MetroNews High School Football Power Rankings: Week 1

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The MetroNews high school football power rankings are voted upon weekly by a panel of 25 radio broadcasters and sports writers across West Virginia. The rankings include season record, total points and first-place votes in parenthesis.

Class AAA

RANK TEAM POINTS
1 MARTINSBURG (0-0) 249 (24)
Last year: 13-1, Class AAA state champion
This week: vs. HD Woodson (DC)
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Martinsburg won its fourth straight title a season ago and the Bulldogs look poised to make a strong push for number five in a row this year. Along with several key returning starters, the Bulldogs have running back/athlete Trey Boyd back in the mix this season after one year playing in Florida. The Bulldogs haven’t lost to an instate opponent since 2009.
2 CAPITAL (0-0) 219 (1)
Last year: 11-2, playoff semifinals
This week: Bye
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Capital’s 2013 season came to an end at Martinsburg 35-21 as the Cougars reached the semifinals for the first time since 1999. This year, the Cougars may have the best chance of any to knock the Bulldogs from the top of Class AAA. Capital returns dynamic quarterback Tyhree Pratt for his junior season and senior running back Kashuan Haley, among other skill players. The Cougars, though, have to find a replacement for defensive lineman standout James Walton.
3 SOUTH CHARLESTON (0-0) 177
Last year: 7-4, playoffs opening round
This week: vs. George Washington (Thurs.)
Ranking last week: –
Notes: South Charleston will be led by junior quarterback Kentre Grier and senior running back A.D. Cunningham. The Black Eagles are junior-laden, but could be one of the favorites in the postseason.
4 HUNTINGTON (0-0) 156
Last year: 13-1, Class AAA runner-up
This week: vs. Hurricane
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Huntington lost 18 seniors from that 2013 Class AAA runner-up team, but one of the key returnees is quarterback Clark Wilson. Four of the five projected starters for the Highlanders along the line this year check out at over 250 pounds, including junior Myles Robertson (6’4”, 320 pounds), sophomore Billy Ross (6’4”, 275 pounds), Charles Farrell (6’2”, 265 pounds) and the lone starting returnee, senior center Josh Fraley (6’0”, 260 pounds).
5 MORGANTOWN (0-0) 130
Last year: 8-3, playoffs opening round
This week: vs. Anacostia (DC)
Ranking last week: –
Notes: The Mohigans lose Kennedy Award winner Chazzy Thomas, but a few key returning pieces include quarterback Ethan Goldcamp and brothers Stone and Maverick Wolfley. Morgantown this season will have a new-look to its offense, moving to more of a spread formation.
6 WHEELING PARK (0-0) 111
Last year: 11-2, playoff semifinals
This week: vs. Taylor Allderdice (PA)
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Wheeling Park could have been higher in these power rankings, but the Patriots will have to overcome a preseason injury to standout running back Savion Johnson who could be done for the year. Wheeling Park also loses five players from last year’s semifinal team that went on to play in college, including quarterback Zach Phillips. It’s Killian Coyne expected to get the snaps at QB this year for the Patriots.
7 POINT PLEASANT (0-0) 85
Last year: 11-1, playoff quarterfinals
This week: at Lincoln County
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Pt. Pleasant lost just one starter offensively from that 2013 quarterfinal playoff team. A couple offensive weapons returning include rising junior running back Cody Mitchell who averaged 7.4 yards per carry last year for 1,431 yards and 18 touchdowns, along with senior quarterback Aden Yates who completed 75 percent of his passes a season ago.
8 CABELL MIDLAND (0-0) 82
Last year: 9-3, playoff quarterfinals
This week: vs. Riverside
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Cabell Midland looks to continue its recent string of success, specifically putting together 22 wins over the last two seasons – a stretch that includes a state runner-up finish. The Knights this year are expected to lean on senior quarterback Coy Pettit and senior running back Alex Childers to lead a group of up-and-coming players overall.
9 UNIVERSITY (0-0) 52
Last year: 10-2, playoff quarterfinals
This week: at John Marshall
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Jeremy Eckels steps into the starting quarterback role for the Hawks after serving two years behind starter Travis Renner. The Hawks overall still have a wealth of talent in the tank despite losing a solid group of seniors from last year. A couple of backs will be scoring threats out of the backfield in senior Jace Neville, who led the Hawks in rushing a year ago, and sophomore standout Isaiah Utt.
10 GEORGE WASHINGTON (0-0) 48
Last year: 9-3, playoff quarterfinals
This week: at South Charleston (Thurs.)
Ranking last week: –
Notes: The Patriots have plenty of experience to replace from last year following the graduation of running backs Draven Riffe (over 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns) and Jacob Jackson (over 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns), along with quarterback Jon Alexander (around 1,000 combined yards offensively and 17 touchdowns). Junior Kaleb Mackey is expected to step in to that starting quarterback role for Alexander.
Also receiving votes:
Spring Valley 30, Hurricane 9, Princeton 9, Jefferson 6, Washington 5, Lewis County 3, John Marshall 2, Woodrow Wilson 2

