The End is in Sight!

As we enter week #8 of the high school football season, it is quite obvious the 2018 campaign is winding down rather quickly for the 116 high school teams that play football in West Virginia!

Heading into the home stretch, we still have 15 teams that are undefeated….4 in Class AAA, 5 in Class AA and 5 in Class A.  Even though we are a few weeks away, in comparison to last season, as we entered the first week of the playoffs last year, there were only 6 teams that had not lost a game…..3 in Class AAA…..2 in Class AA and only 1 left standing in Class A.  However, being undefeated is not a requirement to make the field of sixteen in any playoff class.  In fact, as long as teams have 3 or fewer losses they are in pretty good shape.  I say pretty good because we did have one 7-3 team in Class AA that did not make the playoff field…..the Pikeview Panthers finished 7-3 and missed the field of 16 by just 2/10th of a playoff point!!  Also in 2017, we had 8 teams with 4 losses that played in the post season and in Class AAA, we had 3 teams with a 5-5 record and, get ready for this, we even had 2 teams with a 4-6 record make the playoff field.  Will that happen this season?  The answer is yes, at least in Class AAA!  When last week’s SSAC rankings were released, in Class AAA we had positions 12 -16 all with 3 losses!  In Class AA you had to go down to position #23 to find a 3 loss team and in Class A, we had to scroll down to position #21 to find a team with at least 3 losses!  So, without question, the remaining four weeks of the regular season are going to be crucial in filling out the 2018 post season brackets!

Coming up in week #8, we have some exciting games that should be fun for all high school football fans.  In Class AAA, the biggest game will be played at University of Charleston Stadium as (6-0) Huntington travels to take on the (5-1) Cougars of Capital.  The only blemish on the slate for Capital came in week #6 as the Cougars dropped a 21-13 loss to still undefeated Spring Valley.  The Huntington Highlanders will play Spring Valley on the final Friday of the regular season, November 2nd.  Also this weekend in Class AAA, Musselman (6-0) plays at Wheeling Park (5-1)….Hedgesville (5-2) get their annual shot at Martinsburg (7-0) and Ripley (5-1) will travel to Fairlea to battle Greenbrier East (4-2).  In Class AA, the Vikings of Petersburg (4-1) will visit Frankfort (6-1)….Shady Spring (5-1) travels to Oak Hill to battle the (5-1) Red Devils…..and, Chapmanville (4-2) visits Wayne (4-2).  In Class A, the Cameron Dragons (7-0) will put their undefeated mark on the line a they visit Clay Battelle (4-2) and undefeated Parkersburg Catholic (7-0) will entertain Notre Dame (3-3).

Another game worthy of note in Class AA will feature Lincoln County (4-2) on the road to battle (5-1) Clay County.  I mention this game because Lincoln County is having a great season so far in 2018 and that is after finishing (3-7) last year.  However, here is the caveat…..Lincoln County is once again ineligible from competing in the 16 team playoff field because of a scheduling rule that requires schools to play at least half of their schedule against teams in their bracket or higher.  Of the ten games the Panthers have scheduled this year, only four are Class AA…..the other six teams are Class A.  It has certainly been a long road for Lincoln County athletics since the school was formed in 2006.  In fact, when Lincoln County was created with the consolidation of Hamlin, Duval and Guyan Valley, they actually started as a Class AAA school before reclassification three years ago sent them to the Class AA ranks.  There is an old adage that states….”you have to learn how to win” and I respect the decision of the athletic department and coaching staff at Lincoln County for giving the Panthers that opportunity!

We’ll talk this Friday night from 9:30 til Midnight on GAMENIGHT!

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