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Friday Field of Dreams: One stadium for two states

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

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Mitchell Stadium straddles the Virginia and West Virginia line — Bluefield.edu

Mitchell Stadium straddles the Virginia and West Virginia line — Bluefield.edu

Like Kansas City, there are two towns called Bluefield in two different states; one in West Virginia and its twin in Virginia. The two towns abut each other and share many things. The most unique shared asset may be the high school football stadium that hosts the dominant high schools in both towns.

Mitchell Stadium is home to both Bluefield High (Bluefield, W. Va.) and Graham High (Bluefield, Va.), despite the fact that it technically sits in the West Virginia half of the town, if barely (more on that later).

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Bluefield and Graham face off in their annual rivalry game — iHigh

Bluefield and Graham face off in their annual rivalry game — iHigh

The stadium sits directly on the border between the two states and was once a post World War I Works Progress Administration collaboration to stimulate the local economies of both states. The stadium bears the name of a man who helped make it possible, with Bluefield city manager Emory Mitchell signing a note that let the city borrow the money needed to build the civic gathering place.

Since then there have been plenty of notable events at the stadium, including games played by both West Virginia University and Virginia Tech. The smaller and less athletically prestigious Bluefield College has also called Mitchell Stadium home. Still, nothing can compare to the rivalry game between Bluefield and Graham. The annual rivalry game typically is played early in the season and serves as a sort of unofficial turf war.

The Bluefield-Graham rivalry is enough to justify a closer look at Mitchell Stadium, but it's the stadium's location that that truly makes it stand out from all other football facilities nationwide. Mitchell Stadium is almost certainly closer to sitting on a physical state line than any other in the nation; according to the Great American Rivalry Series, Mitchell Stadium sits just 500 feet over the border into West Virginia. In fact, if a placekicker gets a strong enough boot into a field goal or extra point and blasts the football beyond the bounds of the outer gate, it is likely to start in West Virginia and land in Virginia.

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Bluefield is home to Mitchell Stadium, which hosts both Bluefield High and neighboring Graham High — Vasco Sports Projects

Bluefield is home to Mitchell Stadium, which hosts both Bluefield High and neighboring Graham High — Vasco Sports …

Just seeing the photos makes it clear just how close Mitchell Stadium is to the border. It's a fabulous facility, and one of the most unique in the nation, well worth a second or even third or fourth look.

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Cameron Smith is the editor of Prep Rally on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at preprallyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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League type:
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League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 30 9:00 am
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