Few changes in state high school football ranks
Shake out those with a real chance to win a state football championship and you won’t need a very big vehicle to carry them to Wheeling Island Stadium for the “Super Six” classification finals.
There are 43 schools placed in the Class AA ranks, but little more than a handful with the possibility of taking home a state championship.
Which teams could do it? Start with Bridgeport, a state title threat in football, basketball and baseball. The Bluefield Beavers, Fairmont Senior Polar Bears and Wayne High will all be in the 16-school playoffs. Keyser, Mingo Central and Robert C. Byrd are all legitimate playoff applicants but won’t win a state title. And Point Pleasant has been bearing unbeaten regular seasons but hasn’t competed well in the playoffs. Weir High usually finds enough healthy players to get into November’s playoffs.
That’s it for the Class AA ranks.
There are also 43 schools lumped into the Class A ranks.
Wheeling Central Catholic, Williamstown, Paden City, East Hardy and Clay-Battelle are yearly playoff teams.
At least 30 of the smaller schools have little or no chance to hold a parade for the 2017 state titleists in their home area.
Cameron has produced playoff teams at times and so have Buffalo, Magnolia of New Martinsville, Moorefield, Parkersburg Catholic, St. Mary’s, Tolsia and Tug Valley.
The Class AAA ranks have only 29 schools, and 16 of them will reach the playoffs.
Martinsburg is the defending champion and could show an unbeaten season when the 2017 playoffs open in early November.
Capital has joined Morgantown, George Washington and South Charleston as bona fide football teams.
The only other big schools with any realistic chance to usurp Martinsburg are Cabell Midland, Huntington, and Wheeling Park.
Only 13 schools will be left out and Musselman, Jefferson, Parkersburg, Parkersburg South, Brooke and University should be safely in the field.
Three classes. But only a select number of teams can reserve space in a glass case for a championship trophy.