'Blue Demons: A West Virginia Legacy' Premieres Oct. 24 On WVPB TV And YouTube
CHARLESTON, WV — WVPB Television proudly announces the premiere of Blue Demons: A West Virginia Legacy. The half-hour television program will air Monday, Oct. 24 at 9 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s TV and YouTube channels.
The Northfork High School "Blue Demons" were a force to be reckoned with from 1971 to 1984, setting national records including most consecutive state championships. The small coal mining town in McDowell County received national attention. People wore jackets and hats that had the slogan “Northfork West Virginia — Basketball Capital of the United States." The town desperately needed the positive feelings brought on by its success on the basketball court. As jobs in Northfork were really starting to disappear, the high school winning the state title brought hope to the community.
"Blue Demons is a story that has been near and dear to my heart for quite a while,” commented Producer John Hale. “The roots of this documentary started out as an episode of the Inside Appalachia podcast, but I had a greater mission for the film, to tell the story of one of the greatest AA title runs in high school sports history and to highlight the people who made it happen. I always knew about the team itself but to find out the close personal connection that I had to the material and the positive representation of southern West Virginia made it imperative for me to produce this film."
When Northfork High School closed, it became a middle school. The school was closed permanently in 2002.
The high school sports trophies were moved to the local Northfork Museum. After that building began to fall into disrepair, they were then moved to City Hall. Years of accomplishments remain housed in a tiny bank vault to this day.
“West Virginia Public Broadcasting makes it our mission to tell stories about West Virginians that inspire and reveal who we are,” said Eddie Isom, WVPB Chief Operating Officer. “The story of the Blue Demons goes beyond basketball. It’s a story of hope and triumph that everyone in West Virginia can relate to.”