The Lord Botetourt football team continued to win games and influence people after reaching the region final for the fifth year in a row and the sixth time in the past seven years in the recently completed fall season.
This was the 10th year coach Jamie Harless and his staff have guided the Cavaliers and it’s easily been the best 10 years in the history of Lord Botetourt football. The Cavaliers are 96-28 over those 10 years with 29 playoff games, four region titles and three state runner-up finishes. The 10-year span of success ranks among the top in Virginia High School League history. Only state Class 6 power Oscar Smith, Sussex Central and Class 1 power Franklin High have had a bigger improvement over a 10 year period.
Botetourt’s 96 wins over the past 10 years is 63 more wins than the 33 in the prior 10 years, from 2002 to 2011. Oscar Smith improved from 36 wins from 1992 to 2001 to 114 from 2002 to 2011, an increase of 78 wins. Sussex Central improved 65 wins from 1970-79 (35) to 100 wins from 1980-89, and Franklin had a 64 win improvement from 1994 to 2003 (35) to 88 from 2004 to 2013. No one else had a higher jump than Botetourt, and that’s taking into account that LB lost seven possible wins due to COVID in the combined spring and fall 2021 seasons.
The Cavaliers have also sent a multitude of players to the collegiate level during that time. Recently, offensive lineman Hunter McClain and defensive end Gunner Givens signed scholarship offers to play for Virginia Tech next season, and they were just two of 10 spots LB filled on the Class 3 All-State team this year.
Other first team All-State selections on offense, in addition to McLain, had John Luther Boothe at center, Bryson Harvey at kicker, Joey Isaacs at kicker return and KJ Bratton as all-purpose. Joining Givens on the All-State first team defense were Daniel Smith on the line and Isaacs at defensive back. Second team selections were Jakari Nicely at running back and Harvey as punter.
On the All-Region 3D team Booth, McLain, Nicely, Harvey, Isaacs and Bratton were all named first team on offense, while Smith, Givens, linebacker Bryce Harrison, Isaacs and punter Harvey were named on the first team defense. Second teamers included Titus Hopkins and DJ Toliver on the offensive line, Givens at tight end, Drew Gilbert at linebacker and Nicely at defensive back. Honorable Mention All-Region went to Cade Lang at punt return and DB, Hayden Martin at DB, Hopkins and Xavier Williams on the defensive line, Dalton Oxley at linebacker, Tucker Brookman at all-purpose and Gavin Walker on the offensive line.
All-Blue Ridge District first team on offense included Boothe, McLain, Givens, Bratton, Nicely, Harvey, Isaacs and Bratton with McLain was selected as Most Valuable Offensive lineman. First team defense went to Smith, McLain, Givens, Harrison, Isaacs, Nicely, Harvey and Brookman. Toliver, Gilbert and Lang were all second team all-district selections.
In addition, Smith was named BRD Most Valuable Defensive Lineman and Isaacs was named Most Valuable Defensive Back and Blue Ridge District Defensive Player of the Year.