C&C Official: Triple A Preseason Rankings

MartinsburgBulldogs

1. Martinsburg

Projected C&C Rating: 82.2

 

SpringValleyTimberwolves

2. Spring Valley

Projected C&C Rating: 82.0

CapitalCougars3. Capital

Projected C&C Rating: 81.5

 

HuntingtonHighlanders

4. Huntington

Projected C&C Rating: 77.4

 

 

CabellMidlandKnights

5. Cabell Midland

Projected C&C Rating: 76.8

 

WheelingParkPatriots

6. Wheeling Park

Projected C&C Rating: 71.0

 

HurricaneRedskins

7. Hurricane

Projected C&C Rating: 65.7

 

MusselmanApplemen

8. Musselman

Projected C&C Rating: 64.9

 

HedgesvilleEagles

9. Hedgesville

Projected C&C Rating: 64.8

UniversityHawks

10. University

Projected C&C Rating: 63.7

C&C Official: Double A Preseason Rankings

BluefieldBeavers1. Bluefield

Projected C&C Rating: 72.8

 

PointPleasantBigBlacks2. Point Pleasant

Projected C&C Rating: 72.7

 

FairmontSeniorPolarBears3. Fairmont Senior

Projected C&C Rating: 72.3

 

BridgeportIndians4. Bridgeport

Projected C&C Rating: 71.5

 

WaynePioneers5. Wayne

Projected C&C Rating: 71.0

WeirRedRiders6. Weir

Projected C&C Rating: 70.1

 

RobertCByrdFlyingEagles7. Robert C. Byrd

Projected C&C Rating: 68.4

 

WinfieldGenerals

8. Winfield

Projected C&C Rating: 67.0

NicholasCountyGrizzlies9. Nicholas County

Projected C&C Rating: 66.2

 

SissonvilleIndians10. Sissonville

Projected C&C Rating: 65.0

C&C Official: Single A Preseason Rankings

WheelingCentralCatholicMaroonKnights

1. Wheeling Central

Projected C&C Rating: 66.2

 

MidlandTrailPatriots

2. Midland Trail

Projected C&C Rating: 60.2

 

EastHardyCougars

3. East Hardy

Projected C&C Rating: 59.9

 

ShermanTide

4. Sherman

Projected C&C Rating: 59.0

 

RichwoodLumberjacks

5. Richwood

Projected C&C Rating: 58.8

 

WebsterCountyHighlanders

6. Webster County

Projected C&C Rating: 56.4

 

WilliamstownYellowJackets

7. Williamstown

Projected C&C Rating: 56.3

 

CameronDragons

8. Cameron

Projected C&C Rating: 55.0

 

TylerConsolidatedSilverKnights

 

9. Tyler Consolidated

Projected C&C Rating: 54.3

 

PendletonCountyWildcats

10. Pendleton County

Projected C&C Rating: 53.9

Valley Region: PRESEASON TEAM RANKINGS

The Valley Region is the most dense area regarding talent. From Huntington to Charleston with a trickle towards Parkersburg, this is the most historically excellent region in the state. It hosts the majority of the hardest WV conference: the MSAC and guaranteed title contenders in all three classes every year.

 

SpringValleyTimberwolves1. Spring Valley

 

CapitalCougars2. Capital

 

HuntingtonHighlanders3. Huntington

 

CabellMidlandKnights4. Cabell Midland

 

PointPleasantBigBlacks

5. Point Pleasant

HurricaneRedskins6. Hurricane

 

WaynePioneers7. Wayne

 

WinfieldGenerals

8. Winfield

 

SouthCharlestonBlackEagles9. South Charleston

 

GeorgeWashingtonPatriots

10. George Washington

 

AAA Honorable Mention: Ripley

AA Honorable Mention: Herbert Hoover

A Honorable Mention: Tolsia

 

 

TEAM PREDICTIONS

Offense of the Year: Capital

Defense of the Year: Huntington

Breakout Team of the Year: Tolsia

Hardest Schedule: Cabell Midland

Biggest Question: Winfield

 

 

FOOTBALL IS ALMOST HERE. Each week we will be diving into one of our four regions. We’ve sliced it up a little different to equal the spread of talent out. We have the Coalfields region, MD (Mason-Dixon) Panhandle region, North West region, and Valley region. We will spend a week on each in that order. Every week will include Monday: Single A, Tuesday: Double A, Wednesday: Triple A, Thursday: Preseason All-Region Team, Friday: Top 10 in the Region. Let’s get it!

