H.S. Football preseason notebook: Setting the stage for 2022

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The 2022 West Virginia high school football season begins in eight weeks. Six games will be played on Thursday, August 25 and almost all of the remaining teams will open up the next night. Here’s a breakdown of some of the best matchups through the eleven weeks of the regular season, new coaches, some of the state’s top college recruits in the Class of 2023 and teams to keep an eye on. The 2022 H.S. Football Composite Schedule is listed here.

Top games week-by-week:

Week 1 (August 26)

  • Cabell Midland (11-2) at George Washington (8-4) – MSAC matchup of two teams that won playoff games in 2021.
  • Huntington (13-1) at Spring Valley (9-3) -The Highlanders edged the Timberwolves 9-6 last season.
  • Bluefield (7-4) vs. Graham, Va. (13-1) – Annual border matchup returns to its Week 1 slot for first time since 2019.

Week 2 (September 2)

  • Linsly (5-5) at Fairmont Senior (9-4) – Polar Bears look to avenge last year’s loss in Wheeling.
  • Princeton (5-4) at Bluefield (7-4) – The Tigers defeated their county rivals 39-36 in 2021.
  • Shady Spring (7-4) at Nicholas County (8-3) – Both teams have qualified for the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 seasons.

Week 3 (September 9)

  • Independence (11-1) at Poca (9-3) – New matchup features the 2021 state runner-up (IHS) vs. 2021 semifinalists.
  • Greenbrier East (8-3) at Robert C. Byrd (7-4) -RCB looks to sweep the home-and-home series after winning in Fairlea.
  • George Washington (8-4) at Hurricane (6-5) – GW has won three consecutive meetings in the series.

Week 4 (September 16)

  • Bridgeport (12-1) at Fairmont Senior (9-4) – The Big 10’s top rivalry, teams have split the last eight meetings.
  • Ritchie County (13-1) at St. Marys (6-4) – The last two Class A state champions meet at Bill Hanlin Stadium
  • Highland Springs, Va. (10-4) at Martinsburg (13-1) -The Bulldogs host 2021 Virginia Class 5A semifinalists.
Ritchie County will host the Rebels’ home opener against Doddridge County in Week 5

Week 5 (September 23)

  • Doddridge County (11-2) at Ritchie County (13-1) – The Rebels look to avenge their lone 2021 loss in their first home game at the revamped Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium.
  • Lincoln (8-3) at North Marion (8-3) – The Huskies have won 6 of 7 in the series.
  • University (11-1) at Fairmont Senior (9-4) – UHS defeated the Polar Bears 35-6 last season.

Week 6 (September 30)

  • Wheeling Central Catholic (9-4) at Mount View (10-2) – Central makes the 600-mile round trip to McDowell County.
  • Bluefield (7-4) at Independence (11-1) – 2021 state semifinal rematch. IHS defeated Bluefield, 34-20 in Coal City.
  • Fairmont Senior (9-4) at North Marion (8-3) – Marion County rivals meet on the Husky Highway.

Week 7 (October 7)

  • Spring Valley (9-3) at Cabell Midland (11-2) – Teams have split the last six meetings, Midland has won the last three.
  • Riverside, Oh. (7-5) at Martinsburg (13-1) – Bulldogs look to sweep home-and-home series.
  • Princeton (5-4) at Hurricane (6-5) – New matchup on the schedule.
Fairmont Senior defeated Robert C. Byrd, 33-28 in the Class AA quarterfinals (Photo by Ben Queen/www.BenQueenPhotography.com)

Week 8 (October 14)

  • Fairmont Senior (9-4) at Robert C. Byrd (7-4) – FSHS defeated RCB twice by a combined six points in 2021.
  • Cameron (9-1) at Clay-Battelle (8-3) – OVAC rivals both advanced to the playoffs last fall.
  • East Hardy (10-2) at Moorefield (7-4) – MHS edged EHHS 25-24 in 2021.

Week 9 (October 21)

  • Huntington (13-1) at Cabell Midland (11-2) – HHS defeated CMHS twice in 2021, including a 37-15 win in the semifinals.
  • Martinsburg (13-1) at Jefferson (10-2) – Both teams averaged over 42 points per game in 2021.
  • Point Pleasant (9-2) at Robert C. Byrd (7-4) – New matchup on the schedule.

