From My View For August 21
Well its almost here, with the first 2019 high school football games beginning next Friday. The River Pilots and the Hundred Hornets will open the 2019 high school football season Aug. 30, with the kick-off scheduled for both games at 7 pm.
The River Pilots welcome a very good Bellaire Big Red squad, while the Hundred Hornets will entertain an uncertain Federal Hocking High School team at Cosgray Field.
The Pilots who made it to the Ohio Playoffs once again last season, always have a fight on their hands when they meet up with the Big Reds, and this season should be a barn-burner. Meanwhile the 30-player Hornet team will look to start the season, 1-0 for the first time in a number of years as they host Federal Hocking. The Hornets halted a national high school losing streak last season, and this year they have a new sheriff in town to lead the way, and the support of the community, and a middle school team to help prepare the Hundred football program for years to come.
However, it has come to my attention, that the largest Wetzel County Middle School program may not have a team at all, as the NMS football team just might not have enough kids to field a team. I hope that they can find a few more to be able to continue the rich tradition of outstanding football here in New Martinsville.
With all the area Wetzel County high school football teams down in numbers except in Hundred, local booster clubs will need to look at what Hundred is doing to get their young boys playing the sport.
I hear quite a few say its because of soccer that have the boys numbers go down. It may be true in a way, but most of the kids that play soccer wouldn’t be playing football anyway.
The Valley Lumberjacks, and the Paden City Wildcats both open the season on the road Aug. 30 with Valley taking on a pretty good Tygarts Valley team, while Paden City will travel across the river to Frontier to start the season, both games begin at 7 pm. Tygarts Valley has a good amount of outstanding returning players, while the Wildcats and the Cougars game could go either way.
Magnolia for as long as I can remember is idle the first week, and will have to wait a week to play the Yellowjackets Sept. 6 in Williamstown. Tyler Consolidated will travel to Ritchie Aug. 30 to take on the running Rebels of Ritchie County.
I’m picking Tyler over Ritchie, River over Bellaire and Hundred over Federal Hocking, while the ‘Jacks look to fall a little short against Tygarts Valley, and Paden City losing big to Frontier.
I hope I’m wrong about the Wildcats against the Cougars, but I think with only a handful of play-makers to make any noise on offense, they will struggle to move the ball.
However, with Ethan Cross and Clayton Thomas in the backfield anything is possible.
Although I’m pulling for PCHS Coach Zach Heasley to energize his players, I just don’t think it will happen over-night. If Valley could play any other team on their schedule, but Tygarts, I think they would win on opening night, but I’m pulling for an upset.