COVINGTON, Va. (TVR) – It is now well-known knowledge that beginning the school year of 2023-24, the Alleghany Mountaineers and Covington Cougars are consolidating, and from now on will be known as the Alleghany Cougars.
The Alleghany and Covington rivalry goes back many years, with memorable games in all sports, and fans sometimes packed to standing-room-only, as each team “hated” each other, so to speak in sports terms.
But now, they will say goodbye to the former rivalry to join forces and form what should be a solid AAA program in Virginia.
Acting Alleghany athletic director and 2023-24 football coach Will Fields believes the merging of the two schools is a good thing, and the reasons behind it provide evidence, even though some local fans are not too thrilled with decision.
“It is designed to reduce redundancy and duplication of services between the two local governments. The schools were becoming too small to offer all that the students deserve,” Fields explained. “There is no real bad thing. It is change, and that makes some uncomfortable, but change is inevitable.”
Fields is in the camp of the move being a positive thing for all parties involved.
“I believe it is in the best interest of the students. I have to do my part to make sure that the things I am in charge of are ready in August,” Fields stated.
Despite some dissatisfaction from the fans, Fields thinks students and student-athletes should acclimate quickly. Once everything gets settled, Fields believes that everyone will start to see how much of a good thing the move was.
“It won’t take that long for most student-athletes. Once they are there and working together toward common goals, bonding will occur. It’s an exciting time. I think it will be something to see,” he said.
Schools consolidate all the time, and ultimately what matters most to sports fans is the success of the new program. While it may take a couple years to find solid footing, the athletes should experience a new brand of excitement for an up-and-coming program.
“Our postseason road will be tough, moving up to Class AAA, but staying in the same district and joining Covington’s athletes will make for more successful regular seasons. In addition, we will no longer have trouble fielding sub varsity teams, which is where good programs are built,” Fields said.
Fields says that the community can look forward to a fresh team and a new, beautiful light blue Cougar logo designed for everyone to enjoy.
“Input on the mascot was gathered from students and the community and then voted on. The logos were professionally done by a branding company,” Fields said.