By El Writer
The Coalfields are Singing
The stars are aligning, and it could be a fun year for one part of the state. Programs that have been a little down over the years (but historically have been solid) are now emerging back into the state’s picture. Chapmanville, Logan, Mingo Central, Scott, Van, and Tug Valley have all opened up the season with a 2-0 record. They will eventually knock each other off, and the attrition of a season will come into effect, but is it not fun for those small communities to start off the season like this? Chapmanville was the talk of the summer along with Scott for being dark horses in AA. Logan having Jaxon Cogar transfer in has allowed them to knock off county-rival Man and score a huge win over Sissonville.
The A’s have been impressive as well, especially the Tug Valley contingent. They had a big win over Shady Spring to start the season then took care of business with Sherman. This has been talked about as being a class that gets them into the spotlight in not just football but in multiple sports. Van has had some success in the last decade- nothing more than a first-round exit in the playoffs. Having their first four games at home really helps and a good finish to the season can see them going 8-2 or possibly 9-1.
Parkersburg South: I am buying a large share of the Patriots’ stock. They have showed up and have had two very convincing wins. How good is Capital and University? I am not sure but that does not take away from South’s performances much. They can score in different ways, have weapons, are physical, and are well-coached.
Herbert Hoover: The Huskies are a good team with talented players. They have had a slow start no doubt and people are selling them. Though others might be doing this, I am buying them now. This will be a dangerous team in November.
Bluefield Beavers: Many people still have them ranked very high. I am not sure if the Beavers will make the playoffs in 2022. They have started with losses to rivals Graham (VA) and Princeton. They play a tough Pulaski County (VA) this week. Woodrow Wilson is no slouch and at the least will be a very physical game. Richlands (VA) will be testing as well their rematch with Independence. Does 5-5 get in this year? 6-4 may be a stretch.
Jefferson: This is a weird one, and I am not selling my whole position but selling a portion for sure. The Sherando (VA) game was a surprise- more on the scoring difference. This is a good team, and they have good players. They should be making noise come late fall, but they need to have the right draw to find success in the playoffs. This week’s game against Musselman will be a character test and may determine if I sell more of my position.
So… It Begins
Scrolling on Twitter late Monday night, I caught a glimpse of multiple teams around the country adjusting their game times. Moving to Saturday, Thursday, and one even to Sunday. The Sunday one should be egregious for the simple reason of it being the first official Sunday of the NFL season. A mandatory off-day for every US citizen should have been applied, but I do not have the power to make that type of call.
The reasoning behind all the changes has been one that people have been calling for years. There are simply not enough officials. It’s turning into a pandemic and one that doesn’t have a great answer to it. People are not going into that line of work anymore. Why should you though? It’s good side money sure but with the attitude towards officials… is it worth it? It’s getting pretty disgusting how the treatment of officials has regressed from the fans, the coaches, and even the players.
The other issue, and one that is arguably common in the country currently, is that the younger generations are not lining up to do it either. Most of the crews are older and probably working on their last couple of years of doing it. This is the beginning of a massive change in high school, middle school, and youth league sports. Just wait until you have full weekends cancelled, or you have to play games on Tuesdays or Wednesdays because the crews have to be spread out all week to make it work.
Can we help? Yes, but it has to start with the adults. They have to exemplify the proper behavior. They have to respect the officials and the job they are doing. They are human and will make mistakes. That is natural, and there is no way that they can be perfect. The other way we can help is to push younger generations to start taking the official courses and get locked in with older crews. The money is not bad, and for younger people, they should really take a look at doing it. Especially in this economy, that type of paycheck could be extremely helpful.
I hope I am wrong, and I hope that this is just a small blip and not a major change. I do not believe that I will be completely off on this, however. The signs have been flashing red for years, and now consequences are occurring. Let’s start being the role models for the treatment of officials and help push younger people into the profession as well.