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Bluefield in the running to host state high school football championship

Jan. 24—By GREG JORDAN

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Showcasing what the city of Bluefield and Mercer County has to offer high school sporting events will be the goal Feb. 5 when a delegation from the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission (WVSSAC) comes to see whether Mitchell Stadium could host the 2024 Super 6 State Football Championship game.

A delegation from Bluefield and Mercer County recently visited the WVSSAC in Parkersburg and made a presentation to the organization's leaders. The Super 6 State Football Championship game has been played in Wheeling for the last several years, but city and county officials believe this championship contest should be rotated with Bluefield being a part of that rotation.

In November 2019, Mitchell Stadium was one of 16 high school football stadiums from across the United States that competed in the USA Today Best High School Football Stadium Competition. Mitchell Stadium, used by high school football teams in both West Virginia and Virginia, won the contest's final round against R.R. Jones Stadium in El Paso, Texas.

Mitchell Stadium is also the venue of the annual football game between the Bluefield High School Beavers and the Graham High School G-Men, one of the best-known high school football rivalries in the country.

City Manager Cecil Marson said at Tuesday's meeting of the Bluefield Board of Directors that WVSSAC representatives are scheduled to visit Bluefield on Feb. 5.

"That's the state committee that makes the selection for the playoffs, not just football but all the high school athletics; so we're one of I think five municipalities that they're going to go visit," Marson said after the board meeting.

The other municipalities likely have good reasons for the championship game to be played at their venues, but Bluefield and Mercer County together have a lot to offer the WVSSAC, he said.

"We're going to try and advertise everything in Mercer County that's great and even the Virginia side because it's close by and do what we can and try to bring (the championship game) down here for our families and kids," Marson stated.

A trolley car bus will be used to take the delegation around the city.

"We're going to give them a tour of the city and our facilities and our businesses because they want to host dinners and receptions and have lodging," Marson said. "Of course, we've got some great hotels in the county up toward Exit 9 and we've got some great bed and breakfasts here in our area.

Downtown Bluefield as well as the county also has many assets for visitors coming to attend the championship game, he added.

"And we've got a lot of good facilities — the Clover Club, The Vault, there's the Arts Center and the Elks Club," Marson said. "We've got a lot of great venues for them to see."

A big stop on the tour will be Mitchell Stadium.

"And, of course, our great stadium," Marson said. "Of course, they want to see that as well."

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com