Honaker High School

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Honaker High School

P.O. Box 764
1795 Thompson Creek Road

Honaker, Virginia 24260

37°1′7.18″N 81°59′11.96″W / 37.0186611°N 81.9866556°W / 37.0186611; -81.9866556Coordinates: 37°1′7.18″N 81°59′11.96″W / 37.0186611°N 81.9866556°W / 37.0186611; -81.9866556
School type Public high school
School district Russell County School Division
Superintendent Dr. Gregory Brown
Principal Mr. Tony Bush
Grades 8–12
Enrollment 475 (2016)
Language English
Color(s)                     Orange, Black, White, Gray
Mascot Tigers
Rivals Richlands High School, Lebanon High School
Athletic Conference Black Diamond District
Region D

Honaker High School is a public high school located in Honaker, Virginia in Russell County, Virginia. Athletic teams compete in the Virginia High School League's A Black Diamond District in Region D.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

As a member school of the Virginia High School League, all of Honaker High's extracurricular athletic and academic activities generally fall under the Region D's Black Diamond District in the smallest public school size, "A" or "1A," depending on the activity. In VHSL's history, Honaker High has produced three members of the league's Hall of Fame: Heath Miller, longtime baseball coach Tom Harding, and Ben Valley, 1951–55, who also played basketball for cross-county rival Lebanon High School during his career. Valley was inducted in the VHSL Hall of Fame's 1992 class. Both Miller and Harding were part of the 2016 VHSL Hall of Fame class.

Academic Team/Quizbowl[edit]

Since the creation of VHSL's Scholastic Bowl program, Honaker High's academic team has been a dominating force in Virginia's far western counties, and overall the school's most successful academic or athletic program, winning 3 state championships, including back-to-back state titles in 2016 and 2017, a first in HHS history for any VHSL-sanctioned sport or activity.

The Scholastic Bowl team won the Black Diamond District regular season and/or district tournament a record sixteen consecutive times from 1998 to 2013. That streak also included over ten Region D Championships. After the VHSL's switch to a new system of school divisions in 2013-14 (from 3 size classifications into 6), the Tigers won 4 consecutive conference tournament championships and 3 conference regular season championships. They have never failed to qualify for a VHSL regional tournament in Scholastic Bowl's 20 year history, and have been a competitor at the VHSL State Tournament 15 times, which as of 2017-2018 is more appearances than any team in the 1A classification. Since 1998, the team finished as state runner-up in 2010, 2012, and 2013.

In 2014, the Scholastic Bowl team brought home its first 1A State Championship, handily besting the other championship schools of Rappahannock County, Radford, and Mathews. The Tigers' total point total for the day, 815, was far above their competitors, who had 350, 500, and 605 points, respectively. The small team of 4 players included team captain Jacob Mitchell, who was given all-star honors for his performance at the state tournament while also laying claim to the team's career and single season scoring records. The 2014 State Championship team posted a perfect 38-0 record, averaging more than 300 points per game.

After the retirement of longtime Head Coach Alex Zachwieja in 2014, who finished his career with a 395-86 VHSL record, the team was taken over by Charlie Perkins, the captain of the program's 2010 state runner-up finish, in the 2016 season. Since then, the program has won back-to-back state championships in 2016 and 2017, and will enter the 2018 season as the winningest Scholastic Bowl program in Virginia's 1A classification. The 2016 state championship team featured 6/7 players on the roster as rookies, and 2017's team finished its title run with a spotless 27-0 record against 1A schools and a 36-6 overall record in VHSL.


The Honaker Tigers hosted the Virginia State quarterfinals baseball game for 2008. With a win over J.J. Kelly High School in the Region D Championship, the Tigers brought Coach Tom Harding his first Region D title in his 38 year/466 win coaching career.

In 2011, Honaker won the Single-A Division II State Championship over J.J. Kelly High School by a score of 16-9.


In 1924, Honaker won the state championship for boys basketball, defeating Dayton High 30-14. The championship, which came in the short-lived "C" division of the VHSL, is also the earliest recorded state title in VHSL boys basketball history.[1]


Tigers football has been a focal point of the school's athletic programs throughout the school's history. They recorded state runner-up finishes in 2000 (a loss to King William High School 25-15) and 2012 (against George Wythe High School, 17-10). The 2000 finish came on the back of Senior QB Heath Miller, who broke numerous school records as a passer but was also a formidable defensive back. Miller would later win the 2004 John Mackey Award as the best TE in the nation while playing for the Virginia Cavaliers, followed by being drafted 30th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers and immediately promoted to their starting position. He has since been a major contributor on two Super Bowl championship teams and three AFC championship teams while winning the Steelers MVP twice (2010, 2012) and being elected to the Pro Bowl twice (2009 & 2012). In March 2014, Heath Miller signed a contract extension with the team, extending his contract period through 2016 and increasing the likelihood of finishing his career in The Steel City.


In 1953, Honaker won the state championship for Girls Public Speaking.


Honaker has won the VHSL state championship for softball twice. The first, in the former "A" division, came in 1988 with a 7-2 win over Northumberland High School. Two years earlier, the Tiger fastpitch finished runner-up in the championship game to William Monroe High School, 17-2. In 2013, the Tigers took the title to Russell County once again by securing a 3-1 victory in the 1-A state championship match against Madison County High School. Honaker won the championship in 1984 over King William 5-2.


For the 1951-1952 school year, Honaker's theater program was awarded a superior rating by the VHSL.

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]