 

Valley Region: PRESEASON ALL-VALLEY TEAM

The Valley Region is the most dense area regarding talent. From Huntington to Charleston with a trickle towards Parkersburg, this is the most historically excellent region in the state. It hosts the majority of the hardest WV conference: the MSAC and guaranteed title contenders in all three classes every year.

 

OFFENSE

CapitalCougarsKerry Martin Jr. (QB) SR

 

CabellMidlandKnights

Ivan Vaughn (RB) SR

 

SpringValleyTimberwolvesOwen Chafin (RB) SR

 

CapitalCougars

Quisean Gray (RB) SR

 

CapitalCougarsDeishawn Harper (WR) SR

 

HuntingtonHighlanders

Bryce Damous (TE) SR

 

HuntingtonHighlanders

Darnell Wright (OL) SR

 

SpringValleyTimberwolvesDoug Nester (OL) SR

 

SpringValleyTimberwolvesZach Williamson (OL) SR

 

HuntingtonHighlanders

Max Howell (OL) SR

 

CabellMidlandKnights

Logan Osburn (OL) SR

 

 

DEFENSE

CapitalCougarsKalai Clark (DL) SR

 

SouthCharlestonBlackEagles

Zeiqui Lawton (DL) SO

 

RipleyVikings

Caydan Keeler (DL) SR

 

SouthCharlestonBlackEagles

Drew Joseph (LB) SR 

 

CapitalCougarsBreece Hoff (LB) SR

 

WaynePioneers

Mike Bartram (LB) SR

 

HurricaneRedskins

JT Cooper (LB) SR

 

CabellMidlandKnights

Carlito Carter (DB) SR

 

CabellMidlandKnights

Griffin Adkins (DB) SR

 

CapitalCougarsKerion Martin (DB) JR

 

RiversideWarriors

Kain Ford (DB) SR

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

HurricaneRedskins

Timothy McCutchen (K) SR

 

GeorgeWashingtonPatriotsMichael Hughes (P) SO

 

PocaDotsEthan Payne (KR) SO

 

 

UTILITY

 

GeorgeWashingtonPatriotsGrant Wells (QB/P) SR

 

WinfieldGeneralsNick Vance (QB/RB) JR

 

RavenswoodRedDevilsLuke Jackson (FB/LB) SR

 

PointPleasantBigBlacks

Cason Payne (QB/DB) SR

 

SpringValleyTimberwolvesIsaac Howard (FB/LB) SR

 

HurricaneRedskins

Christian Hill (RB/WR) JR

 

 

VALLEY REGION PREDICTIONS

Offensive Player of the Year: Kerry Martin Jr. (QB) Capital

Defensive Player of the Year: Breece Hoff (LB) Capital

Special Teams Player of the Year: Timothy McCutchen (K) Hurricane

Lineman of the Year: Darnell Wright (OL) Huntington

Newcomer of the Year: Tay Blackwell (QB) Huntington

Career Performer: Doug Nester (OL) Spring Valley

FOOTBALL IS ALMOST HERE. Each week we will be diving into one of our four regions. We’ve sliced it up a little different to equal the spread of talent out. We have the Coalfields region, MD (Mason-Dixon) Panhandle region, North West region, and Valley region. We will spend a week on each in that order. Every week will include Monday: Single A, Tuesday: Double A, Wednesday: Triple A, Thursday: Preseason All-Region Team, Friday: Top 10 in the Region. Let’s get it!

 

Valley Region: TRIPLE A

The Valley Region is the most dense area regarding talent. From Huntington to Charleston with a trickle towards Parkersburg, this is the most historically excellent region in the state. It hosts the majority of the hardest WV conference: the MSAC and guaranteed title contenders in all three classes every year.

