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: 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!

Valley Region: SINGLE 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.


The Rebellion

Several season ago, Tolsia rose from practically nowhere in AA to battle Bridgeport in the AA state championship.  In 2017, in Single A ball, the Rebels won two games.  These peaks and valleys are usual occurrences.  Historically speaking, Tolsia should be excited because their valleys are always followed with a peak.  Coach Eric Crum took over fresh last year and through injuries and some senior-heavy opponents- fell often.

Fast forward to 2018, and Tolsia might be the biggest dark horse of any class.  They return almost every player and have injuries healed up.  Devon Crum is much bragged about as runningback from multiple sources and comes in healthy after being sidelined last year.  He will go behind a very experienced line that features potential all-staters Stone Sartin and Brent Setser.  Both these men are under the radar big men with enormous upside.

It is expected to see even more players step up.  Austin Gauze is a three-way playmaker that seemed to impress a lot through camp and into August training camp.  Coach Crum seems to have the Rebels approaching this season with a chip on their shoulder and a lot of making up to do.  Their schedule, this season, features previous playoffs teams in rebuilding mode.  It should get interesting in a hurry.  They host Fairland (OH) opening week.


What’s the Buffalo Bill?

As with several other Valley A’s, Buffalo featured a new coach, tough schedule, and sub-500 performance.  Buffalo had bright spots with several close games and star QB Ethan Burgess.  He is gone, yet this year looks brighter.  Coach Brian Batman, a very experienced man around the Buffalo program, has Jackson England stepping into the shoes at QB.

England notably was put into several big-time games and handled himself with a lot of poise for such a young signal caller.  His role increases tenfold.  Luckily, he will have a four-year starter, Jacob Brannan, and former freshman all-stater, Park Michaels, paving the way for him.

Buffalo has historically been an excellent ground team with reliable lines.  It seems Coach Batman will return that mentality and setup with his own twists.  Buffalo doesn’t seem to make a complete 180 but expect them in the mix definitely.  They will travel to Greenbrier West August 24th.


Rise of the Red Devils

Ravenswood went 5-5 in 2017 but damn were they fun to watch.  Featuring a tough defense that often time forced takeaways, the offense was often littered with injuries that through young players in there.  It is near impossible to gain traction with their schedule and those occurrences.  2018 will be a new shot for the Red Devils and new head man Eric Hupp.

The Red Devils return several notable names.  Luke Jackson has become a popular linebacker for his strong build and devastating hits.  Expect much of that again as he will captain the traditional tough defense.  Two talked about lineman in front, on both sides, will be Zack Graham and Nic Williams.  Both have developed into well-sized hogs with the proper conditioning to go both ways.

Finally, a new a quarterback will step into play, but he isn’t an unfamiliar face.  He actually ranks on the school’s all-time passing lists here and there.  Max Hilton, a mobile type with long range, has been asked under a multitude of circumstances to step in and lead the Ravenswood offense.  Many a times, he has delivered.

Ravenswood road will not be easy as it never is.  Their schedule includes a returning Webster County, promising Williamstown, loaded Sherman, high-ranked Doddridge County, runner-up St. Marys, and AAA-rival Ripley.   If they improve record-wise this year, they will have definitely earned it.  They host Wahama on the 24th.


SPEED ROUND

The two remaining Single A’s in the Valley Region both will have a new look going into the season.  Wahama, who went 5-5 last season, has hired James Toth of Logan after departing with long and successful coaching staff.  The job wasn’t decided until late which should have the White Falcons rather behind when the season gets here.  Hannan, after many tough seasons, has taken an approach unseen before and hired Kellie Thomas, the first female coach in state history.  Behind Coach Thomas we expect a good change of pace and promising result in the future.  As for now though, they must survive and develop.


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!

TOP 5 WV AAA DEFENSIVE BACKS OF 2018

To some it might seem early but as players begin hitting lifting PR’s and getting in shape- the season has never quite ended.  The chase for a trip to Wheeling never ends, and we are taking Fridays in the current offseason to highlight the top five players returning per position in AAA and AA/A (combined).  Not on the list?  Good thing it’s not even preseason yet.  Prove us right or prove us wrong.

 

Without further ado…

 

Honorable Mention

Kaden Rice (Morgantown) 2019

Griffin Adkins (Cabell Midland) 2019

Josh Kay (Ripley) 2019

 

 

#5 Kerion Martin

Kerion M

School: Capital

Year: 2020

HT/WT: 6’2/195

Martin has a significant frame to work with and great football instincts.  Also being a great receiver, he has the ability to get takeaways defensively.  He will be looked to as the Cougars try to improve their secondary from last year.  He has all the tools to make that happen- speed, length, and solid tackling.  A potential breakout star in 2018.

 

 

#4 Carlito Carter

Carlito Carter

School: Cabell Midland

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 5’11/170

A former Black Eagle, Carter had plenty of glimpses of lockdown ability.  He plays lengthier than what he is and has about enough speed to cover anyone in the state.  His run support is spotty but definitely better than most.  Carter’s new role in 2018 could have him shining in a stacked Scarlet Knight secondary and more freedom to make big plays.

