It’s here… after countless debates and hours of looking through scores and schedules- we have sixteen of the greatest teams ever. There might be several teams argued to be in the top sixteen that aren’t here, but the absolute greatest is somewhere within our list. AND. We’re going to find it. All eras simulated with realistic game situations and happenings. We thank everyone who nominated, gave information, and gave us insight to some legendary teams. Now, it is time to meet our selections.
*KEY: PPG = Points per Game, OPPG: Opponent's Points per Game, SOS: Strength of Schedule (Avg Wins by Opponents & Adjusted by Class), GWAS: Games Within a Score (number in parenthesis is closest score)*
1962 Bluefield Beavers
PPG: 32.1 / OPPG: 6.5
SOS: 5.9 / GWAS: 0 (13)
Why? The early years of Bluefield’s dominance. They were the first and only for awhile to play a schedule of that strength and have zero close games. Their scoring was unmatched for another decade to accompany that great D.
1965 Bluefield Beavers
PPG: 28.9 / OPPG: 1.7
SOS: 5.6 / GWAS: 1 (8)
Why? 1.7 points allowed per game? You’re joking. Many nominated the ’67 team as well, however, the ’65 team simply out performed them- 8/11 games were shutouts including the state championship.
1969 Charleston Mountain Lions
PPG: 29.0 / OPPG: 6.2
SOS: 5.7 / GWAS: 4 (6)
Why? The three-peat Charleston teams were mentioned often. ’69 was selected because they went unbeaten but were often tested. They had Kennedy Award winner Rick Hurt under center and a slew of skill players around him. An impressive difference with a good schedule.
1973 East Bank Pioneers
PPG: 25.1 / OPPG: 3.2
SOS: 5.8 / GWAS: 1 (3)
Why? The ’73 Pioneers were the best defense seen since ’65 Bluefield, not allowing a score until week seven. They toppled the best teams from every region and finished the year with a shutout in the state final. They possessed an offense that piled yards on the ground and also a stout defense.
1979 Bridgeport Indians
PPG: 29.2 / OPPG: 3.9
SOS: 5.5 / GWAS: 2 (1)
Why? A forgotten teams it seems, however, not to Bridgeport. Voted the best team in school history by the community of Bridgeport, there was a reason. They were a unit that came out of nowhere to dominate and take out programs on the verge of being dynasties.
1981 Sistersville Tigers
PPG: 40.1 / OPPG: 2.3
SOS: 2.8 / 0 (21)
Why? One of the two Single A’s to make it. Look at those numbers… 40 to 2 average. Many will argue their schedule, but hey, they weren’t beaten. They deserve as much as a look at the others. This was their only undefeated team during their stretch which included numerous titles and even a Kennedy Award winner.
1987 Winfield Generals
PPG: 39.1 / OPPG: 5.6
SOS: 4.0 / GWAS: 0 (15)
Why? One of the two Double A’s on the list. The only way a non-AAA made the tourney was to be truly dominant and boy, were they. They’re closest game was 15 points with a respectable schedule. They won two titles in the 80’s, and though the other one was good, this team was incredible.
1988 Charleston Mountain Lions
PPG: 33.8 / OPPG: 4.5
SOS: 6.0 / GWAS: 1 (7)
Why? The Mountain Lions were not mentioned by many, mostly due to the overshadow of the ’89 Capital team, but this Charleston’s teams numbers were so impressive they had to be included. They beat the same teams worse! It might stir up some debate- would sure love to hear someone who played on both to chime in.
1989 Capital Cougars
PPG: 28.8 / OPPG: 7.0
SOS: 5.3 / GWAS: 2 (3)
Why? Honestly, the numbers do not scream at us as many would have promised. The first year of consolidation might be the reason for this, but they are often held in the highest regards. College talent littered every unit.
1990 East Bank Pioneers
PPG: 33.2 / OPPG: 7.3
SOS: 3.8 / GWAS: 1 (3)
Why? East Bank was rarely challenged. Though a Double A, they beat several playoff AAA teams in convincing fashion. As part of their duo of rings, their only close game came to undefeated Spencer in the State Final.
1993 Dupont Panthers
PPG: 29.4 / OPPG: 10.1
SOS: 7.8 / GWAS: 2 (-10)
Why? The only team with a loss in the group of 16. However, that loss to Capital was avenged in the State Championship 29-3. We all know the stars of this team- it should be noted they have by far the strongest schedule of anyone in the group.
