Graham comes up short in Graham-Beaver game


Julia Day, Reporter

The Graham football team suffered defeat against Bluefield High School on Friday night, August 30, with a score of 41-27. Both teams fought hard, but in the end Graham lost in the battle. 

Graham-Beaver rivalry game is an important part of Graham High School. Many agree that this football game unites the students and faculty of the school. Marissa Copolo, a junior at Graham, says, “It brings us together and unites us as a family.” Connor White, a senior, also added, “It is really cool to see hundreds of students at the game, even if they are not in the student section.”

Before the start of the game, there was a ceremony held to honor the late Tony Webster, a Bluefield High School student and member of the football team, who passed away suddenly early in 2019. Many of the students and people of the two Bluefields were saddened and affected by this tragic event.

“It was bigger than a regular game, everyone was playing for a bigger purpose,” says Joey Dales, Graham football kicker and senior on the team. 

The first quarter of the game proved to be difficult for the G-Men, as Bluefield quickly acquired a touchdown on their second play of the game. Following this, Jahiem House of Bluefield received a touchdown pass in the end-zone. 

However, the second quarter brought more rewards for Graham’s side. Tre Booker of Graham quickly found the end-zone with a three-yard run. The Beavers countered this touchdown with one of their own, a pass to push the score up to 21-7. At the end of the quarter, Marqus Ray ran four-yards into the end-zone for another Graham touchdown. 

The second quarter also brought questionable calls for the G-Men. A 50-yard touchdown was called back as a result of a personal foul for targeting. Another questionable call came into play in the third quarter as well, when Lester, Graham’s quarterback, threw an 80-yard touchdown pass, only to have it be called back for a holding penalty.

Many of the Graham fans were surprised and unhappy about these calls. Courtney Sheets, a teacher at Graham, said, “There was unfairness in respect to the referees and the calls that they made.”

Lee Brown, also a teacher at Graham High, said, “I thought the officiating was very one sided.” 


The third quarter, once again, proved unsuccessful, as Graham did not score and Bluefield’s Shawn Mitchell returned a Graham fumble 65-yards for a touchdown. 

As the fourth quarter progressed, Isaiah Justice received a 3-yard pass from Lester and Lester made 34-yard run. Both of these resulted in touchdowns for the G-men. However, Bluefield responded through their own touchdown, a 61-yard pass to the end-zone from Deeb, the Beaver’s quarterback. 

The final result of the rivalry proved to be a sad and disappointing one. Courtney Sheets said, “I think we should’ve won the football game. We had the better team, but at the end of the day it was sad and unfortunate to walk away with a loss.” Cole Cline, a senior at Graham, also said, “The loss was sad because we thought we were going to win.” 

Even though the end result will never please both sides, Graham-Beaver brings unity to the community of both the Bluefields. At the end of the day, both teams are supportive, and both sides want to see the other succeed. 

Joey Dales said, “They are two great teams that have winning seasons every year, and they get to come and play for the community of the Bluefields, and it’s a great time and experience for everyone that is a part of it.” 

Lee Brown also agreed, “It’s a big family reunion,” he says. 

Even though this rivalry was an important one, it does not determine the success of the teams throughout their season but pushes the teams to become better. Joey Dales says, “We need to play harder, get better, and win the state championship again.”