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Bluestone football: Young but dedicated / August 18, 2021
Bluestone took to the gridiron last week in preseason action against Chatham in preparation for the team’s season opener on Aug. 27 in the annual King of the County game against Park View.

Getting sports participation numbers back to where they were pre-COVID-19 continues to be a struggle for a lot of schools and Bluestone is no different. Team numbers are hovering around 25-30.

Head coach Harry John said the Chatham practice game showed a lot of possibilities but also a lot that the team has to work on. Bluestone had solid numbers taking part in its voluntary conditioning sessions this summer.

John said the team will need all that and more as they move forward this year. He noted with the limited number of players in the program this year, being fit will be a top priority.

“We are very inexperienced but full of potential,” John said. “[We’re] looking to improve our showing this week with Dan River off a good week of practice.” The team is set for the road game on Friday.

Improving as you play is possible, but it won’t be easy for Bluestone as the regular season schedule brings some heavy hitters at the top of the list.

The Aug. 27 game pits Bluestone against cross-county rivals, Park View, in the final King of the County matchup before the two high schools merge to form Mecklenburg County High School next year. Bluestone then takes on Brunswick on Sept. 9 and Greensville on Sept. 10.

All three games are at home for the Barons. The team then has a bye week before they begin James River District competition versus Amelia on Sept. 24.

Park View, Brunswick and Greensville are all members of the Tri-Rivers District. All three teams over the past few years have been very competitive in their district and in Region 3A competition. Bluestone is a Class 2 program.

After a trying 2019 season and a 2020 year without any football at Bluestone due to the coronavirus, senior leadership is in short supply. “Numbers are down which will require us to be in shape,” John said.

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