaders will get in free when they wear their jersey or cheerleader top, if they are with a paying adult.”
In other action tonight, Belfry travels to Inez to take on Sheldon Clark for a big game in eastern Kentucky, East Ridge will be at Pike Central, Chapmanville and Logan will battle it out in the U.S. 119 rivalry, No. 1 Scott travels to Poca, Wyoming East is at Mount View, Independence motors to Westside, River View hosts James Monroe and defending Class AA state champ Wayne travels to Sissonville for an important game.
All high school games kickoff at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.