The James River football team will return from their bye week with a Three Rivers District game at Glenvar this Friday. River will be trying to snap a four-game losing streak while the Highlanders lost to Alleghany last Friday, 27-10.
“The bye week was good, we had a good couple of days of practice,” said River coach Tim Jennings. “We worked on getting better, got some kids some reps that normally don’t get as many during the week. We also had some fellowship and team time. We had some parents get together and feed us one night, so that was a special opportunity for our guys.”
The Knights started the season with three wins but injuries played a big role in River dropping their last four. They’ve fallen to ninth in the Region 2C rankings with the top eight making the playoffs, and a win over third-ranked Glenvar would be big as the teams in the fifth through 10th spots all have either three or four wins.
“Glenvar is always the standard by which the Three Rivers District is measured,” said Jennings. “They are always well coached, the kids are good at what they do, and they always have answers to anything you give them.”
The Glenvar game is played annually for the Virginia Media Rocking Chair. The game was started in 1996 when Glenvar left the Pioneer District to join the Three Rivers. River and Glenvar had been big rivals in the Pioneer and the battle for the rocker was an attempt to keep the rivalry thriving. It was continued when James River joined Glenvar in the 3RD and the Highlanders have dominated the rivalry in recent years. The rocker, painted in the green and gold of Glenvar and the red and black of River, has resided in the GHS office since 2014. Glenvar coach Kevin Clifford painted the current chair after the original was broken, and it includes the scores of all the games since 1996, when River won 16-14.
“I do not think our kids even know anything about the rocking chair,” said Jennings. “We haven’t had the chair in our possession in more than a decade, so it’s probably a unicorn for them. We don’t even talk about it, to be honest. The chair would obviously be nice, but that is more of an external goal, and we need to spend more time focusing on internal motivators – being better, being the best version of our team for Friday.”