Week 10 (October 28)

  • South Charleston (5-6) at Hurricane (6-5) – New Hurricane head coach Donnie Mays faces his former team.
  • University (11-1) at Morgantown (5-6) – Annual MoHawk Bowl shifts to Pony Lewis Field.
  • Herbert Hoover (10-1) at Poca (9-3) – The top teams in the Cardinal Conference meet.

Week 11 (November 4)

  • Keyser (5-5) at Frankfort (7-5) – FHS edged KHS, 41-35 in overtime in last year’s Mineral Bowl.
  • Moorefield (7-4) at Greenbrier West (6-5) – New matchup on the schedule.
  • East Fairmont (5-5) at Fairmont Senior (9-4) – East seeks their first win since 2007 in the annual East-West Game.

 

Under new management

Fifteen new head coaches will step in to lead teams this fall.

Donnie Mays speaks with an official (Photo by Marcus Constantino)
  • Madonna – Mauro Monz (Former Youngstown State assistant coach)
  • Midland Trail – Jeremy Moore (Former Midland Trail assistant coach)
  • Oak Glen – Doug Taylor (Former Madonna head coach)
  • Parkersburg – Matt Kimes (Former Warren, Oh. head coach)
  • Richwood – Todd Russell (Former Richwood assistant coach)
  • South Charleston – Carl Lee (Former West Virginia State head coach)
  • St. Albans – Willie Washington (Former St. Albans assistant coach)
  • Tolsia – David Thompson (Former Tolsia assistant coach)
  • Webster County – Eddie Williams (Former Roane County assistant coach)
  • Westside – Justin Cogar (Former Westside quarterback)
  • Winfield – Eddie Smolder (Former Ripley head coach)

 

Class of 2023

Here’s a look at the players that have received Division I football scholarship offers in the Class of 2023.

  • Noah Braham (University TE/DE/LB)Committed to West Virginia
  • Mondrell Dean (Hurricane RB/LB) – Offers from Central Michigan, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Eastern Kentucky, Kent State, Marshall, Miami(OH)
  • Layth Ghannam (George Washington lineman)Committed to Virginia Tech
  • Cam Jones (Weir lineman) – Offers from Akron, Eastern Michigan, James Madison, Marshall, North Carolina A&T
  • Mari Lawton (South Charleston RB/LB) – Offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Florida A&M, Kent State, Marshall, Miami(OH), Ohio, Tennessee State, Toledo
Huntington quarterback Gavin Lochow (3) makes a pass (Photo by Marcus Constantino)
  • Gavin Lochow (Huntington QB) – Offer from Davidson
  • Wyatt Minor (Robert C. Byrd lineman) – Offer from Youngstown State
  • Evan Roach (Point Pleasant QB/RB/DB) – Offer from Morehead State
  • Shaun Rouse (Cabell Midland lineman)Committed to Marshall
  • Kamden Shallis (Martinsburg LB) – Offer from Presbyterian
  • Cyrus Traugh (Parkersburg South WR/DB) – Offers from Jacksonville State, Youngstown State
  • Braydin Ward (Riverside TE/DL) – Offers from Marshall, West Virginia

 

Non-playoff team in 2021 with best postseason prospects in 2022

  • Berkeley Springs (6-4 in 2021) – The Indians averaged 42.7 points per game last season, most among non-playoff teams.
  • East Fairmont (5-5 in 2021) – The Bees are coming off their best season since 2007. EFHS was in the playoff hunt until the final week of the season.

    Logan hosts 7-on-7 event at Willis-Nisbet Stadium (Photo by Boothe Davis/Captured by the Moment Photography)
  • Keyser (5-5 in 2021) – An overtime loss to rival Frankfort in Week 11 kept the Golden Tornado outside the playoffs last season.
  • Logan (6-4 in 2021) – The Wildcats were the last team left outside the playoffs in 2021.
  • Musselman (3-7 in 2021) – The Applemen needed to replace all 22 starters from their 2020 team a year ago. Musselman qualified for the playoffs in each season from 2015-2020.
  • St. Marys (6-4 in 2021) – All four of SMHS’ losses in 2021 were to playoff teams (including Class A finalists Ritchie County & Williamstown).
  • Tyler Consolidated (6-4 in 2021) – The Silver Knights were the last team outside the 2021 Class A field, edged out on the fifth tiebreaker.




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