Glenvar, James River ready to renew Rocking Chair Rivalry

‘The rocking chair is a big deal.’

SALEM, Va. – We are halfway through the high school football regular season with the competition becoming fierce between district rivals.

That’s true for our 1st and 10 Game of the Week as James River battles Glenvar.

The winner of this Three Rivers District battle gets not a trophy but a rocking chair. A tradition that started over two decades ago is still alive and keeps this rivalry rocking.

“When we left the Pioneer District and went into the Three Rivers, they wanted something to keep the rivalry kind of spicy,” said Glenvar head coach Kevin Clifford.

26 years later, the Knights and Highlanders find themselves being district foes yet again. Many of the players are not familar with the origin of the tradition. But Glenvar knows they’ve seemingly always had it.

“The rocking chair is a big deal,” said Highlanders running back Elijah Carter. “Coach has always talked about it so we want to win it.”

“The rocking chair, we’ve had it for a couple years but we want to keep it,” said Highlanders defensive tackle Caleb Crowder.

This current James River team has never had it but came close to changing the narrative in 2021--losing by just three points.

“I’ve never had the rocking chair since I was here but I would really love to experience it and I think we have a chance to win it Friday,” said Knights safety Jake Benson.

The Knights have been working hard to end the 8-game losing streak in this rivalry with added motivation on their minds.

“To me personally it means a lot,” said Knights right tackle and outside linebacker George Toliver. “My sister graduated 2014 and the last time we won this game was 2013 and ironically I think that game was at Glenvar and she was a senior and I’m a senior now so it would be awesome to get the chair back and everything.”

“We don’t even talk about the chair, the guys don’t even know about the chair,” said James RIver head coach Tim Jennings. “That to me will be icing on the cake if we’re able to win it.”

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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