Class AA

RANK TEAM POINTS
1 WAYNE (0-0) 239 (16)
Last year: 13-1, Class AA runner-up
This week: at Tolsia
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Wayne’s 36-game winning streak and quest for a third straight state title came to an end last year with a 14-13 title game loss to Bridgeport. The Pioneers, though, return multiple key skill players, including quarterback Grant Ferguson, running back Mason Hodge and running back/receiver Cody Stiltner.
2 BRIDGEPORT (0-0) 217 (9)
Last year: 13-1, Class AA state champion
This week: vs. Buckhannon-Upshur
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Bridgeport heads into 2014 looking to defend its Class AA state championship. The Indians lose the dynamic duo of running back Anthony Bonamico and quarterback A.C. Caldera, but still return solid core pieces, including juniors Dylan Tonkery and Dante Bonamico.
3 BLUEFIELD (0-0) 200
Last year: 10-3, playoff semifinals
This week: at Graham (VA)
Ranking last week: –
Notes: The Beavers have plenty of talent returning this season, including quarterback R.J. Bourne (1,779 yards, 15 touchdowns last year) and senior fullback/linebacker Corey Coppola. Speedsters D.J. Stewart and Carlos Reed are also constant threats to score out of the backfield as well.
4 ROBERT C. BYRD (0-0) 175
Last year: 9-4, playoff semifinals
This week: vs. Fairmont Senior
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Robert C. Byrd has put together back-to-back semifinal appearances. The Eagles this year put in a new offense as running back Ben D’Annunzio returns — he was limited last year after breaking his collarbone in RCB’s season opening loss to Fairmont Senior.
5 SISSONVILLE (0-0) 128
Last year: 10-2, playoff quarterfinals
This week: vs. Chapmanville
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Sissonville advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1994 a year ago. The Indians had six seniors on that 2013 team, five of them starters, including 1,000 yard rushing fullback Dominic Walker and quarterback Nathan Miller. Junior Jacob Fisher is expected to fill Walker’s shoes at fullback after splitting time there last season. Senior Tyler Shaffer, junior Jared Wilkinson and junior Austin Burfurd are all expected to get carries out of the backfield as well.
6 KEYSER (0-0) 104
Last year: 7-4, playoffs opening round
This week: vs. Clearfield (PA)
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Keyser must replace all-state standouts in quarterback Cody Eversole and running back Blake Ravenscroft. One of the key players for the Golden Tornado this season will be senior running back/linebacker Hunter Kasmier.
7 FRANKFORT (0-0) 96
Last year: 8-3, playoffs opening round
This week: vs. Moorefield
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Frankfort’s 2013 ended with a disappointing opening round playoff loss to RCB. The Falcons this year return a core of players that includes Maryland quarterback commitment Gage Shaffer, along with running backs Brady Watson and Noah Bible.
8 MINGO CENTRAL (0-0) 59
Last year: 8-3, playoffs opening round
This week: at Wyoming East
Ranking last week: –
Notes: The Miners last year put together the best season in the school’s short history, finishing with an 8-3 record and opening round playoff appearance. Mingo Central, now going into its fourth season, will look for the next step this year, getting a win in postseason play.
9 FAIRMONT SENIOR (0-0) 50
Last year: 9-3, playoff quarterfinals
This week: at Robert C. Byrd
Ranking last week: –
Notes: The Polar Bears last year knocked off Keyser in the opening round of the playoffs to advance into the quarterfinals. A rising group steps in this season as Fairmont replaces quarterback Austin Norman from that 2013 team.
10 WYOMING EAST (0-0) 48
Last year: 9-2, playoffs opening round
This week: vs. Mingo Central
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Wyoming East put together a 9-1 regular season in 2013. The Warriors hosted a playoff game for the first time in school history – that game resulted in a loss, something they would like to avenge this year.
Also receiving votes:
Ravenswood 29, Nicholas County 13, Herbert Hoover 9, Ritchie County 4, Chapmanville 2, Westside 2

