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Northfork High School, located deep within the southern coalfields in McDowell County, attracted national attention when its basketball team won a record-setting eight consecutive state championships. From 1974 through 1981, the Blue Demons marched through 47 Class AA tournament games without a single defeat.

Two events from the summer of 1966 marked the turning point in Northfork’s basketball fortunes: Racial segregation ended in eastern McDowell County when Northfork-Elkhorn High absorbed historically Black Elkhorn High, and Jennings Boyd was appointed head basketball coach at the integrated school, which shortened its name to Northfork High. Boyd, who coached Northfork to nine of its 10 state titles, compiled an incredible won-lost record of 90.9 percent in 15 years of tournament play. Boyd attributed Northfork’s success to being ‘‘blessed with talent’’ and having ‘‘total cooperation and support’’ from both racial communities. Northfork High School was absorbed into Mount View High School in 1985.

This Article was written by Tim L. Wyatt

Last Revised on April 19, 2021

Related Articles


Wyatt, Tim L. The Final Score. Woodbridge, VA: T. Wyatt, 1999.

Boyd, Jennings. Interview by author. 4/13/1999.

Cite This Article

Wyatt, Tim L. "Northfork Blue Demons." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 19 April 2021. Web. 25 June 2024.


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