St. Albans, Bridgeport defend state titles at championship games
The Red Dragons of St. Albans come from just up the road to Charleston to defend their 2017 Class AAA state championship, but they are only the second-seed because Hurricane brings back a 31-4 record to the championship site.
Hurricane, last year’s No. 1 seed, was beaten by St. Albans in the 2017 championship game. The youth-laden Dragons had posted a 16-6 mercy rule win over Washington in the 2017 semifinals. Hurricane had mauled Morgantown in the other semifinal game.
Martinsburg will be Hurricane’s first opponent this year. The Bulldogs bested Hedgesville, Spring Mills and Musselman to win their Sectional, and won a best-two-out-of-three Regional tournament against Washington.
Wheeling Park will be St. Alban’s first hurdle this time.
Saturday’s 10 a.m. Class AAA state championship game could well be a rematch between St. Albans and Hurricane.
In Class AA, four-time defending state champion Bridgeport is again the No. 1 seed. The Indians are 26-10 and have been paired with No. 4 James Monroe in the semifinals. James Monroe played only 25 games, going 17-8 overall. Bridgeport has a 26-10 record.
Wayne (25-4) is the No. 2 seed in the Class AA bracket and faces third-seeded Frankfort (23-5) in the semifinals.
Hardy County’s Moorefield High (20-9) is the fourth seed in the Class A tournament. Even with 11 losses, Charleston Catholic has been designated the No. 1 seed and goes against the Yellowjackets in the semifinals. Charleston Catholic won 25 games.
Wheeling Central Catholic is the No. 2 seed in the small school event and carries a 23-4 record to Charleston. Ravenswood, with its 24-9 overall record, has been seeded third and tackles tournament-tested Wheeling Central Catholic in the Class A semifinals.
Bridgeport has already won consecutive Class AA state championships in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
It’s Martinsburg’s first appearance in the state tournament since it won the championship in 2009. Hurricane has been a consistent contender at the Charleston-based state tournament for a decade, but hasn’t been able to win titles often.
Frankfort and James Monroe are coming in as decided underdogs and don’t qualify for the state event as a rule.
All the championship games are scheduled for Saturday beginning at 10 a.m., with the only break in between for the groundskeepers to groom the playing field for the next game.