Best High School Team in WV History?

A lot of talk on our staff has surrounded this topic.  The fact of the matter is that it would be incredibly hard to do a tournament-style competition to decide what team is the greatest ever.  However… we might just do it.  But, what are the guidelines or rules?

First off, do we automatically exclude any team that did not win a state championship?  Most likely.  With nearly 200 winners in the state’s history, it would be get messy if we start including teams that didn’t even win.  The only plausible scenario would be a team that was clearly historic and suffered injuries, disqualification, or another happening that stopped the team’s run other than their quality.

1989 cap.jpg
1989 Capital

Second, how do we decide across generations?  Going back to the topic of State Champions, it took years to get to the 16-team playoff.  Many elders would argue their teams missed out on the opportunity when only two, four, or eight teams were taken.  Must this be taken into account?

2006 Parkserburg

Thirdly, what about dynasties?  Speaking currently, Martinsburg has won six state championships in eight years.  I think many would argue that they should be considered when speaking about the greatest ever.  Yet, how many teams do we include from one stint?  There are several cases of this throughout history.

2012 Martinsburg

Finally, do we base this completely off domination or transgenerational and transclass talent.  Logically, the greatest single A team will not match up with the greatest triple A team.  The team size and depth is just too big of a factor.  Also, when we imagine these teams playing- whose rules do we play by?

1975 Bluefield.jpg
1975 Bluefield

Regardless, we want to do this.  But, we need help picking our qualifying teams.  Comment here, email us (coalfieldsco@gmail), DM or @ us on Twitter or Facebook, anything!  Part of bringing light to West Virginia ball is having a proper interpretation of history.  Let’s get it.


  1. The 1963 St. Marys Football team went untied – undefeated -and not scored on, and did not make the WV State playoffs finishing Third in the AA Rankings.

  2. The 1977 Paden City, Wetzel Co. (Class A) team went 9-1. It’s only loss came in the last game of the season, in the last few seconds to Linsly Military Academy (AA).

    Other than that, and a Beallsville, Ohio team the aveage margin of victory was 30-40 points.

    3 players were All-state including Dave Renner, QB, of Concord College.

    What was interesting was the players had been a team for over 6 years from grade school starting in Pop Warner football league to seniors in high school.

  3. Dynasties shouldn’t matter since your only talking about a team from a single year, right?
    If you don’t win the state title you are second to the team that won, ipso facto, you can’t be the best. You could recognize these teams as being great, but not necessarily the best, in a separate group.
    You could start making cases for teams that just missed out because of injuries or whatever, but that opens the door to include everybody. For instance my high school went 9-1 in 1988 (Union Monroe). We only lost to Bath County, VA but we failed to make the playoffs. I could argue some bias or that it wasn’t our fault the teams on our schedule had poor seasons. Not that I think we were great, just offering an example.

    • After reading some of the other comments I thought of maybe you could have a semi-tourney where teams from each decade square off to get the top 1 or 2 teams from each decade, then have your final tourney.

  4. How can you just totally leave out the Sistersville HS era from 1980-86. Those teams were phenominal and will never be matched. SO MANY All-State players on those teams. The Swisher brothers??? Read up folks.

  5. 1997 Bluefield High School team went 14-0 and was probably the best team in the State regardless of classification

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