1994 Ceredo-Kenova Wonders
PPG: 37.8 / OPPG: 5.9
SOS: 3.7 / GWAS: 0 (20)
Why? One of two Single A teams trying to claim the title of best ever. Years away from consolidation, the ’94 team demolished everyone with a schedule that included top double A teams. They needed to be in the discussion.
2004 Morgantown Mohigans
PPG: 50.5 / OPPG: 9.6
SOS: 5.5 / GWAS: 0 (24)
Why? The strength of schedule is a little lackluster but look at those numbers! Their closest games were 24 and 26 (the semifinal and state championship game). They topped 70 poins three different times.
2011 Martinsburg Bulldogs
PPG: 43.9 / OPPG: 7.4
SOS: 6.9 / GWAS: 3 (5)
Why? Our first taste of the Martinsburg dynasty was more of a kick in the mouth. 2011 was selected because their point differential and both the 2012 and 2013 teams both had losses (though being to out-of-state opponents). This loaded roster was tested by few and noted for beating Ryan Switzer and George Washington in the final.
2014 Capital Cougars
PPG: 52.0 / OPPG: 15.1
SOS: 7.0 / GWAS: 2 (3)
Why? At the time, this Cougars team had many comparisons to the well-known ’89 Capital team. They scored at will with the second-hardest schedule of the 16-team group. Holding records for most points in a half (84; RIP Nitro) and difference in a State Championship game (55-15; RIP South Charleston).
2016 Martinsburg Bulldogs
PPG: 52.3 / OPPG: 7.6
SOS: 6.3 / GWAS: 1 (3)
Why? Regardless of modern bias, the 2016 or 2017 Martinsburg teams have had some historically impressive results with a respected schedule. Their point differential is staggering. We chose their 2016 team because of their playoff dominance.
Several teams narrowly missed the cut. The the unscored upon 1963 St. Marys team was impressive but after research, we found out they had actually tied a game, but it was forfeited. Also, the reason they weren’t selected for the title game was because they had too many Single A’s on their schedule. The 1997 Bluefield team was great but did not dominate like the greatest ever (of any class) would in AA. 1999 Parkersburg was stellar as well but paled in comparison to the other Platinum teams with harder schedules.
Within the next two weeks, we will be literally simulating these games and bringing you our results. Expect fictional recaps of these legendary games. Don’t be shy on letting us know what players would dominate- why teams would beat the others- anything! Any information on these teams makes the project even better. Vote below to voice your opinion.
Some of the early 80’s Brooke teams where pretty impressive. Think they where ranked nationally.
Martinsburg Bulldogs pure dominance in 2017 and finished ranked in the top 20 in the nation. That alone speaks for itself…..
Biggest difference comparing 88 CHS to 89 Capital is that many of the CHS kids had 3 years to gel. Capital had more talent in 89 but syncing the two schools was interesting if not challenging. Shows you how good of a coach Jefferson was.
72 and 73 Ansted Highlanders, back to back state champs
I’m amazed that the 1967, AA C-K Wonders is not on your list. The team went undefeated winning the AA Championship against another undefeated team Monongah High School 47-13.
C-K also won the 1967 AA Track Championship as well as the 67-68 Basketball Championship.
Many of these athletes on the football team were given college scholarships. Most notable were Bill Evans from Woody Hayes at Ohio State and Mike Gibson (RIP) who started at Defensive End at WVU for three years. Mike had placed 1st in the 100 yard dash as well as 1st in the shot put in helping C-K win the track title.
C-K had great athletes, but so did our competition. Take the Monongah team C-K Crushed 47-13 for example. Kerry Marbury was there half back. He later was a star at WVU. What about their quarterback? Nick Saban went to South Carolina, I believe. Today, he is the most prominent college football coach in the nation at Alabama. Maybe, we should ask him if the C-K team of 1967 deserves to be considered?
Easy Banks 1990 team was ranked in the top 25 USA Today and had two 2 time all state players Dale Phalen 89,90 Mike Hale 90,912, in addition to three more underclassman who were eventual “AA” All State players in there East Bank High School careers, 91 Thomas Hill, Brad Slack and 92 Robbie Robinson.
I can’t believe the 1991 Peterstown team did not make the early lists. All skill and speed. Chad Johnson, Travis Jackson, Howie Castillo, Rodney Allen, Kelly Mann, Jim Goins. They dominated class A that year and were ranked nationally. Definitely the best team in WV that year and one of the best ever.