Tonight’s Wolverine game at Mitchell to be televised

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2016

 Pregame ceremony before last season’s TV game with Mitchell

Pregame ceremony before last season’s TV game with Mitchell

A year ago, a television game featuring two Western North Carolina football teams was an unknown entity, a commodity for which no one quite knew what to expect when Polk County played host to Mitchell in the debut of WMYA-TV’s Thursday Night Lights series.

But as the Wolverines prepare to trek to Ledger on Thursday for another televised encounter with the Mountaineers, there’s a sense of understanding this time around on the part of both sides. Not only have the two schools been through a TV game, but WMYA-TV now has a year of broadcasts under its collective belt, and the experience on all fronts has Polk County looking forward to a return to prime time.

“It was an awesome experience for the kids and our school,” said Wolverine head coach Jamie Thompson. “WMYA did a great job in the end as far as the production of it. We’re looking forward to it.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The situation entering the 7 p.m. kickoff is largely the same for both schools as last year’s meeting. Mitchell comes in with a perfect record, a 6-0 overall mark, ranked second in this week’s Associated Press 1A state poll a season after reaching the 1AA championship game. The Mountaineers have allowed just nine points per game this season, including a pair of shutouts.

Polk County is again 3-4 overall and 1-1 in Western Highlands Conference play, needing a win to stay alive in the conference title chase.

“It’s a little bit different this year in that we’ve had to make some personnel adjustments and we’re behind,” Thompson said. “We’ve extended practice a little bit each day this week. We’ve put in an extra session and gone about 15 minutes longer.”

With a roster at less than 100 percent, Thompson said the extra timeouts that will be taken Thursday as part of the broadcast will be welcome.

“It does help, especially with so many kids playing both ways. That’s a good thing,” Thompson said. “We also get more chances to make adjustments than we would in a regular game. That’s a bonus from that aspect.”

While Mitchell eked out a 28-27 win last season, Thompson would like to see one aspect of that game repeated this week.

“Mitchell brought a big crowd here. Hopefully, we can take a big crowd up there,” he said. “It’s a very similar situation to last year. We’ve got the same record, they’ve got the same record. It will be less stressful for us being the visiting team.”


Kickoff: 7 p.m., WMYA-TV (channel 40).

Records: Mitchwll 6-0, 1-0; Polk County 3-4, 1-1.

Series history: Polk County leads 8-5.

Last meeting: Mitchell put together a late scoring dive, with Dalton Beaver scoring on a 4-yard fourth-down run with 2:03 remaining, to squeeze out a 28-27 win.

Players to Watch: Quarterback Ben Young is the key figure for Mitchell, having thrown for 986 yards with 298 yards rushing. . . Brody Smith has grabbed 23 passes for 484 yards and six touchdowns. . . Ben Robinson leads Mitchell’s rushing attack with 462 yards and four touchdowns. . . Robinson is also the team’s leading tackler.

– article submitted by