Where did summer go?  Vacations are over….school is back in session….the eclipse has come and gone!  I guess now all we have to look forward to is football!  YES…YES…YES!  I honestly don’t think there is a better time of the year than the next few months when those Friday night lights shine brightly across the State!

And, as we get set to enter week number one of the high school football season, every team is undefeated and every coach, player, cheerleader and fan has high hopes their team will play the final game of the season on Wheeling Island on that first weekend in December.  But, December is a long time off and between now and then, every high school football fan in the State can look forward to some exciting, hard-hitting action on gridirons!

Let’s take a look back at 2016 before we begin our venture into this season.  In Class AAA, two teams really stood atop the rest and they both proved why they were legitimately #1 and #2 in the State by playing for the title on Wheeling Island.  The Martinsburg Bulldogs capped off a perfect 14-0 season with an impressive 49-7 victory over Spring Valley in the title game.  With that win, Martinsburg won their 5th AAA title in the last 7 years.  And, as most folks will tell you, Coach Dave Walker has a lot of talent returning from last years ballclub.  For Spring Valley, if you plan on taking in any Timber Wolves games this fall and you want some pictures, make sure you bring along a “wide-angle” lens……the boys of Head Coach Brad Dinguess are big!!!  Looking back at the Class AA ranks from last season, the Miners of Mingo Central finished atop a strong field of contenders as they out-slugged a very talented group of Polar Bears from Fairmont Senior in the Class AA title game.  The Miners were led by quarterback Jeremy Dillon as they dominated Fairmont Senior 32-7.  Dillon was named last year’s MetroNews High School Football Player of the Year and he also won the Kennedy Award.  And, good news for the Miners, Jeremy Dillon returns this season for his senior year and he will play under new head coach Joey Fields as veteran Yogi Kinder hung up the whistle after last season’s title game.  In the Class A Championship game last year, the Cougars of East Hardy finished as runners-up for the second year in a row as they lost in the title game to a very talented group of youngsters from St. Marys 23-8.  Head Coach Jodi Mote had his 2nd ranked ballclub primed and ready as they capped off an undefeated season with the win over Head Coach Chad Williams’ Cougars.  That loss was the only blemish last season for East Hardy as both ball clubs went into the title game undefeated! And, by the way that final game last year was a great way to end the season as all three state championship teams finished 2016 undefeated.

So, what can we expect in 2017?  Well, I think more of what we saw last year!  if you go to the MetroNews website at wvmetronews.com and click on the Sports tab and then click on the High School tab, you will then be able to locate the scoreboard for this week’s slate of games.  On the scoreboard, if you click on each individual team you will be directed to that teams schedule for the season.  Take a look at what I think is some of the best scheduling ever by high school coaches and athletic directors!  Every high school fan in the state has an opportunity this season to really enjoy some great action on high school fields in every corner of the state.  I know that for Dave Jecklin, Garrett Cullen and me it is going to be very difficult to pick our “Games of the Week”….but, it is a task I am really looking forward to.  And, something else I am looking forward to is being a part of a couple of the best programs we have to offer on the MetroNews Radio Network!  Beginning Wednesday night, August 23rd, HIGH SCHOOL SPORTSLINE returns for the season and from 7p to 9p every Wednesday night, Dave, Garrett and I will let you know what is going on around the state in high school sports.  And, then starting up this Friday night, August 25th, it is the return of HIGH SCHOOL GAMENIGHT!  Hard to believe, we are starting our 16th season of GAMENIGHT and every Friday night from 9:30 to Midnight, Dave Jecklin and I, along with Garrett Cullen and a host of others, will bring you the scores and stories from around the state on all of the games played under those Friday night lights!  Both programs will be available on many great radio stations around the state and on-line at wvmetronews.com.  And, this season we will also be streaming the live video of GAMENIGHT at wvmetronews.com.  That way, you can actually watch how hard Dave and I work on Friday nights, ha ha!  Trust me, it’s not work when you are doing something you love!

So, let’s get ready for another great season of high school football!  We look forward to talking with you throughout the year on the MetroNews Radio Network and at wvmetronews.com!

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