Boys of Fall
The Past, Present and Future of RHS Football
Nothing on earth compares to the crisp chill of a fall Friday night. The stadium lights illuminate the freshly painted grass, the stands lined with cheering fans and the whole town coming together to support their boys. In recent years, the student section has been displaying their spirit by designating themes for each Friday night. Showing up in vibrant neons, or sporting their patriotism in American themes, the students create a wave of school spirit within our stands as well as the stands of our opposers. “It’s fun to have the theme nights; it makes people participate more and gets us really hype for the football game,” says Christina Terrasidis, junior. As the Radford Bobcats begin their intimidating march from the locker room, passing the King Center, and finally through the arch and down the steps onto the field, an inimitable hype is built in the air and anticipation swells to its brim. Each helmet is removed and placed over the black and gold colored jerseys, the Nation’s flag is raised above the stands and the National Anthem can be heard echoing throughout the town. One can sense the building desire to hear the whistles blow and to begin the game’s kickoff.
Norman G. Lineburg field, it is the home of many victories, as well as opportunities for improvement. Norman G. Lineburg began his coaching career at RHS in 1970. He coached two back to back undefeated teams in 1971 and 1972, both going on to win the title “state champions.” He collectively coached Radford football through more than 300 wins and earned a spot in the Radford High School Hall of Fame. “The  season got off to a slow start with a 1-2-1 record, but Radford won the final 6 games of the season to finish with a 7-2-1 record. Those final 6 wins of the 1970 season began a 34 game undefeated streak for the Bobcats that would not end until the second game of the 1974 season,” says Abie Williams, right offensive tackle on the 1971 state championship team. Mr. Abie Williams was a member of Coach Norman Lineburg’s first team as a junior in 1970.
There is a strong sense of pride to be found woven into the seams of Radford High School football and its’ past. Radford High School is known for its’ plethora of state banners, and these banners were earned off the the sweat and hard work of many athletes, as well as the time and effort that the coaches here have put into them. “ I do not remember thinking about winning and losing. I think all of our players had so much confidence in our coaches (Lineburg, Frank Beamer and Ron Lindon) that we just figured if we did what they told us to do, things would work out well, and it did,” says Williams.
One cannot deny the amount of passion for the game that is found within our 2016 football team. These young men play with their hearts, and Friday nights are their chance to unleash the beasts within, laying out every ounce of their strength for each other and their community. “I’m going to miss wearing the jersey down the halls on game days and being in the locker room with my teammates,” says Shawn Reed, senior and defensive end, as well as offensive guard.
Football is more than just a sport or a Friday night activity. It means a lot to the players, the cheerleaders and it also means a lot to the community. It brings the town together. Every Friday night during the season, parents and spectators gather in our stands, or travel to other fields in order to watch these boys play. Those who cannot make the game can be found by their radios, listening to the play by play broadcast from Richie Davis and Jeff Kleppin. Football has always been a collective effort, in fact, the entire community of Radford came together to clear out the area on which our field is still standing today. Parents and community members volunteered their time to cut and clear pine trees and make the Radford High School stadium a possibility for future generations. Thanks to the hard work and love of the community, the young men who have gone through the RHS football program, are currently a part of, or will be in the future, have a field to call home, a field that they will miss getting to play on after they leave. “I love running through the goalposts, fans cheering and the fire truck going off. There’s no other feeling like playing on Friday nights,” says Reed. Shawn Reed expressed his confidence in his teammates and the legacy that is Radford football. “When I graduate, I can see Dale Stanley stepping up as a leader next year. Also, Elijah Duncan and Charlie Lefew; they all have big parts on our team now and I believe that they will fulfill the responsibility when it’s their turn as seniors next year,” says Reed. “I’ve played football all my life, and as a person it’s made me stronger and more compassionate. It has taught me to trust my teammates, learn the true meaning of respect, and overall I think it’s made me a better person,” Reed says.
Brett Armentrout, senior, plays inside linebacker for the Radford Bobcats. He has been playing for Radford since his freshman year and the sport has grown to mean a lot to him. “For me, playing football has always been my favorite thing to do, getting to go out on Friday nights and compete against other schools. It’s really cool to go out with a group of brothers; every Friday is awesome. We’re a young but a very hard working group,” he says. This summer coaches were at the King Center two times a day, 9AM and 5PM. The players could attend the time of their choice; it was a really good team atmosphere for everyone to get a good workout and it created a team bond,” says Armentrout.
Football means a lot to Radford High School and the town in which it functions. It brings together so many people and forms a bond between them that will be remembered for decades to come. Don’t forget to come out and support the “Boys of Fall” this Friday night, as well as the Friday nights to come this season. Click Here to find their schedule!