It has been a long time since high school football practice began back on August 2nd. The temperatures on that hot, August Monday topped out around the state in the upper 80s, and when play concludes in the regular season this Saturday night, that temperature will be hovering in the upper 20s.
When play begins this week on Thursday night with Pikeview at Midland Trail, there will be 50 regular season games remaining, and then, it’s on to the second season for 48 teams that have survived the first eleven weeks.
As always, there are a lot of things going on in high school sports this week around the state. As mentioned above, the Pikeview/Midland Trail game was moved to Thursday night this week, because the State High School Soccer Tournament is going on this weekend in Beckley and the Pikeview Panthers girls’ soccer team will be playing in the AA/A semifinals on Friday night.
Now, as we head into the final week of the regular season, there are still a few playoff spots up for grabs. But, the key word there is “few”. In Class AAA, 15 of the 16 spots have been taken and there are still five teams with a shot at that final playoff berth. The five teams still alive this weekend in Class AAA are Parkersburg South, Logan, Musselman, Huntington and Riverside. While not etched in stone, if Parkersburg South can defeat John Marshall they should have the edge on the other teams. But, keep in mind there are a lot of bonus points available in the other games particularly with Musselman playing at Brooke, Huntington hosting Capital and Riverside visiting South Charleston. And, while we still don’t know for sure the exact position of the 15 teams that have clinched, we do know the top two teams in the big schools division will be George Washington and Martinsburg. If undefeated George Washington would stub their toe at home this week against St. Albans, then the Bulldogs of Martinsburg, who are finished at 10-0, would jump to No. 1. George Washington would fall no further than the No. 2 slot.
In Class AA, only 11 of the 16 spots have been clinched, but there are three more teams that control their destiny. This week, if Point Pleasant wins at home against Chapmanville they are in, if Frankfort can win on the road at Class AAA Hampshire they are in, and if Keyser can travel to Mountain Ridge, Maryland and pick up the win they would clinch a spot as well. Now, that would still leave two playoff spots available and there are six teams with a shot and they include Herbert Hoover, Tug Valley and Braxton County, all of whom have finished the regular season. Also still in the mix are Poca Dots who host Tolsia and the Scott Skyhawks who welcome Class AAA Logan.
In Class A, it’s a little more open as only seven of the sixteen spots have been clinched. Those seven spots belong to Wahama, Bishop Donahue, Meadow Bridge, Wirt County, Matewan, Pendleton County and Williamstown. However, the number of teams that can win this week and get in total nine and that would fill up the Class A bracket. Those teams and their games this week look like this: Buffalo is at No. 1 Wahama, Wheeling Central Catholic plays host to 8-1 Linsly, East Hardy welcomes Class AA Petersburg, Parkersburg Catholic will travel to No. 5 Williamstown, Tucker County hosts Class AA Philip Barbour, Madonna hosts Clay-Battelle on Saturday, Fayetteville will host Class AA Independence, Van is at Class AA Clay County, and Richwood will welcome Class A No. 2 and undefeated Meadow Bridge.
It’s great to see the season come down to some very important games in week number eleven and, as always we will have all the scores and the playoff scenarios for you this Friday night on WENDYS HIGH SCHOOL GAMENIGHT. And, don’t forget you can catch all the scores on our website at wvmetronews.com. Just click on the “hs sports” icon and that will take you to the scoreboard.