The Glenvar Highlanders have a better record than six of the 12 teams from Group A who made the post-season playoffs, but that’s little consolation for the Highlanders as they pack up the equipment this week.
Glenvar ended the season with a 7-3 record after beating Floyd County, 14-7, at Highlander Stadium last Friday in the regular season finale. The Highlanders needed Giles to beat Radford or Craig County to beat James River to slip into the playoffs, and neither of those two scenarios happened so Glenvar was left out once again.
“I thought we played with heart and character all season long,” said Glenvar coach Kevin Clifford. “We had a chance to win every game we played. We were only three or four plays away from being undefeated.”
You can make a case for that. Glenvar lost to Giles on a last second field goal and the Highlanders had the lead on Eastern Montgomery midway through the fourth quarter. They lost 9-6 to Radford and had a man open in the end zone for a potential winning touchdown with under 20 seconds to play, but couldn’t make the connection.
“We outplayed Radford, and they’re the district champions,” said Clifford. “I’m very proud of our kids, and proud of their effort.”
The loss to Radford was the only loss at home for Glenvar this season. They beat Floyd for the first time in Clifford’s three years as Phillip Tarpley ran for 205 yards on 15 carries for his career high game. Zach Hill had 85 yards on 18 carries, Corey Bolden had 22 yards and Tim Woods had 20 as Glenvar rushed for 327 yards. Tarpley, Hill, and Bolden all had TD runs.
Cam Holshouser threw for 95 yards, hitting Richard Gleason four times for 59 yards and Brad Gallagher once for a 36 yard gain.
Defensively, Woods had seven solo tackles and four assists to lead Glenvar. Jacob Noble had eight solos and three assists, Tarpley had five and five, Gleason five and two, and Hill four solos and two assists.
Glenvar will lose 12 seniors, five of whom were starters. Several started both ways, so in essence the Highlanders will have to replace five starters on defense and three on offense.
“We start wrestling next Monday,” said Clifford, who coached the Highlanders to a state championship last year on the mats. “ For the ones who don’t wrestle, we’ll give ‘em a week off and then we’ll get back in the weight room and get ready for next year.”