Goins’ records highlight year for Rye Cove athletics

Kevin Mays • May 28, 2020 at 1:00 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the sixth part of a continuing year-in-review series looking at athletic achievements by Southwest Virginia high schools in the 2019-20 school year.

RYE COVE — Senior R.J. Goins came up big in the water this winter for Rye Cove.

The one-man swimming team and state champion for the Eagles represented the school well in the winter swimming season.

Going from Duffield to Kingsport in the early morning hours nearly every day paid off big for Goins, who broke his own records in the Region 2D swimming championships at Virginia High in Bristol.

Goins finished the 200 individual medley with a record time of 2:07.31 to win gold at the regional championships.

He also set a new record, beating the one he set the year before, with a time of 5:10.37 in the 500 individual medley.

Goins was the favorite to finish high in both events in the VHSL Class 2 state championships in Richmond, but the defending state champ was stricken with illness the morning of the event. Still he managed to swim the 200 IM, where he placed sixth.


Led by All-Cumberland District second-teamers Kaylee Sloan, Eva Roach and Emily Bishop, the Lady Eagles advanced to the Region 1D quarterfinals with a 12-13 mark after finishing as runner-up in the district tournament.


Brothers Mathew and Mason Hardin led Rye Cove in a strange gridiron season.

The Eagles’ first game on the field was delayed by a week after Jenkins, Kentucky, announced just before the regular season was scheduled to begin that it would not field a team.

Rye Cove, which finished the season with a 4-6 mark, was scheduled to play Jenkins in the season opener.


Sophomore Ethan Chavez finished the season averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game to help Rye Cove to an 11-14 season.

Chavez also recorded a triple-double with points, rebounds and blocked shots in three separate games for the Eagles.


A young Lady Eagles squad finished the year with an 8-15 mark that included a heartbreaking, one-point loss to J.I. Burton in the opening round of the Cumberland District tournament.

Sarah Cupova led Rye Cove on the floor, averaging 10 points and 13.3 rebounds per game.

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