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Mark Martin's Notepad

Four more weeks, four more weeks
October 16, 2013

Mark Martin The high school football season of 2013 is zooming right along.
Just four more weeks remain before 48 head coaches will make their way to Parkersburg on Sunday, November 10, for the first round of playoff meetings at the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission office.

The goal for the football leaders is to make four straight trips to Wood County. The fourth visit would mean your team is on its way to Wheeling Island Stadium to play for one of the three state championships.

This year’s Super Six on the Island is a late one with the title showdowns taking place December 6 (Class AA) and December 7 (Class AAA and Class A).

Through the years…

1953 – The first West Virginia high school football champion was recognized in 1937 (Hinton, now a part of Summers County). It has been sixty years this season since old Barboursville High (now a part of Cabell Midland) won the Class A crown and Sistersville (now a part of Tyler Consolidated) took the Class B title in ’53.

1963 – It was 50 years ago that Buckhannon-Upshur won it all in Class AAA, Ceredo-Kenova (now a part of Spring Valley) took the Class AA crown and Winfield (which is now a Class AAA school) was the winner of the small schools class.

1973 – Rewind the clock 40 years to find East Bank (now a part of Riverside), Northfork (now a part of Mount View) and Monongah (now a part of North Marion) were the champs of Class AAA, Class AA and Class A, respectively. Yes, that Northfork - the school that won a national-record eight straight Class AA titles from 1974-1981 in basketball. Monongah is where the architect of the Alabama Crimson Tide – Nick Saban – went to school.

1983 – It has now been 30 years since the state championship trophies of West Virginia High School football went to Class AAA Morgantown, Class AA Ceredo-Kenova and Class A Tyler County (now a part of Tyler Consolidated). The Class A game pitted the Knights against Sistersville, a county rival just a few miles down the road. The two, though, boarded buses and made their way to Charleston’s Laidley Field (then the site of the Super Six) to square off. Tyler County’s Red Raiders topped the Tigers, 16-14.

1993 – It has been 20 years ago that the two schools now making up Riverside (DuPont and East Bank) won titles. DuPont captured a second straight Class AAA crown with a star player by the name of Randy Moss, who was a junior. Another star on the team was fellow junior Bobbie Howard, who also spent some time in the NFL. The crown for East Bank was the third of four during the Ralph Hensley era.
After dropping two straight title games in Class A, Matewan (now a part of Mingo Central) made the third time the charm with a win over Valley Wetzel.

2003 – The year of 2013 for West Virginia high school football marks the 10th anniversary for the programs at Parkersburg South, Poca and Moorefield. South won its first and to date only football title by beating Martinsburg in Class AAA. Poca’s championship was its third straight in Class AA and sixth overall for the school. Moorefield’s win in Class A was the sixth in the span of eight years for the Hardy County school.

UC FOOTBALL: This year also marks the 10th anniversary for the first football team to hit the field at the University of Charleston. The sport has done well in a relatively short amount of time as a member of the West Virginia Conference and now part of the new Mountain East Conference.
Tony DeMeo had some fine teams at UC during his run from 2005-10. Classy Pat Kirkland appears to have the program heading in the same direction.

Certainly Mike Springston should not be forgotten when speaking of UC football. After turning things around at WVU-Tech (which dropped football prior to last season), Springston (who faced Tech in that opener) dealt with some early battles that comes with a new program. Springston, who later served as the offensive coordinator at Eastern Kentucky, led UC football in the seasons of 2003 and 2004.

THINKING OF SOUTH HARRISON: The South Harrison High School community in Harrison County continues to deal with the passing of young Dylan Jeffries. The senior football player for the Hawks died last week. Jeffries collapsed on the sidelines during a game on September 29. It was later diagnosed at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown that the 17-year-old had a brain aneurysm.

Dylan’s parents, Richard and Tammy, told WDTV-TV in Clarksburg that their son was “awesome.” More importantly, he was a Christian, who loved kids, being happy and laughing.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with his parents, other family memories and certainly his countless friends. Also, our thoughts and prayers are with with South Harrison head coach Brad Jett, the SHHS assistant coaches and his teammates.

“Hawk Country” lost an outstanding young man but will forever cherish all the good times they shared with Dylan Jeffries.


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