Hundreds show up for Gate City's send-off to Richmond

Zac Ervin gets on the team bus.

High school sports are often the life blood of a community, and no town exemplifies that right now more than Gate City, Virginia.

Hundreds of Gate City students and supporters braved the cold Thursday morning to ensure a proper sendoff for their boys basketball team.

"We are in the best community and the best high school," head coach Scott Vermillion says. "These guys the luckiest dudes. We are just very blessed."

The Blue Devils are heading to Richmond for the 2A State Championship Game against Robert E. Lee, the team that beat Gate City in the state quarterfinals last year.

"These [fans] are extremely passionate and to know they have our back, it's great," Zac Ervin, a junior forward on the team, says.

The community always supports Gate City athletics, but die-hard fans say this team is the rallying cry that's brought them closer together than ever before.

"I'm sure in a gym full of 3,000 people there will be people who have different opinions, but when these guys take the court that all goes out the door," Michelle Hensley, a life-long Gate City fan, says. "Everyone plays with one heartbeat. We are Gate City. We are GC."

Apparently, Blue Devils fever has become so widespread you can't wear blue and white without starting a conversation.

"If you wear a Gate City shirt, you're always getting comments," Angel Babb, another fan, says.

The only thing that could bring this community even closer is a state championship.

"They deserve it this year and if they bring home state tomorrow I don't think they could disappoint anybody," Sarina Duncan, another fan, says. "It's just going to be one big awesome family here at Gate City."

The Eastside boys and the Wise Central girls will also play for a state championship on Friday, but because Wise County had a snow day on Thursday, their send-off rallies were cancelled.

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