2018 Kennedy Award Watch

Last season saw an awesome race for the state’s most prestigious individual award.  A trophy given to the likes of Robert Alexander, Randy Moss, and Ryan Switzer.  In 2017, it came down close to four seniors.  Tyson Bagent of Martinsburg, Jadon Hayes of Huntington, Jeremy Dillon of Mingo Central, and the eventual winner: Mookie Collier of Bluefield.  Now, unlike last year, we have no previous winners and a clear stable of potential winners.  Here is our top five favorites to take home the golden football.

 

 

5. Donovan Kirby (RB)

WeirRedRiders

2017 Stats: 2,554 Rushing Yards, 29 Rushing TD’s (11 Games)

The state-leading rusher of 2017 returns this season in a new uniform.  Previously at Madonna (A), Kirby will now run the ball for a talented Weir Red Rider offense.  He will play higher competition but will also have more depth around him.  He might have to share touches with several all-staters, but we could see another stat-packed season of his trucking and jumping runs.

 

 

4. Malakai Brown (WR)

HedgesvilleEagles

2017 Stats: 81 Receptions, 1,393 Receiving Yards, 29 Touchdowns (11 Games)

The breakout wide receiver comes into this season as the lone junior in our top five.  He was practically unguardable in the eastern panhandle.  A big question could be in having a new quarterback, but we aren’t too worried.  We could definitely see him putting up similar numbers, if not bettering them from the season prior.

 

 

3. Cason Payne (QB)

PointPleasantBigBlacks

2017 Stats: 2,102 Passing Yards, 23 Passing Touchdowns, 925 Rushing Yards, 17 Rushing Touchdowns (12 Games)

Payne put up some excellent numbers last year.  The Black Knights also had a stellar year.  With AA being the wide-open class it is, Payne could easily punch his ticket into immortality.  We expect better numbers on the ground and in the air while also being more efficient.  We also expect them to go further in the playoffs which means more games.

 

 

2. Ivan Vaughn (RB)

CabellMidlandKnights

2017 Stats: 1,805 Rushing Yards, 24 Rushing Touchdowns, 8 Receptions, 149 Receiving Yards, 3 Receiving Touchdowns (10 Games)

Vaughn battled some injuries last year and still managed nearly 2,000 yards rushing.  With a stacked line and new quarterback, it would seem a perfect scenario for Cabell Midland to push their star back to the top.  We expect some big slashing runs every week and a lot of firework businesses being appreciative of Vaughn.

 

 

1. Kerry Martin Jr. (QB)

CapitalCougars

2017 Stats: 2,532 Passing Yards, 32 Passing Touchdowns, 1,072 Rushing Yards, 17 Rushing Touchdowns (13 Games)

Nothing surprising here.  A dual-threat and experienced quarterback who reached the semifinals last year is ready for his run at the award.  Coach Jon Carpenter has already coached two offensive stars to the award so he knows how to highlight candidate talents.  If Martin Jr. puts up anywhere near the numbers he did last year, the award is in the bag.

 

 

Candidates to Watch For

Jarod Bowie (WR) Martinsburg

Breeden Gilbert (RB) Fairmont Senior

Dewayne Grantham (RB) Martinsburg

Curtis McGhee III (QB) Wheeling Central

Amir Richardson (WR) University

Brenton Strange (WR) Parkersburg

Grant Wells (QB) George Washington

One Week Away and Here’s What We Have Planned!

It’s literally six or seven days away!  Camp is over and the final scrimmages are being played out.  A lot of teams have scrimmaged well or young these last two weeks.  The stock in teams are really putting pressure on rankings with teams like Doddridge, Morgantown, and North Marion all looking like potential contenders.  Our weekly set up hopefully offers up a better coverage than we did last year!

 

Rankings

Every Saturday morning we will be releasing the latest Top 10s of each class.  We are also introducing a weekly Top 25 All-Class Ranking that hopefully resembles college football.  We would like to shed light on AA’s and A’s truly transcending their class as if they were a true non-Power 5-esque team.

 

Kennedy Watch

Every Sunday we will release our updated standings for the race for the prestigious Kennedy Award.  We will take into account Kennedy moments and make sure we’re on top of any dark horse candidates lighting up the field.

