About three years ago, my wife and I decided to sell our home in Beckley and move closer to our granddaughter who resides with her father, mother and older sister near the Huntington area. I distinctly remember our real estate agent telling us we should have no problem selling our home in Beckley because of its location. She said, “With real estate, it’s all about location, location, location.” And, she was so right, fortunately, our home was only on the market for 10 days.
Now, let’s fast forward to this year’s high school football season, and with only three weeks left in regular season play, that same basic principle applies. Certainly the teams that will make it into the playoff field want, and need, the “location” of their playoff games to be close to home, and that is why these last two or three games are all about position, position, position!
When you look at the WVSSAC playoff rankings that were released this past Tuesday afternoon, the field of 16 in each class is starting to take shape. There seems to be a little more movement available in all three classes, but in Class AA the top 16 is far from being set. As always, there are a lot more teams looking for their first win than there are teams that have yet to suffer their first loss. In Class AAA, only two undefeated teams remain–George Washington and Martinsburg, while in Class AA there are three perfect marks in Ravenswood, Greenbrier West and Magnolia. In Class A, there are also three undefeated teams–Wahama, Meadow Bridge and Bishop Donahue.
As far as those teams on the other end of that spectrum, there are a total of 12 teams still in search of win number one. Certainly the formula for great positioning in the playoffs is simple–keep winning and the numbers will take care of themselves.
Now, looking ahead this week there are some really great games that will certainly have an impact on the rankings next week. In Class AAA, the real big game takes place at University of Charleston Stadium where the unbeaten and number one ranked Patriots of George Washington will try and stay that way as they battle the third ranked Cougars of Capital. The only loss on the schedule so far for Capital has been a 21 point defeat at the hands of South Charleston. That same Black Eagle ballclub lost earlier in the year by 14 to George Washington. It should be a great game!
In Class AA, it looks like the Poca Dots are in the mix again this week as they have to travel to Wayne to battle the Pioneers. Poca is 4-3 and ranked No. 14 this week while Wayne is 6-1 and in solid playoff position at No. 6. I never like to say any game is a “must win”, but this one is close for the Dots. With only two games remaining after this week and those two opponents won/loss record combined right now to read 2-13, the Dots won’t have a lot of bonus points coming their way.
In Class A this week, the must see game actually has to be “three must see games”! The Meadow Bridge Wildcats are undefeated and ranked No. 2 and will have their hands full this week at home against the Mt. Hope Mustangs. The Mustangs are currently 4-3 and ranked No. 19 and they must have a win this week to stay in the playoff hunt. How about the matchup this week between No. 4 Fayetteville and No. 6 Buffalo? Both teams have lost only one game this year, the Pirates by 5 to Meadow Bridge and the Bison by 17 to Class AA Poca. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 kick at the home of the Bison.
Also in Class A, the Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central Catholic are really in need of a win. Just to show you how tough their schedule has been, they currently stand at 4-3 but are ranked No. 8. The have six teams with fewer losses ranked below them. However, time is running out and the schedule does not get any easier. This week’s opponent is Martins Ferry, Ohio which has a record of 7-1, next week it’s Shadyside, Ohio who is currently undefeated at 8-0 and, in the final game of the regular season they battle city rival Linsly who is currently 7-1 and features the best team they’ve had in ten years. It is indeed a tough, tough schedule for Head Coach Mike Young and his Maroon Knights.
Hey, don’t forget to check out all the scores of the games this week on our website at wvmetronews.com. Just log on and go to the hs sports page for the most comprehensive coverage of high school sports that can be found anywhere.
And, remember to be listening this Friday night for Wendy’s High School GameNight which can be heard on 45 great radio stations around the state.