With optimism for the future, New River Community and Technical College will expand the Third Annual New River CTC Invitational basketball tournament Jan. 4-9, 2021 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
With the new WVSSAC basketball classifications, New River CTC will welcome some of the top high school teams from all four classifications to this year’s event. The week-long event will include 24 of the state’s top high school basketball teams highlighted by the addition of the Woodrow Wilson and Cabell Midland boy’s teams. Cabell Midland will be the preseason favorite for the 4A state championship and Woodrow Wilson will look to secure its record 17th state championship.
Also returning will be preseason favorites for the 3A state championship Shady Spring Tigers, Westside Renegades and the upstart Patriots from Independence. The 2A schools participating this year are the Wyoming East Warriors and the Liberty Raiders, both look to have successful campaigns with the new classifications. The 1A participants will be loaded with state championship caliber teams starting with preseason favorites Man Hillbillies, Clay-Battelle Battlers and the Greenbrier West Cavaliers making their first ever appearance at the New River CTC event. The Webster County Highlanders will also be strong contenders for the 1A state championship.
“Obviously this has been a difficult several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are excited about this year’s participants and remain hopeful sporting events will soon return to some form of normalcy and once again be the fabric of our communities,” said New River CTC Institutional Advancement Executive Director Michael Green.
The New River CTC Invitational is a fundraiser for scholarships and participating high schools’ athletic departments. This past year’s Invitational brought record turnouts to the convention center, and Green expects next year’s event will draw even more traffic to Beckley.
Additional teams participating in the Invitational tournament include: 4A teams Greenbrier East, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson (Girls) and Spring Valley (Girls); 3A teams PikeView (Boys and Girls) and Nicholas County: 1A teams Richwood, James Monroe, Pocahontas County and Mt. View.
Green hopes high school students and their families attending the Invitational will consider New River CTC for their college education – that is the case for James “Caden” Lookabill, a member of the Wyoming East High School basketball team who participated in the 2020 Invitational. He will attend New River CTC in the fall with a scholarship provided by event sponsors.
“I can’t thank our sponsors enough for stepping up to make the Invitational a community-supported event. The leadership of local businesses and organizations has been incredible and is truly appreciated,” Green said.
Special Olympics teams also will compete during the tournament again. Raleigh County versus Fayette County Special Olympics was one of the best games at the Invitational this year, Green said.