I know we all remember in years gone by, when we would talk about high school football, it was all about the x’s and o’s…..the Jimmy’s and Joe’s……and the wins and losses! Well, here we are in 2020 (a year we will never forget) and it seems as if we must now include colors…..four to be exact! We have green….yellow…..orange and red! Green is good…..yellow is ok…..orange is ok, but not really….and, red is stop! Also, we only really have to worry about the colors at 9pm on Saturdays! Because whatever your county’s color is at 9pm on Saturdays, that is your color for an entire week! Confused? We all are!
However, most of the counties in WV will get to kick off their football season this weekend and for those players and coaches, it is certainly something they have been looking forward to! And, what can we as fans expect this year from those high school gridders?
Well, as you break down each class it’s easy to once again identify the top teams in each! In Class AAA, until someone proves otherwise, the Martinsburg Bulldogs are still the top dog! Currently riding a 56 game winning streak and winners of the last four state titles, the team from Berkeley County looks poised once again to make a deep run into the playoffs this season. The Orange and Black do have a new head coach as veteran assistant Britt Sherman takes over the head whistle from Dave Walker who has moved on to the college ranks and now leads the Mountain Lions of Concord University! Because of Covid 19 (boo – boo) Martinsburg will miss their first scheduled game and will not open until week #2! Also in Class AAA, look out for the team that went 13-1 and finished as runners-up last year – the Knights of Cabell Midland. Once again, the young men from Ona, WV look to be a tough out for any opponent as they return several members of that talented backfield and those young men will run behind one of the best lines in the state. Class AAA is also loaded with other talented teams including several from the Kanawha Valley and also up north as University looked very impressive last Friday night in a scrimmage win on the road against John Marshall. And, don’t sleep on the new comer in the big school ranks, as last year’s Class AA state champ, Bridgeport, has returned to Class AAA and they will certainly be ready to play every week.
In Class AA, we will be looking for a new state champion and once again, some of the well known teams will be in the running. Starting with Poca and Bluefield, Fairmont Senior and North Marion and of course, Oak Glen and Point Pleasant who all have a chance to be very good! The Beavers from Mercer County finished as runners-up last season and veteran head coach Fred Simon once again has a very fast, talented team! If all goes well, look for the Beavers to be in the running all season long, but also look for them to be tested in the playoffs by the above mentioned teams as well as others in the Class AA ranks!
In Class A, last year’s winner looks to be the front runner again this year! The Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central Catholic returns a lot of talent from the team that last year came into the playoffs as the #10 seed and went on to defeat #7 Tolsia…..#2 Ritchie County……#3 Pendleton County and #1 Doddridge County! In that championship game, Wheeling Central ran 61 offensive plays and amassed 461 yards of offense in defeating a very talented Doddridge County team 38-21. Head Coach Mike Young has once again scripted a very tough schedule this season as the Maroon Knights will open at home this Saturday afternoon against Class AA power Poca! Looking to unseat Wheeling Central this year in Class A will be teams like Williamstown (who also has a new head coach as veteran Terry Smith stepped down and Chris Beck takes over the reins), Doddridge County, Greenbrier West, St. Marys and Midland Trail just to name a few!
Bottom line is this……if you enjoy high school football as much as I do, please let’s all work together to keep our counties in the color green or yellow! That way, play will continue and all will be great! And, don’t forget, every Friday night, please join Dave Jecklin and me for GAMENIGHT! We will have every score of every game, plus the reasons why some games were not played! As always, GAMENIGHT is heard on many great radio stations around the state, plus you can listen and watch the show live @wvmetronews.com!