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Galax brings end of era to Big Creek

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By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

Galax is going to War.

Finding its schedule one game short after the closure of former Mountain Empire District member Pocahontas last summer, Galax filled out its schedule with a one-time meeting against Big Creek, located in War, W.Va., where the Maroon Tide will close the curtain on the 2008 season against the 7-2 Owls.

That record is debatable, actually. Big Creek, which also lost a date with Pocahontas, is listed as both 7-1 and 7-2, depending on the media outlet. At any rate, the Owls, located just north of Tazewell in McDowell County, are gearing up for a playoff run and appear to be gathering momentum, having averaged nearly 46 points per game in their seven wins.

And they’ll be suiting up tonight with a little added incentive. Galax will be the last regular season game for the Owls as Big Creek will consolidate with Iaeger High after this year.

“We’re expecting a big crowd,” Galax coach Jared Van Acker said. “They’re a real good football team. Old school wing-T offense, run the buck sweep and the power and the fullback trap, something we see all the time. They’re well disciplined and well coached.”

Galax opened the season with just seven seniors, and now dress only a fraction of that number.

“I talked to the kids, especially the seniors, and I think they agree with me and the coaching staff, that the season hasn’t turned out like we envisioned it at the beginning of the year,” Van Acker said. “A lot of things have happened and we’re not going to use those as excuses, we’re just going to keep on playing the game. There are a lot of positives you can get out of a 3-7 or 2-8 season that we can work on for the future, I just hope we can send out these seniors on a high note.”

Those who will be returning can look at the 2008 season as a growing, learning experience.

“When we start getting a couple of guys in the next couple of years who have started three or four years on the varsity level, those guys are going to be your leaders,” Van Acker said. “They’re going to run the team. I hope the future Maroon Tide looks at the season and grows from it. The year hasn’t been up to par with what we planned on, but we do things together, and right now we’re going through some tough times together to hopefully get to some good times. The future is bright. If the kids keep working hard, the future looks good.”