 


Unfinished Business

For a bit of context, the last two Martinsburg teams are arguably two of the best the state has ever seen.  Spring Valley has played them tough early both meetings in the state championship before being overloaded.  It should also be noted that the Timberwolves were playing without their leading rusher and did lead at halftime.  From that runner-up team, they lose three incredibly important all-staters: quarterback Derek Johnson, linebacker Owen Porter, and tightend Jacob Cassidy.  Those three were captains of the winningest class in school history.

As they depart, Coach Brad Dingess is ready to reload with over 100 players out for the sport.  Let it be known, Spring Valley is not a very large AAA program.  Of these massive numbers, they have two Division One lineman with Doug Nester and Zach Williamson- both top 15 players in the state.  They also have two top runningbacks in Owen Chafin and Graeson Malashevich.  Both are very capable all-state runningbacks.

Leading their path will be unsung hero Isaac Howard who has gained a lot of attention over the summer.  He is a backbone leader of this team.  The possible replacement of Johnson will either be more run-prone Nate Ellis or big passer Will Adkins.  Only time will tell who gets the nod.  Another interesting addition is well-sized sophomore transfer Wyatt Milum from Wayne who plays defensive end.  He could rise into a young Cassidy replacement.

For now, it appears Porter will be the most missed.  His defensive presence will surely be hard to simulate.  Either way, this seems to be the fastest Spring Valley team in a long time yet they have that traditionally size and grit.  The Timberwolves are definitely a title contender.  They will have thick competition near… and far.  They open up with an interesting matchup with nearby Wayne on August 24th.


Not to be Forgotten

To claim people are sleeping on Huntington and Cabell Midland might be a bit of an exaggeration.  But with the consistent hype behind Martinsburg, Capital, and Spring Valley- they are often left out.  Between the two, they boasted the #2 and #6 ratings from the past season (a very accurate predictor for AAA).  It’s understandable to think the Highlanders might struggle slightly trying to replace 2k rusher Jadon Hayes but Cabell Midland’s neglect is a little more questionable.

Cabell Midland loses a playmaking quarterback but has seemed to retained more than they lost.  A potentially phenomenal line will take place in Ona with Logan Osburn, Brayden Simmons, and Levi Kessler- three all-state caliber players with legit size.  They will pave the way for Kennedy Award hopeful and #1 ranked runningback Ivan Vaughn.  Though Griffin Adkins is a top 10 DB, he also has proven to be a dominant back as well.

The Scarlet Knights secondary seemed to be a weak spot last year.  Besides Adkins, they return young all-state JJ Roberts and received a move-in transfer with Carlito Carter from South Charleston.  Combine this with their excellent staff and training, don’t doubt them as title contenders.  Nearby, Coach Billy Seals will field a similar team.

We all know their stacked line including Darnell Wright, Max Howell, Terrance Pankey, and Christian Hanna.   They also have a top-notch defensive front with BJ Sumlin, Stephen Perrine, and Brocton Blair.  The biggest question for the Highlanders will be their skill.  Ty Wilcoxon made some noise after moving in, and Tay Blackwell has received a lot of praise at quarterback through summer camp.  He will have WV’s Gronkowski and #1 tightend Bryce Damous to get the ball to.

In our opinion, AAA is between five or six schools.  Huntington and Cabell Midland are in those five or six.  Expect a lot of textbook ground and pound with some hard-nosed defense.  Both have been very consistent and are led by top coaches.  We are excited to see them perform.  Cabell Midland opens up on the 24th with St. Albans while Huntington travels to Belfry (KY).  The two meet in Ona on October 12th.


Carpenter’s Cougars

Only one team from West Virginia has beaten the mythical Martinsburg Bulldogs since their reign of terror began in 2010.  That would be Capital- who did it twice.  Last season, they gave the Bulldogs all they could handle early on before falling apart late in the game.  Off that semifinal team, they lost… not really much aside from one or two all-state players which is nothing on the top AAA level.