 

Reviews

Mondays and Tuesdays we will do our statewide and easy-to-read reviews of the North and South, respectively.  We want it to be quick but in-depth with a good coverage of what is going on.

 

Stat Leaders

We are going to be ambitious and keep stat leaders of the state updated every Wednesday.  We aren’t going too in-depth but top 5’s in Passing (Yards/TDs), Rushing (Yards/TDs), Receiving (Yards/TDs), Sacks, Interceptions, and maybe Tackles.  We will need help from the community too.

 

Fight Card

We’re bringing back our Thursday Fight Cards and Predictions.  We will have four Preliminaries, four Undercards, four Main Cards, and then the prestigious Main Event.  To make the Main Event even better, we will release a hype video for the game Friday morning!

 

The Magazine

The digital copy will stay up always.  You can preorder the physical anytime, but we can’t promise getting it before the middle of the season if you wait after this weekend.  Also, there is a big change to the physicals.  Due to issues, we have decided to have all three covers plus another included while also including all three special articles.  The main cover will feature Brenton Strange of Parkersburg (the AAA winner).  But don’t worry, all three covers are in the book!  Sorry for the changeup.  Let’s get some football going!

Strange Cover

2018 C&C Official Preseason All-State Team

1ST TEAM

Offense

QB – Kerry Martin Jr. (Capital) SR

RB – Ivan Vaughn (Cabell Midland) SR

RB – Dewayne Grantham (Martinsburg) SR

WR – Amir Richardson (University) SR

WR – Brenton Strange (Parkersburg) SR

WR – Malakai Brown (Hedgesville) JR

OL – Darnell Wright (Huntington) SR

OL – Doug Nester (Spring Valley) SR

OL – Zach Williamson (Spring Valley) SR

OL – Max Howell (Huntington) SR

OL – Zach Frazier (Fairmont Senior) JR

 

Defense

DL – Kalai Clark (Capital) SR

DL – Zeiqui Lawton (South Charleston) SO

DL – Tyler Komorowski (Weir) SR

LB – Jermain Snodgrass (Wheeling Park) SR

LB – Drew Joseph (South Charleston) SR

LB – Breece Hoff (Capital) SR

DB – Grant Harman (Martinsburg) SR

DB – Jarod Bowie (Martinsburg) JR

DB – N’iyjere Smith (Hedgesville) SR

DB – Isaiah Johnson (Bluefield) SO

DB – Teddy Marshall (Martinsburg) JR

 

Special Teams/Utility

K – Timothy McCutchen (Hurricane) SR

P – Jonah Phares (University) SR

UTI – Grant Wells (George Washington) SR

UTI – Bryce Damous (Huntington) SR

UTI – Arnold Martin (Bluefield) SR

 

 

SECOND TEAM

Offense

QB – Cason Payne (Point Pleasant) SR

RB – Owen Chafin (Spring Valley) SR

RB – Quisean Gray (Capital) SR

RB – Donovan Kirby (Weir) SR

WR – Braden Price (Wheeling Central) SR

WR – Drew Hatfield (Mingo Central) JR

OL – Logan Osburn (Cabell Midland) SR

OL – Tristen Bittner (Wheeling Central) SR

OL – Nick Malone (Morgantown) SR

OL – Ryan Creech (Parkersburg) SR

OL – Terrance Pankey (Huntington) JR

 

Defense

DL – Robert Arnold (Robert C. Byrd) SR

DL – Ben Gribble (University) SR

DL – Caydan Keeler (Ripley) SR

LB – Mike Bartram (Wayne) SR

LB – Luke Jackson (Ravenswood) SR

LB – Jestohn Moore (Morgantown) SR

LB – JT Cooper (Hurricane) SR

DB – Carlito Carter (Cabell Midland) SR

DB – Kerion Martin (Capital) JR

DB – Jake Bowen (Bridgeport) SR

DB – Curtis McGhee III (Wheeling Central) JR

 

Special Teams/Utility

K – Kaulin Parris (Bluefield) JR

P – Finnegan Hall (Hedgesville) SR

UTI – Christian Hill (Hurricane) JR

UTI – Blake Hartman (Musselman) SO

UTI – Isaac Howard (Spring Valley) SR

 

 

 

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!