By: Wes McKinney

Class A No. 10 Man at Logan

Both teams look to start the season in a positive direction after early exits in their respective playoff runs last year. Man lost in the first round to No. 12 Bishop Donahue in Class A while Logan fell to No. 4 Point Pleasant in Class AAA.

Logan has had the upper-hand in this series over the last decade, winning seven of the last nine games against the Hillbillies. However, Man has a wealth of talent back, wanting to knock off their Logan County big brother, including two-year starter and junior quarterback John Keffer.

“It’s the biggest crowd of the season for both teams, no matter where the game is played,” Man head coach Harvey Arms said. “It’s always been an exciting time for both towns.”

Boothe Davis, Captured by the Moment Photography

Logan heads into 2014 behind coach Gary Mullins as the Wildcats look to get back into the Class AAA playoffs.

And an upset for Man over the Wildcats would present a multitude of bonus points that could be significant come postseason time.

“We feel like we have a variety of talent and we are just hoping to get the best out of them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Logan is looking to take the Logan County crown by beating Man on opening week before playing Chapmanville week five.

“Our number one goal every year is to be the county champion,” Logan head coach Gary Mullins said. “It’s hard to do that if you lose the first game.”

Four key starters return for the Wildcats in quarterback Ryan Miller, linebackers Jacob Browning and Jeremiah Spears, along with running back/defensive back Matthew Cox.


Class AA No. 1 Wayne at Tolsia

Wayne had its winning streak of 36 games snapped last year on Wheeling Island when it lost 14-13 to Bridgeport in the Class AA championship game.

“Losing cleanses the soul a little bit, but it’s not something you want to get used to,” Wayne head coach Tom Harmon said.

The Pioneers will look to get back to their winning ways when they take on county rival Tolsia in week one of the season. Fortunately for Harmon and Wayne, the Pioneers return quarterback Grant Ferguson as well as running backs Mason Hodge and Cody Stiltner.

Tolsia and Wayne, meanwhile, are separated by just 27 miles.

“Of course being a county rival, it’s a spirited game,” Harmon said. “The old cliché of ‘throw the records out the window’ is true. We’ve had years where we had good records and they didn’t and played us very tough. Going there to start the year, I don’t expect it to be anything easy.”


Riverside at Class AAA No. 8 Cabell Midland

Last year, Cabell Midland opened up the season by thrashing Riverside on the road 70-0 in what was the first game at Riverside for coach Steve Freeman.

“We’re going to prepare like we always would, because we know they are ready to come here and win,” Cabell Midland head coach Luke Salmons said. “Their coach is entering his second season and that first year is always challenging.”

The Knights will enter the week one matchup having to replace 18 of 22 combined starters from a team that went 9-3 and made the quarterfinals of the Class AAA playoffs.

Senior quarterback Coy Pettit and senior running back Alex Childers will be leading the offensive attack for Cabell Midland.

Salmons is looking forward to starting the 2014 campaign at home.

“The first game is always meaningful,” he said. “It’s the first game for the seniors, sometimes it works out where you get to start the season at home. I think it’s neat because the crowds are always big.”


Hurricane at Class AAA No. 4 Huntington

Huntington started off last season by holding a high-powered Hurricane offensive attack to just eight points, which spring boarded the Highlanders’ defense to giving up just 10.2 points per game on the season.

Huntington used that stingy defense to get to the state championship game in Class AAA before falling to Martinsburg in a 9-7 defensive battle.

“I think our kids took away a positive experience from being there,” Huntington head coach Billy Seals said. “I don’t think our kids are intimidated or scared of anyone.”

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Huntington fell 9-7 to Martinsburg in the 2013 Class AAA state championship game.

Huntington will open up this season against a Hurricane offense that is under first year offensive coordinator Scott Tinsley.

“With Scott Tinsley coming in, they are going to air it out a good bit,” Seals said. “They have kids on the outside that can make plays. It’s a timing offense. They’re a program year in, year out that’s in the playoffs. It’s definitely going to be a tall task for our program to get started on the right foot.”


St. Albans at Spring Valley

Wayne County was one of the first county school systems to return this year, starting August 5th.

That early start significantly cut into preseason practice time for Spring Valley and head coach Brad Dingess.

“We don’t have near as much stuff in our system right now,” Dingess said.

Spring Valley this year will play four of its first five games at home after beginning last year with four of five on the road.

“It felt like we were on a school bus forever,“ Dingess said. “Our kids are excited to open up at home. It’s better to kick off the season at home in week one.”

