Held annually as the first game of the season in an 80-year-old stadium, the Beaver-Graham football game may very well be one of the longest-running and well-known high school football rivalries in the United States. In the parking lot outside Mitchell Stadium, the atmosphere is more like a happy community reunion that straddles both sides of the West Virginia-Virginia State Line. If it’s a heated rivalry on the football field, off the field it’s unquestionably a friendly one. The first game between the Graham G-men and the Bluefield Beavers dates back to 1911.The two did not play each other again until 1928, but they have played every year since. The two towns come together for many events, but this is one where they separate and say pick a side.
Latrell "Mookie" Collier
Latrell "Mookie" Collier
Collier is a three-year letterman on the football and basketball team and a two-year letterman for Bluefield track. Collier was named the Bluefield Daily Telegraph/Pocahontas Player of the Year in 2016 and picked up all-state honors on the gridiron. He was a First Team All-State selection in basketball in 2017 before being voted to the preseason all-state football team prior to his senior season.
Workman has been a three-sport athlete for the G-Men the past three years. The son of Eric and April Workman, Eric enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time. He is a member of the Beta Club and Future Business Leaders of America. Eric plans to attend Virginia Tech.
Johnson helped the G-Men break a 10-game losing streak to the Beavers in his senior season. He picked up all-area honors and was named to the Southwest district team in his final two seasons, before being voted “Mr. Football” his senior season. Johnson played four years at Bluefield State College and earned a degree in criminal justice.
The Albert family’s involvement with Bluefield’s football program spans more than 50 years. Bill (1969), Randy (1976), David (1993), and Ryan (2006) shared the jersey number 54 for the Beavers. Bill was a member of the 1967 AAA State Championship team, while his brother Randy helped the Beavers to the state title in 1975. Bill’s son, David, helped his squad advance to the quarterfinals of the 1992 state playoffs. Randy’s son, Ryan, earned a AA State Championship ring in 2004 and is thought to be the only player in Bluefield history to start in four consecutive state title games. Often referred to as the “Four 54’s”, the Albert family has left their legacy on the Bluefield program.