 

 

#3 Teddy Marshall

TM

School: Martinsburg

Year: 2020

HT/WT: 6’1/170

Marshall takes on the underclassman role of a current dynasty.  He’s a two-way star and will be looked to even more in 2018.  He has awesome hip movement and enough grit to force an edge when needed.  Marshall goes against top competition early and often and his ceiling is very high.  Combine all this with excellent coaching a tried-and-true defensive scheme and you get a stellar player.

 

 

#2 N’iyjere Smith

ns-e1529079064959.jpg

School: Hedgesville

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 5’10/180

Smith is the most explosive defensive back on our list. He’s tightly built and has pretty good athleticism.  He translates all of it though into very intense play which usually wears down his opponents.  Smith could use some technical work but no one can deny his big hit ability.  An underrated playmaker in the panhandle, Smith looks to help cement Hedgesville as an annual playoff contender.

 

 

#1 Grant Harman

GH
Photo Credits: The Journal

School: Martinsburg

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 5’11/185

Harman is one of the most decorated players returning in 2018 with two rings and two 1st-Team bids.  He was integral in a dominating Bulldog defense as he has a pure knack for ball hunting at the safety position.  If he isn’t closing on passes, he is also a hard nosed run stopper that plays with great leverages.  His responsbilities will multiply this season with so many new faces, but if anyone can handle it- it’s him.

 

 

Who did we miss?  Let us know!  We never shy away from people telling us we’re missing out on kids!  Our next Feature Five Friday will take on the top returning defensive backs in AA/A!  Let us know who should be in there!

 

TOP 5 WV AA/A WIDE RECEIVERS OF 2018

To some it might seem early but as players begin hitting lifting PR’s and getting in shape- the season has never quite ended.  The chase for a trip to Wheeling never ends, and we are taking Fridays in the current offseason to highlight the top five players returning per position in AAA and AA/A (combined).  Not on the list?  Good thing it’s not even preseason yet.  Prove us right or prove us wrong.

 

Without further ado…

 

Honorable Mentions

Jay Poindexter (Nitro) 2019

Reggie Redman (Keyser) 2019

Bronson Skeens (Poca) 2019

 

#5 Josh Wamsley

JW
Photo Credits: My Daily Tribune

School: Point Pleasant

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 5’8 / 170 lbs

Wamsley comes in at #5 already being the most prolific receiver in Point Pleasant history.  He is,without a doubt, Cason Payne’s favorite target and for very good reason.  He’s smaller in size but makes up for it with excellent route running and deceptive breakaway speed.  Very few dropped balls come from him and he plays with a toughness that defenses absolutely hate.  Wamsley will put up some great numbers come Fall.

 

 

#4 Antonio Parsons

AP
Photo Credits: Times West Virginian

School: Fairmont Senior

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 5’9 / 175 lbs

Parsons should be a common name around the state at this point being one of the most clutch receivers in big games.  He’s played in the biggest of the big and always stood out.  His ability to high point passes and make incredible leaping grabs is noteworthy.  He has few flaws in his game and if Connor Neal progresses as he should at QB, Parsons will have a heck of a senior season.

 

 

#3 Reed Reitter

RR
Photo Credits: The Herald Star

School: Weir

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 6’4 / 205 lbs

Reitter is the biggest pass catcher on the list.  As Weir’s do-it-all guy, Reitter has a heavy load.  Part of that job is using his crazy size to out leverage defenders and make big catches.  He also has the ability to make plays after the catch with good moves and decent speed.  Reitter is a little stiff in the hips but could potentially be a great look for a next level tight end.

 

#2 Drew Hatfield

DHat
Photo Credits: Wes Wilson

School: Mingo Central

Year: 2020

HT/WT: 6’0 / 180 lbs

Though Miner Mountain lost a legend, they still have an athlete who’s been 1st-Team All-State every year he’s been there.  Hatfield cemented himself as a top receiver years ago as a freshman dicing up secondaries for a state championship run.  Last year, nothing really changed.  He is elusive with decent size and undoubted play-making ability.  He is a very electric athlete and will affect games from multiple positions.

 

 

#1 Braden Price

bp.jpg

School: Wheeling Central

Year: 2019

HT/WT: 6’0 / 175 lbs

On a Single A squad already crowded with stars, Price could be the brightest.  Though used a lot as a wingback and for runs, Price makes an excellent slot.  He is quick with great hands and the ability to plant his foot and consistently get yards.  We’re big on his overall smoothness and natural technique for the position.  Price rejoins an offense beautifully set up for his success.  The Maroon Knights are loaded, folks.

 

 

Who did we miss?  Let us know!  We never shy away from people telling us we’re missing out on kids!  Our next Feature Five Friday will take on the top returning defensive backs in AAA!  Let us know who should be in there!