It certainly is no secret, 2020 has been a very lamentable year! However, high school athletics is much like show business…..and that is, the show must go on!
This year, more so than any other, Athletic Directors around the state have been busier than ever just trying to give their high school football players and coaches a game each week. Never before has a high school football schedule that was set in print back in August meant so less! Never before have we had teams practicing on Sunday, let alone playing a regular season game on a Sunday! And, never before have we had high school football teams playing two games in just one week! And, who is responsible for finding games…..rescheduling referees…..finding new means of transportation and making certain the safety of their young athletes is first and foremost? That all rests on the shoulders of the Athletic Director. So, this week if you have a chance, please let your high school AD know how much they are appreciated. And, if you can social distance and still give that athletic director a hearty pat on the back, please do so….they really deserve it for the job they have done in 2020!
As we get ready for the final week of the regular season, much like this entire year, the Covid map has struck again. This week, almost two dozen football games have been cancelled and the map has also created havoc with post season play in soccer and cheerleading! Mingo County is once again the state’s only red county which means once again, no competitions or practices can be held. One team in Mingo County has always been a part of post season play in high school football….however, this year the Miners of Mingo Central have not been able to play enough games to be eligible for the playoffs! The Miners are (1-2) and they had to play four games to be eligible!
So, in this final week of regular season competition, what games do we have on the schedule that are important for playoff placement? In Class AAA, Cabell Midland is (4-0) but have not played since October 9th! This Friday night, the Knights will host St. Albans (2-3) in a game the Red Dragons desperately need. St. Albans started the year (2-0), but have since lost three straight! Princeton (5-2) will travel to George Washington (3-1) and while both teams should be safely in the playoff field of 16, this game is very important for a possible top eight slot! Another interesting game in Class AAA finds Bridgeport (5-1) traveling to Morgantown to battle the (3-2) Mohigans. Morgantown grabbed a big win last Friday night when they defeated cross town rival University 69-15 in the MoHawk Bowl. A win over the Indians would go along way in securing Morgantown a high placement in the Class AAA field of sixteen!
In Class AA, Clay County (7-1) and Braxton County (5-2) will battle in Sutton this Friday night and the winner is assured a nice spot in the playoff rankings. Another game of great interest will be played in Ridgeley Friday night when the (7-1) Falcons host the (7-2) Golden Tornado of Keyser. Over the years, the two teams have met 45 times and Keyser holds a commanding (30-15) record against the Falcons!
In Class A this weekend, the Bulldogs of Tygarts Valley (7-1) will face a tough road test when they travel to West Union to battle the (5-1) Bulldogs of Doddridge County. The home team is coming off their first loss of the season as they dropped a game last Friday night to Class AA Herbert Hoover. This will mark the fifth time Tygarts Valley and Doddridge County have met on the football field and Doddridge is (4-0) in the previous four meetings. Also in Class AA, Wheeling Central Catholic is currently (5-3) and winners of five of their last six games. This Friday night, the Maroon Knights will travel to Petersburg to take on the (5-3) Vikings. This will mark the first time the two teams have met on the gridiron! And, another game that doesn’t mean a lot as far as the playoffs go will feature the Class AAA Vikings of Ripley as they make the very short trip to Ravenswood to tangle with the (1-8) Red Devils. This will mark the 88th time the two teams have met in this Jackson County rivalry and Ripley holds a very narrow 43-40 edge with four games ending in a tie. As all great rivalries go, there is a trophy at stake and in this matchup the two teams will battle for The Hatchet!!
Don’t forget, it is the last week of the regular season and here is a special invitation for you to join Dave Jecklin and me for GAMENIGHT…….the show airs from 9:30 to Midnight and can be heard on over 40 great radio stations around the state plus the show is video/audio streamed at www.wvmetronews.com!
Talk with you Friday night!