A look back at just some of the key stories from the 2012 calendar year in West Virginia high school athletics.
#1 THREE-PEAT FOR MARTINSBURG
Martinsburg became the first Class AAA school to win three straight state football titles since Charleston High did it from 1968-1970. The Bulldogs knocked off Cabell Midland 38-14 in the 2012 state championship game, capping off a 13-1 season.
#2 DRAMATIC FIRST STATE FOOTBALL TITLE FOR WAHAMA
In one of the more memorable state football championship games in recent history, Wahama defeated Madonna in overtime, 43-42. The two teams traded the lead six times, combining for the most points in Class A title game history. The win gave Wahama its first state football championship in school history, to go along with two baseball titles (1996 and 1998).
#3 HEDGESVILLE STEALS THE SHOW, CLASS AAA TITLE
Hedgesville won its first boys basketball state championship since 1970, using a slow-down offense and tearing through the Class AAA field as the No. 7 seed. The Eagles defeated defending state champion George Washington 33-32 in the title game. Hedgesville made it to the championship with wins over No. 2 Wheeling Park and No. 6 Parkersburg.
#4 RYAN SWITZER WINS 2ND KENNEDY AWARD
George Washington running back Ryan Switzer became just the sixth player in state history to win two Kennedy Awards. The senior running back finished this past season with 2,379 yards and 32 touchdowns on 206 carries. He also added 20 catches for 253 yards and four more scores, to go along with three defensive touchdowns as well.
#5 SUMMERS COUNTY DOMINANCE ENDS, ST. JOE’S CONTINUES
Summers County’s streak of five straight Class AA girls’ state basketball titles came to an end in 2012. The Bobcats won a West Virginia-record 105 games in a row, before being upended by Scott in the regular season. Scott later fell to Westside in the state championship game.
In Class A, meanwhile, Huntington St. Joseph won its fourth straight girls basketball championship, beating Wheeling Central, 57-49. The Class AAA crown went to Greenbrier East.
#6 TUG VALLEY, CHARLESTON CATHOLIC ADD TITLES
Tug Valley won its first boys state basketball championship in 13 years, knocking off top seeded Bluefield in the Class AA title game. It was Tug Valley’s final game in Class AA as the Panthers made the transition to Class A.
Charleston Catholic, meanwhile, won its fourth Class A state championship, topping No. 1 St. Marys in the title game. It was Charleston Catholic’s first boys state basketball championship since back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.
#7 RECLASSIFICATION FOR 2012-2013 ACADEMIC YEAR
In August, schools within the WVSSAC began competing under the newly adjusted layout for all three classes. A slew of north-central West Virginia schools saw themselves go from Class AAA down to Class AA as Bridgeport, North Marion, Robert C. Byrd, East Fairmont and Fairmont Senior all made the drop down.
After becoming a recent force in the Class AA field, Pt. Pleasant’s enrollment numbers jumped the school up to AAA. Shady Spring and Oak Hill also made the jump.
Some notables going from AA to A included Magnolia, Tug Valley, Greenbrier West, Tyler Consolidated and Sherman.
#8 SWITZER TO UNC, WELLMAN TO WVU
George Washington running back Ryan Switzer entered 2012 as one of the highest rated football recruits to come from the state in recent years. Though WVU was in the mix, the Mountaineers never appeared to be a clear favorite to land the GW standout. This past summer, Switzer announced he would be playing football at North Carolina.
The Mountaineers didn’t lose out, however, on Spring Valley’s Elijah Wellman. The 2012 Huff Award winner as the state’s top defensive player committed to WVU over the summer and will fit into a blocking-back role with the Mountaineers.
#9 PRINCETON, WYOMING EAST, MADONNA TAKE BASEBALL CROWNS
Princeton won its first Class AAA state baseball championship, scoring six runs in the sixth inning to beat Nitro, 7-4. It was the first state title of any kind for the school since winning the 1981 boys basketball championship.
Wyoming East also won its first state baseball title as the Warriors edged Herbert Hoover in the Class AA championship game, 1-0. Wyoming East scored the winning run in the seventh inning, following six scoreless innings by both teams.
In Class A, Madonna took its second baseball crown, knocking off East Hardy 5-4 in eight innings.
#10 WAYNE WINS SECOND STRAIGHT FOOTBALL TITLE
There was little doubt throughout the 2012 football season that Wayne was the best team in Class AA. And the Pioneers were no match in the playoffs, rolling through the field and championship game, 35-0 over Keyser.
#11 CABELL MIDLAND, KEYSER MAKE IT TO WHEELING
While the ultimate end result was disappointing, Cabell Midland and Keyser both made their mark on the 2012 football season as the Knights made it to the Class AAA title game for the first time in school history. Cabell Midland finished the regular season undefeated and earned the top seed in the playoffs.
Keyser, meanwhile, made it back to Wheeling for the first time since 1969. The Golden Tornado finished with just one loss in the regular season.
#12 JACOB BURCHAM TRACK PHENOMENON
Cabell Midland’s Jacob Burcham continued to make a name for himself on the track as he put on another show at the 2012 Class AAA state track meet. He broke his own state record in the 3,200 with a time of 8 minutes, 57.73 seconds. Overall, he captured titles in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs.
#13 DENNY PRICE, JOHN MESSINGER RETIRE
The state’s all-time winningest head football coach, Musselman’s Denny Price, decided to call it quits after the 2012 season. After more than 40 years with Musselman, Price has more wins than any other high school football coach in state history.
John Messinger, meanwhile, decided to move on from his coaching duties as well at South Charleston. He leaves the program after leading the school to state championship wins in 2008 and 2009.
#14 ELKINS PLAYER RULED INELIGIBLE, THEN ELIGIBLE
A little bit of drama surrounded the final week of the high school football regular season as the eligibility of an Elkins running back put many teams’ playoff hopes in the balance. Ultimately, it was ruled that L.J. Lawrence was, in fact, eligible as the Tigers kept their seven wins and made a trip to the Class AAA playoffs.
#15 GEORGE WASHINGTON’S HANNAH SHREVE TO WVU
Hannah Shreve helped lead her George Washington volleyball team to a Class AAA state title in 2012. She later officially signed her letter of intent to stay instate and play for the Mountaineers, becoming the first instate volleyball recruit to do so in over a decade.