Class A

RANK TEAM POINTS
1 WHEELING CENTRAL (0-0) 214 (13)
Last year: 6-5, playoffs opening round
This week: vs. Notre Dame
Ranking last week: –
Notes: With a Class A field that appears to be wide open in 2014, it’s a young Wheeling Central team (led by mostly juniors and sophomores) that will look to get the Maroon Knights back on top in Class A after two straight first round playoff exits. Sophomore Isaac Rine is expected to get the majority of snaps at quarterback for the Maroon Knights. The three seniors this year for Wheeling Central are Ben Duplaga who will get the carries at running back, receiver Matt Pleva and Peter Hartzell who will start at tackle.
2 ST. MARYS (0-0) 192
Last year: 11-1, playoff quarterfinals
This week: vs. Ritchie County
Ranking last week: –
Notes: St. Marys put together an undefeated regular season in 2013, earning the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. The Blue Devils will look to get back as a high seed again this year, trying to avenge a quarterfinal loss to eventual Class A runner-up Greenbrier West.
3 GREENBRIER WEST (0-0) 189 (3)
Last year: 12-2, Class A runner-up
This week: vs. Nicholas County
Ranking last week: –
Notes: The Cavaliers charged through the postseason last year, making it all the way to Wheeling behind a group of talented seniors that included quarterback Malik Boatwright, Cory Cox, Logan Brown and Mikey Goddard. Several rising players will be called on to fill the void, including quarterback Dustin Yoakum and running backs Jordan Grimmitt and Jordan Tincher.
4 WILLIAMSTOWN (0-0) 168 (2)
Last year: 10-3, playoff semifinals
This week: at Tyler Consolidated
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Williamstown loses quarterback Jake Tracewell — and his over 2,000 yards of total offense from last season — but it’s senior Dakota Watson who will take over at QB, moving over from tailback. Some of the other key players this year include running backs Austin Raines and Mike Beck, as well as second team all-state lineman D.J. Kerns and receivers Hunter Neely and Logan Lindsey.
5 BISHOP DONAHUE (0-0) 128
Last year:8-4, playoff quarterfinals
This week: at Cameron
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Bishop Donahue earned the No. 12 seed in last year’s playoffs and upset No. 5 Man on the road. Quarterback Jesse Padlow returns for his senior season after leading the state in passing with 2,468 yards last year. Padlow also collected 24 touchdowns on the year as well.
6 MADONNA (0-0) 115 (6)
Last year: 14-0, Class A state champion
This week: vs. Beallsville (OH)
Ranking last week: –
Notes: The Class A defending state champions will have a lot of new faces in the mix this season after 15 seniors graduated from the 2013 campaign — including UMass signee and MetroNews Player of the Year Ross Comis and standout running back Eliott Nero. Rising sophomore Dustin Brown is expected to get a majority of snaps at quarterback this year. Other key skill players include RB Levi Shreve, junior RB Dillon Shaw and senior WR Grant Retton. 6-foot-7, 275 pound junior Nate Martin and 6-foot-6, 240 pound sophomore tackle Justin Canei are key returnees along the line.
7 MOOREFIELD (0-0) 92
Last year: 10-2, playoff quarterfinals
This week: at Frankfort
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Moorefield returns five starters on defense and four on offense from a team that went to the quarterfinals of the playoffs in 2013. A big key piece returning, though, is junior running back/linebacker Wil Schoonover who earned first team all-state honors at linebacker last year and led Moorefield in rushing as well. A big game looms in week one against Class AA rival Frankfort.
8 MAGNOLIA (0-0) 88 (1)
Last year: 8-5, playoff semifinals
This week: Bye
Ranking last week: –
Notes: The Blue Eagles needed a strong late season push to get into the playoffs last year – a run that eventually led them all the way to the semifinals as the No. 14 seed. Magnolia this year has a new head coach in Josh Sims and returns just three seniors. The Blue Eagles this year will have new faces at quarterback, running back and receiver.
9 WAHAMA (0-0) 67
Last year: 10-2, playoff quarterfinals
This week: at Ravenswood
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Gone are all-state athletes Kane Roush (RB) and Hunter Bradley (QB) for the White Falcons, among other talented graduated seniors. But there is still talent left in the tank for the 2012 state champs, including junior Kaileb Sheets who is expected to step-in nicely at QB. The strength, though, of this White Falcons’ team could be up front as a wealth of experience returns there.
10 MAN (0-0) 49
Last year: 9-2, playoff opening round
This week: at Logan
Ranking last week: –
Notes: Man finished the 2013 regular season at 9-1, earning a No. 5 seed in the playoffs. Expectations will be high again for Man this season as the Hillbillies start off the year with a rivalry game against Class AAA Logan.
Also receiving votes:
Clay-Battelle 42, Notre Dame 24, Valley (Fayette) 3, Doddridge County 1, East Hardy 1, Parkersburg Catholic 1




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