Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 50

L
L
A
B
T
O
O
F
L
O
O
H
C
S
H
HIG
e big game are still

ds of th
The sights and soun

O

n a late August night, the temperature still sweltering and
people still sweating even as
the sun went down, I stood
on the field with my fellow
cheerleaders. A harvest moon
rose over our heads and our
hearts filled with hope as we eagerly awaited the opening game of what should be a

dist

great season. We had most of our starting
players returning. The outlook for this season, my senior year, was promising. I was
the co-captain of the cheerleaders.
It was the fall of 1975, and of course
much has happened since that warm
August night. Karen, the captain of the
cheerleaders and my close friend, died just
three years later in a double murder which

ll.

d live again each fa

decades later, an
inct more than four

is still unsolved. Her death shattered the
innocence of the sleepy little mountain
town in southern West Virginia where I
lived.
Other members of that team have
passed away as well but we have a few success stories. Donnie, the offensive captain,
played football at Wake Forest University.
He is now the CFO of an Atlanta-based
business. Wayne, a junior that year, also
played football at Wake
Forest, setting some Atlantic Coast Conference
receiving records. Joey,
the quarterback, is a
tenured professor now.
I married, moved to
Louisville, raised four
children and eventually
became a writer. Those
of my classmates who
remain see each other
once in a while at class
reunions.
Reunion weekend
always starts with tickets to the BeaverGraham game. It is tradition for my high
school, the Bluefield Beavers, to start their
season playing cross-town rivals, the Graham G-Men. This annual match-up in the
same stadium we used in 1975 has much
the same feel as it did back then. There is
still the cracking of helmets, enthusiastic
cheerleaders on the sidelines, excited fans,
and the hot August night skies still boast
a harvest moon.

leaders
r
e
e
h
c
e
th
f
o
in
ta
p
a
c
Karen, the
three
st
ju
d
ie
d
,
d
n
ie
fr
se
lo
and my c
which
r
e
d
r
u
m
le
b
u
o
d
a
in
years later
is still unsolved.

The 1975 Bluefield Beavers cheerleaders
included co-captain Harriet Michael (seated
right) and her friend and captain, Karen
Noble (seated, left), who was murdered three
years later.

50

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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 3
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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