Front-loaded home games for both Jefferson and Washington
Jefferson’s 2014 visit to the Class AAA football playoffs was achieved with a 7-3 regular record. A loss in the first round across the state to Point Pleasant didn’t take the gloss off the resurgent season.
Washington had bid farewell to more than 20 seniors from its 2013 team and could not do much winning against its 2014 schedule — going only 1-9 in Coach Darryl Hayes’ first season.
Here in the early days of the practice grind for the 2015 season, Jefferson sees three new teams on its schedule. Handley (Winchester), Fairmont Senior and South Hagerstown weren’t played last year.
The Cougars will play five of their first six games at home in an effort to reach the big-school playoffs for the second consecutive season.
After opening against Millbrook (Virginia) on August 28, the Cougars visit Musselman on September 11 after an unusual open date on September 4. Beginning with a visit from Hedgesville on September 18, the Cougars have three more home games that include Sherando (Virginia), Handley and Berkeley County’s Spring Mills.
From mid-October until the season closes on November 6, Jefferson has to travel to Fairmont Senior, Martinsburg, South Hagerstown, and Washington. Every game on the 10-game schedule except the nearly three-hour ride to Fairmont is within less than one hour of Shenandoah Junction.
Games at Musselman, Martinsburg, South Hagerstown and Washington should be easy distances to negotiate for anybody wanting to see the Cougars play on the road.
The Patriots begin their season on Aug. 28 with three consecutive home dates against Hedgesville, Oakdale (Maryland) and Sherando.
After going to Morgantown on September 18, the Patriots have their only open date on Sept. 25 before seeing Martinsburg at Cobourn Field on Oct. 2.
The last five games are at Frankfort, at Spring Mills, at home versus Musselman, on the road at Hampshire and back home on Patriot Way against Jefferson.
Seven of Washington’s games are not too distant to be comfortably reached. Only the travel dates at Morgantown, Frankfort and Hampshire are more than a half-hour away.
Jefferson has all-state wide receiver Christian Johnson to cushion the loss of 2014 quarterback Andrew King. The Cougars should have enough quality athletes in their defensive secondary to offset the graduation losses of several linebackers.
Washington was mostly inexperienced last season. There will still be players learning their trade when talented Oakdale, Sherando, Morgantown, Martinsburg, and Frankfort present a fivesome of talented teams right in a row.
Frankfort lost to Bridgeport in last year’s Class AA state championship game.
Both teams open on Friday, August 28, and both are at home.