The Timberwolves will be led by offensive linemen Trevor “Shaq” Stacy and Alex Locklear, who are headed to Charlotte and Marshall once their playing days are over at Spring Valley.

Meanwhile, St. Albans will be looking to improve on a 2013 campaign that ended with a 2-8 record.

“They have some kids back,” Dingess said. “Their coach is great and they have another year in his system.”


Class AAA No. 7 Point Pleasant at Lincoln County

Last season proved to be one of the best for Point Pleasant at the Class AAA level as the Big Blacks finished the regular season undefeated and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs.

This year’s team could be even better with quarterback Aden Yates, running back Cody Mitchell and all five offensive lineman returning to a team that scored 40.3 points per game.

Wes McKinney/MetroNews

Point Pleasant returns the bulk of its 2013 quarterfinal team, including senior quarterback Aden Yates.

Big Blacks head coach David Darst is looking for bigger things from the likes of wide receiver Jon Peterson and running back Cody Marcum.

“We are expecting guys like that to excel all year long and be the leaders of our team,’ Darst said. “We’re blessed with a lot of kids that can make plays offensively.”

Even though Point Pleasant coasted by Lincoln County 70-14 last season, Darst will have his team’s attention on Friday.

“We’ve had some hiccups on the road early,” he said. “A couple of years ago we went down to Tolsia when we had a pretty good football and lost to a team that wasn’t very good. We have a tendency, when we play on grass, to not be ready to play.”

A rivalry game with Ripley looms for Point Pleasant in week two.

“Our captains have done a good job of keeping everyone focused on our goals,” Darst said. “We don’t look ahead. Even as a coaching staff, we rarely look at anyone beyond the opponent we have coming up.”


Other Games

Chapmanville at Sissonville

Hannan at Eastern, Ohio

Mingo Central at Wyoming East

Herbert Hoover at Scott

Tug Valley at Sherman

Meadow Bridge at Van

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  • Hurricane

    Putting point and GW is the dumbest thing I've heard in awhile your top 5 should be

    • hhs dad

      Hurricane, coach was just ranking the teams in the south not the state.

  • Coach

    Man we should get paid for this kickoff show. We got some good stuff going on here. I'm talking the Southern part of WV. Martinsburg is in a league of their own. Unless they melt down, give them the trophy and let all the others play for second. You just can't compete with a team that dresses 125 a game. Their JV would make the playoffs. Points program is solid. Those kids work hard and have talent. All you can do is play the schedule your Ad sets up for you. Points is favorable. Capital will run the MSAC table. They're QB is the real deal and they have yet to turn him loose.

  • stevie

    Weak schedule or not, PP has a future D-1 player in the backfield and a good QB.

    • hhs dad

      Never said they didn't have talented players just said that their schedule is really weak. Wayne is the only power house team Point has this year and just like last year they will make the playoffs but when they go up against a team that has played tough teams it will show just like last year with Wheeling Park. But do wish Point good luck.

      • stevie

        park and point was a 14-7 ball game in the late 3rd no means a blowout and they were playing against a senior loaded group.

        i applaud point for what they are doing with a rural and small school in AAA.

  • Charles

    No huntington in your top 5. A team that just stonewalled gw at the grid. And have point pleasant at 2. No way

  • CouchCoach

    Capital will be your new state champs. Carpenter is doing an amazing job!!

    • Sherando VA

      Good luck playing Martinsburg Becasue they are way more loaded then ever before.

    • park101

      from wheeling i wil just say this but This is for any teams in the state of WV Martinsburg plays 4 staright national ranked teams and if they do win to all 4 teams sorry capital you guys or anyone else in the state wont have a chance because no WV team except martinsburg would be able to keep up with those really tough out of state teams. I dont know if people dont relize but Martinsburgs football team runs the same kind of football camp as the WVU college football camp. thats why they win every year when you combine the college practices with as much talent as martinsburg has then they are going to be a powerhouse every year.

      • CharlestonDubV

        they don't play 4 straight Nationally ranked teams, the first 3 games those teams are ranked lower than some of the WV teams nationally only Tuscarora is in the top 250 according to MaxPreps so that is not that tough of a schedule by any means, give me a break. And if they run such a collegiate program then why is it when the freshman showed up for camp at AB this year 2 Martinsburg incoming freshman failed the running test. Save all that noise for someone who might actually believe it. lol. It is straight up recruiting talent, that's the only secret to their success.

