As we enter the first full week of November, all but forty-eight high school football teams across the state are putting their football gear into storage and probably going over the many “what-ifs” from this season that just ended and also quite possibly already dreaming about the good things that might come their way in 2019.
For the forty-eight teams that are moving forward in 2018, their schedule remains the same as it’s been since early August and getting ready for their week one opponent is paramount! When the playoff schedule was announced, the only thing guaranteed was we do have a possibility of repeat champions in all three classes. In Class AAA, undefeated Martinsburg returns as the #1 seed….in Class AA, once beaten Bluefield is back to defend and comes in as the #2 seed….while in Class A, the Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central lost their last regular season game, but they still come in as the #1 seed in the small schools classification.
Not that it means anything, however just for comparison, in Class AAA, the 16 playoff teams have a combined record of 113-47…..in Class AA, that mark is 131-27….and in Class A, the combined won-loss record is 128-32. In the playoffs this season the number of undefeated teams tops out at seven, while last season that number of undefeated teams stood at six. The worst team record to make the playoff field this season was (5-5) as three teams in Class AAA (Hurricane, Spring Mills and Morgantown) came in with the .500 mark and in Class AA one team (Webster County) was 5-5. In Class AA, the lowest team record was #16, Lewis County (6-4). Last season, we had two teams with sub .500 marks make the playoffs as Morgantown and South Charleston both got in the field of 16 in Class AAA with a record of (4-6). Both teams lost in the first round.
Another interesting note in this year’s playoffs we have a number of rematches in the first round. In fact, a total of six 1st round games this weekend will be a rematch from the regular season. In Class AAA, #5 Ripley will host #12 Greenbrier East in a rematch of a game from October 12th at Greenbrier East where the Vikings won 28-26. Also in Class AAA, #7 Huntington will host #10 Cabell Midland in a rematch of a game played October 19th at Cabell Midland where the Highlanders lost 21-7! And, in the big school’s division, #8 Wheeling Park will host #9 Parkersburg in a rematch of a game from September 28th that was played at Parkersburg and the Patriots lost a wild one 57-51. In Class AA, we have three rematches in the 1st round, as #1 Fairmont Senior will host #16 Lewis County in a rematch of a game played on August 31st where the Polar Bears went on the road and beat the Minutemen 53-7. Also, #2 Bluefield will host #15 Oak Hill in a rematch of a game played on October 19th where the Beavers welcomed the Red Devils to Mitchell Stadium and prevailed 49-6. The final rematch in round one finds #8 Point Pleasant hosting #9 Mingo Central in a rematch of a game played the first week of the 2018 season on August 24th, when the Big Blacks traveled to Miner Mountain and defeated Mingo Central 42-35. Interestingly, there are no rematches in the 1st round of this year’s playoffs in Class A.
This year, we have 16 games scheduled in the 1st round for a 7:30 kick on Friday night, 7 for Saturday afternoon at 1:30 and one more game for Saturday night at 7:30. The entire first round schedule can be found on our website at wvmetronews.com! Also, don’t forget to join Dave Jecklin and me for GAMENIGHT this Friday night as we will have all of the scores of the 1st round games played on Friday night, plus a preview of the games scheduled for Saturday! GAMENIGHT is on the air from 9:30 to Midnight this Friday night and can be heard on over 40 great radio stations around the state, plus the live audio and video stream at wvmetronews.com!
Talk to you Friday night!