Kerry Martin Jr. is the well-known headliner here.  As our #1 quarterback and Kennedy Award favorite, his patience makes his decision making stellar- passing and occasionally running.  A dominant game changer.  His weapons in the skill positions?  They are plentiful and quality.  Quisean Gray and Deshaun James are both backs liable to strike for a touchdown anywhere at anytime.  Receiver-wise, they are loaded with Deishawn Harper, Chance Knox, and Kerion Martin.

Defensively, they could see the most improvement.  With the skill players listed previously mounting the secondary, the front seven should seek some level of improvement.  Breece Hoff should be an anchoring force off the edge as he was in 2018 as a Huff Award finalist gaining 17 sacks.  The defensive line could make the most gains with #1 defensive lineman Kalai Clark, Jesse Wilcox, and Tyrese Foster.

Coach Jon Carpenter has himself a talented team for sure.  With his experience and offensive prowess, the Cougars are right to be a favorite for the state championship.  Every win will be earned, however.  Their road will be nothing short of incredibly difficult.  They will more than likely have to take on the beast from the north at some point as well.  They open up at Johnson Central (KY) on August 24th.


SPEED ROUND

Hurricane loses some weapons off the edge and on the line but return a slew of all-staters.  They are a team liable to go slightly above .500 but be a threat to anyone in the playoffs.  George Washington gets one more year with stellar QB Grant Wells and will have their yearly death row stretch to start the season.  South Charleston snuck into the playoffs at 4-6 last year and will look a lot different on offense this year with young talent.  However, defensively, they sport two top ranked defenders with Zeiqui Lawton and Drew Joseph.  Riverside and St. Albans both come under new management after losing good-sized senior classes that narrowly missed the playoffs.  Only time will tell what these teams have.  Finally, Ripley has the friendliest schedule in all AAA and several all-state players to take advantage of it.

Photo Credits: WV Gazette

FOOTBALL IS ALMOST HERE.  Each week we will be diving into one of our four regions.  We’ve sliced it up a little different to equal the spread of talent out.  We have the Coalfields region, MD (Mason-Dixon) Panhandle region, North West region, and Valley region.  We will spend a week on each in that order.  Every week will include Monday: Single A, Tuesday: Double A, Wednesday: Triple A, Thursday: Preseason All-Region Team, Friday: Top 10 in the Region.  Let’s get it!

Valley Region: DOUBLE A

The Valley Region is the most dense area regarding talent. From Huntington to Charleston with a trickle towards Parkersburg, this is the most historically excellent region in the state. It hosts the majority of the hardest WV conference: the MSAC and guaranteed title contenders in all three classes every year.


Fast Times in the Cardinal

2017 had us see two high-powered Cardinal Conference offenses fire at will.  Between Sissonville and Winfield, they gave everyone except the other top two teams in the conference a lit up scoreboard.  Winfield achieved one of the highest ratings in the state overall after a memorable regular season finale with Mingo Central.  They could not handle Bridgeport, however.  The Indians of Sissonville had a kryptonite last season too.  Wayne defeated them close within the regular season then ran away with it in the playoffs.  A big difference in the returning squads on both teams is the signal caller.

Sissonville returns Will Hackney.  Hackney is one of the top quarterbacks in the entire state because of prolific scoring through the air and occasionally on the ground.  He, along with many other returners, will have Sissonville in a steady situation.  Their next weapon, and Hackney’s tag-team partner, Andrew Burdette had an all-state junior campaign especially at safety.  Seth Frame is a talked about two-way lineman.  The line of scrimmage and secondary is arguably where the Indians could use the most improvement.

Nearby, Winfield departs with dual-threat stat collecting QB Andrew Huff.  Coach Craig Snyder was ready for the adjustment as he has transitioned young all-state runner Nick Vance to the one position.  His numbers of the past year aren’t even justified with injuries derailing him multiple times.  He will have a solid run game behind underrated hog Jacob Huff and big boy Logan Steenburgh.

The Generals best defensive force lies in linebacker John Covert who collected accolades as a freshman last season.  He’s definitely years beyond his age physically and mentally.  With the question lying around Mingo Central, who has won the conference for several seasons, the time to strike seems near for both the Indians and Generals.  Look for both teams in the postseason.  Winfield hosts Hurricane and Sissonville travels to Chapmanville both August 24th.  The two go head-to-head in Sissonville October 12th.