        • Sherando Va

          you dont know anything about the out of state teams that Martinsburg plays do You????????????

        • Sherando Va

          no comment???? WHy no comment down state Charlestiondubv fan ? maybe thats because i am right and you have no idea what you are talking about..

        • state college high school football

          if you dont comment????? then you know what all you said is all false and my friend you just got proven wrong by the max preps supervisor. and everyone else that commented.

        • state college high school football

          so you say that the teams arnt tough at all ya right well i hate to tell you this but WV teams except for Martinsburgh dont play anyone out of state because WV teams are scared to go out side of the state except other then Martinsburg. and if a WV team doe go out of the state they play some scrappy team. we play some of the Top football programs in PA that WV teams would get run over by in football. Martinsburg beat us last year 35-29 and they reallly showed how good they are. i will Gurantee that no team in WV except for Martinsburg would be able to handle the teams in PA football league. o ya by the way the only reason why Martinsburg asked us to play is becasue they couldnt find anyone in the state of WV to play them. you wouldnt know a good football team until you see our team and Martinsburg o ya and as a state college fan i hope Martinsburgh runs over any WV team Avaiable

        • Max Preps Supervisor: Greg

          hey CharelstiondubV i am the supervisor for Max preps and those 4 teams that Martinsburg WV plays are all nationally ranked... Max Preps was just informed about a month ago that the Director who puts the info in was all wrong and made major mistakes. He got fired and it will take sometime to fix the problem. all the national rankings are not correct.

        • Sherando VA

          o by the way the only way to play for Martinsburg is to pass all these test and its the same test as Maryland and WVU run. Martinsburg coach does not play football players who do not pass the test. get your facts straight.......

        • Sherando VA

          for your information Wheeling Park and hunigton and capital all recruit. so why arent they winning then????

        • Sherando VA

          O ya and the other teams from WV like Capital, Hunigton and wheeling park do not recruit but what your saying is Martinsburg is the only teams that recruits give me a break. come on now Capital could of won it last year but they didnt. and Hunigton could but they didnt. you sir do not know what you are talking about. you want to put your money where your mouth is then play my teams Sherando Va if anyone down state WV is brave enough. we will rock all the teams down there.

        • Sherando VA

          from Sherando VA :::::: Park 101 you are right and Charlestion dub is wrong. I dare you to go to a WV college Football camp and then go to Martinsburg and its the same camp. i have been there at both camps i know how both camps are run because my dad is the supervisor with Max preps and he also says Martinsburg is just like a college team and also by the way the director got fired for putting the wrong raknings in. and you do not have a clue what the Martinsburgs camp is like and o ya thats why their record is 56-2 in 4 years whats your guys record???? name what team in WV thats higher then those 4 out of state teams nationally??? no one will ever play anyone out of state, where like in PA, and VA and DC they have a more competitive football schedule then the state of WV. u dont believe me why dont wv teams play one of these teams then?????? here is the actually National Rankings accounding to my dad who works for Max preps. the National rankings is all wrong and having computer problems to fix the issue. Sherando VA 125 Nationally ranked, Tuscorora VA 65 nationally ranked, state College 86 National ranked, and HD woodson 175 National ranked.

    • hhs dad

      Capital will be tough this year, but they still have to play Huntington and South Charleston and Midland. But until one of those teams beats Martinsburgh they still remain the champs and have the best shot to repeat. Coach you not putting Huntington in your top 5 is crazy since Point plays a weak schedule and like the man above said Huntington moved GW all over the field last Saturday and actually scored two more tds that were called back because of penalties.

  • Coach

    As my old college coach used to say, we were dang good on paper but my guys can't read. Here's how I rank em down south.
    1. Capital
    2. Point Pleasant
    3. South Charleston
    4. Cabell Midland
    5. George Washington

    • CharlestonDubV

      I got
      1. Capital
      2. Midland
      3. South Charleston
      4. Huntington
      5. Point

      GW is out, they will lose Thursday nights opener and they played poor against HHS.

      • Tuscroroa va

        if we were in WV we would be number 1 for sure and capital would be 3rd. Tuscroora would steam roll all the WV teams except for Martinsurgh

      • tuscrooa Va

        those teams stink compared to Martinsburg and us and if you want to play a real Nationally ranked team then play my team Which is Tuscroora VA who is 65 nationally ranked. dare anyone to put us on the schedule for next year. o ya we have over 123 players on my team with over 45 college recruits.

  • Renegade

    Westside At Liberty Raleigh