Halifax County High School runner Mekhjay Boyd (5) sprints past a Jefferson Forest High School defender as he picks up a handful of yards during last Friday night’s game at Jefferson Forest High School in Forest.

After having had its early-season win streak snapped in last week’s loss to Jefferson Forest High School, the Halifax County High School varsity football team will be looking to get back on track when it hits the road to face Bassett High School in the Comets’ Piedmont District opener.

Kickoff time Friday night at Bassett High School is 7 p.m.

Comets head coach Grayson Throckmorton said that with the way he and the team break down the season into two-game segments and the way he, the coaching staff and players look each week at one game at a time, the idea that Friday’s game is the team’s Piedmont District opener hadn’t really come into focus.

“I really hadn’t thought of this being the district opener,” Throckmorton admitted Wednesday afternoon.

“I focus on one team at a time, our two-game segments and trying to focus on the big picture of the post-season playoffs, knowing we are going to be in the playoffs and trying to get ourselves into one of the top four positions to host a region game,” Throckmorton said.

“We’ve been through all of our non-district opponents, and now we have our district games coming up. If you do well in your district, it carries over to the region, and it bodes well for that.”

Halifax County High School will be facing a much-improved Bassett High School team that stands 3-2 overall heading into Friday night’s contest at Bassett High School.

Bassett High School has limited its opponents to 19 points or less over last three games on its way to being over the .500 mark heading into Friday night’s game.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Throckmorton said of Friday’s game.

“Bassett is a much-improved team. If we do the things necessary, I feel very good about our chances.”

Throckmorton said Bassett High School has improved over last season in every phase of the game.

“Overall, the biggest thing I see in Bassett is not so much offensively or defensively, it’s their overall holistic team,” he remarked.

“They’re a little bit better on offense, they’re a little bit better on defense, and they’re a little bit better with their special teams. The biggest thing is their players are buying into what their coaches are setting out in front of them, and they are believing in themselves. That is the biggest factor that has them going in the right direction this year.”

The one thing the Comets cannot do Friday night is to take Bassett High School lightly.

“That (not taking opponents lightly) is something we have made very clear in the previous weeks when we have talked about identifying our opponents and where we thought they stood,” Throckmorton said.

“Part of that was to insure that we didn’t overlook any opponent and take them lightly. We’re reminding ourselves of that this week, too.”

Gaining the team’s first road win of the season and getting a win in the district opener can serve as a good confidence-builder and morale-booster for the Comets.

“That is what we need right now, coming off of a hard-fought loss last week,” Throckmorton said.

“We need to get back on track and continue to build our confidence. We feel comfortable that we can do that. It’s just a matter of physically and mentally putting it forth and getting the job done. I certainly think the bite is in us. We’ve just got to find it and make sure that we do.”

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at