The Veteran Pioneers

No top AA team lost as little from 2017 as Wayne.  After a dominant regular season and quarterfinal appearance, the Pioneers are a much looked to team when it comes to title contention.  Their only two losses arguably are attempting to replace their horses.  Wayne, on the other hand, returns almost every position including their star running back and entire offensive line.  It seems as if Wayne might return to prominence.

Leading the way is well-known name Mike Bartram.  If you haven’t heard, Bartram is a well-sized runningback and linebacker that brings a high level of tenacity to the game.  His game includes a lot of vicious hits and trucking runs.  He would argue his veteran line does a lot of paving as well.  This unit is led by giant big man Johnny Adkins.  Adkins has enormous size with the ability to pull and set well.

There will plenty of help for whoever rises into the new quarterback role.  Tanner Owens was an all-state receiver and defensive back and can be a reliable go-to player on the outside.  Devon Matzdorff also had an all-state year playing at the tightend position on an already stacked offensive front.  All these players will be vital on the defensive side of the ball.

Coach Tom Harmon is familiar with being feared and being the favorite.  We expect the Pioneers to stick to their scheme and attitude that has traditionally brought them success.  As stated before, AA is the most open field for title contention this season and Wayne is very much apart of that. The Pioneers must travel to nearby AAA power Spring Valley on the 24th to open the season.

 


 

Over the Hump

Point Pleasant lost three games last year.  Two to champion Bluefield and their opener to defending champs Mingo Central.  Other than that, the Black Knights were rarely challenged.  There is a reason the Black Knights struggle every year to find games, just recently picking up a ninth game for this season.  That is mainly because David Darst has built one of the most consistent programs the state has seen.  However, the state title has remained elusive.

The last two AA champions were led by Kennedy Award winners Jeremy Dillon and Mookie Collier.  Their prolific lefty QB, Cason Payne, comes into this season as a preseason candidate in this race.  Payne has a rocket arm and good tuck-and-run ability.  On top of all that, he is probably stronger than most defensive lineman.  His performance will completely dictate their season.

His main target will be the school’s record holding receiver Josh Wamsley.  Wamsley has undoubtedly been Payne’s favorite man and that experienced chemistry should help them out greatly.  He will also have Andrew Jones, a potential breakout star in the upcoming season.  The Black Knights, who are known to have dominating lines, will be anchored with underclassman Gabe Hall.

Point Pleasant appeared several times either as a champion or runner-up in the writer’s predictions.  There is a reason for that.  They dominated everyone except for the two teams who lost their respective Kennedy Award winners while they retain their Kennedy hopeful.  If Point Pleasant isn’t in your conversation for the 2018 title- we don’t know what you’re looking at.  They will travel to Miner Mountain August 24th to seek revenge week one.


SPEED ROUND

Nitro rolls into this season with a lot of new faces.  Head coach Zach Davis has arrived into town from Riverside, and runningback Orange Dyess comes in from South Charleston.  Herbert Hoover has a gamebreaking passer with Rhett White and several other all-state skill and linebackers.  Poca snapped their losing streak and return several watchlist players such as Ethan Payne and Bronson Skeens.  They will look to improve even further after a historical year.  Finally, Lincoln County rolls into the season with some of the more interesting storylines.  They obtained two all-state players from Scott while losing one to Cabell Midland, but regardless, they have too many Single A’s on their schedule to even qualify for the playoffs regardless of record.  They are one of the largest AA’s in the state.

Photo Credits: WV Gazette Mail

FOOTBALL IS ALMOST HERE.  Each week we will be diving into one of our four regions.  We’ve sliced it up a little different to equal the spread of talent out.  We have the Coalfields region, MD (Mason-Dixon) Panhandle region, North West region, and Valley region.  We will spend a week on each in that order.  Every week will include Monday: Single A, Tuesday: Double A, Wednesday: Triple A, Thursday: Preseason All-Region Team, Friday: Top 10 in the Region.  Let’s get it!