As we enter week number ten of the high school football season, we have a lot of teams wondering if they will have football to play after November 6th!
As we all know, 2021 has not been nearly as bad as 2020, however this year and this football season has certainly had it’s ups and downs. Let’s begin with something we have all known from the start – the number of games a team must play in order to be eligible for post-season play is eight. That number was relayed from the SSAC to schools early on. For some teams, that number may be a problem. Now, the SSAC did relieve teams this year of having to play at least six games against their own class or higher in order to be eligible to play, simply saying, get in eight games and if you qualify points wise to be in the top sixteen, you were in.
How about some teams that are needing to play the final two weeks of the season just to qualify with that number of eight games played. In Class AAA, the Patriots of Wheeling Park are currently at (3-3) and unofficially setting at #15. They have two games scheduled that would get them to the correct number of games played, however currently at #15, now winning becomes a necessity. The Patriots will welcome Parkersburg South (3-4) this Friday night before heading to #13 John Marshall (5-3) on November 5th. How about the Princeton Tigers? The young men from Mercer County are currently (5-1) after losing for the first time this season last Friday night to undefeated Bridgeport (7-0). This week, the Tigers are unofficially ranked #7 but as you noticed have played only six games. They do have two games scheduled which would get them to eight games played, but both games are on the road as they travel to #9 Greenbrier East (6-2) this Friday night and then they make the trip to Parkersburg South in two weeks to take on the Patriots. Princeton is in a little better spot ranking wise than Wheeling Park, however if they can secure both road wins, they would be guaranteed opening the playoffs at home.
In Class AA, most teams are in decent shape when it comes to the number of games played. However we do have a couple that bears watching. The Huskies of North Marion have really been through a tough season as they suffered through a five week period where they couldn’t play or practice! Currently, the Huskies set at (5-1) and are unofficially ranked at #6. They also have two games scheduled but certainly nothing is easy about the upcoming opponents. This Friday night, North Marion will welcome #10 Frankfort (5-3) to Rachel and then on November 5th they will travel to Liberty (Harrison) (4-4)! Much like Princeton in Class AAA, in order for North Marion to stay in that top eight and host at least one playoff game, winning both games are almost a necessity. I guess the larger story in Class AA concerns the Bluefield Beavers! Talk about a team that has really suffered during this 2021 season! The Beavers were not even afforded the luxury of playing a pre-season scrimmage game before taking on Class AAA Princeton in week #2 of the season. If you remember, the game between Bluefield and Graham was postponed in week #1. Bluefield lost the game to Princeton 39-36 and then did not play a game for four more weeks. So, six weeks into this 2021 season, the Bluefield Beavers were (0-1)! They have since played four games, losing to Graham and then winning three straight against Pikeview, Tazewell, Va. and Oak Hill. Currently, they have two games scheduled to be played….this Friday night at Ridgeview, Va. , a team located 85 miles north of Bluefield and currently (6-2) on the season and a final regular season game scheduled on November 5th at Mingo Central. The Miners are currently (3-5). The real dilemma for Bluefield is that still is only seven games played! Will the Beavers be able to find an 8th game, or will they, with what could be a (5-2) season be left outside the top 16. Just in case you were wondering, entering play this week the Beavers are unofficially ranked #17!!
In Class A, the only team that certainly needs to play the last two games they have scheduled is Doddridge County…..currently and unofficially ranked #1 in Class A with a record of (6-0). The Bulldogs have a game this Friday night on the road at Williamstown (6-2) and unofficially ranked #9 and Doddridge County will travel to Mill Creek on Friday, November 5th to take on (3-5) Tygarts Valley. Certainly the Bulldogs are going to be in the playoff field this year, if they play both games they have remaining. I say that only because with everything going on (mostly centered around Covid), nothing is guaranteed!
Other than the games listed above, there are several important games on the schedule for week #10! In Class AAA, Martinsburg (9-0) will wrap up the regular season with a road game….and I do mean road game…as the Bulldogs will travel 350 miles to Huntington to battle the always tough (6-2) Spring Valley Timberwolves and in a game that is always important, the MoHawk Bowl will be played in Morgantown as the (4-4) Mohigans will make the short trip across town to battle the undefeated (8-0) Hawks of University! In Class AA, Elkview, WV will be rocking as undefeated (8-0) Herbert Hoover will host undefeated (7-0) Poca. Hopefully you already have your seats reserved for this game which will show everyone what those Friday night lights are all about! Also in Class AA, the Shady Spring Tigers (5-3) will head down Rt. 3 to Glen Daniel to take on the (5-2) Liberty Raleigh Raiders in a game that certainly has playoff implications. In Class A, Trinity Christian (6-1) will try and keep their playoff hopes alive as they will visit undefeated Cameron (8-0) and St. Marys (5-3) will try and improve their playoff hopes as the Blue Devils travel to Baker, WV to take on the Cougars of East Hardy (7-1).
Here’s a special invitation for you to join Dave Jecklin and me after your local game this Friday night for GAMENIGHT! The show is heard on over 40 great radio stations around the state and the audio and video of the program is streamed live @wvmetronews.com!
Talk with you Friday night!!