The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

September 20, 2013

Bobcats, Warriors set for Class AA clash

Summers County and Wyoming East come into Week 4 of the high school football season as even as two teams can get.

The Bobcats (3-0) have been in three tight battles under first-year head coach Nate Tanner, but, despite some difficult situations, they’ve found a way to win them all.

In the opener, quarterback T.J. Smith scored on a fourth-quarter touchdown run to down PikeView 18-12. Summers County fans saved a few fingernails in Week 2 as the Bobcats won 28-14 over James Monroe, but last week’s game was the closest of them all, as Isaiah Brown found the end zone from 20 yards out with 1:30 left to play to lift his team to a 27-20 win on the road at Grafton.

“These kids have been through a lot the past three or four years, and when we put them in competitive situations, they just find a way to win,” said Tanner. “I think it’s sort of a blessing, because it’s important to be battle tested.”

The Bobcats’ 3-0 start was enough for a No. 4 ranking when the WVSSAC Class AA rankings were released this week.

Wyoming East (3-0) has had a little easier path to perfection, besides a thrilling opener that included a stop on a 2-point conversion on the road to lift the Warriors to a 27-26 win over Mingo Central.

The rivalry game with county foe Westside in Week 2 wasn’t close, with the Warriors winning 35-6 at home, and last week they cruised past Sherman for a 46-6 victory.

That résumé put Wyoming East in the Class AA rankings at No.4 — in a tie with Summers County.

Something will have to give tonight when Wyoming East travels to Hinton for a 7:30 p.m., meeting against the Bobcats.

“It’s a huge game for us and a huge game for them,” said Warrior head coach Gary Poindexter. “It will be a big atmosphere.”

Poindexter believes his team will be prepared, largely because it has already won in a hostile environment with its backs against the wall at Mingo Central.

It also doesn’t hurt that he has Coty Bishop, who has rushed for more than 200 yards and four touchdowns, in his backfield, and Aaron Griffith, who has thrown for 379 yards and seven touchdowns at quarterback, either.

“We play together as a team and really play hard,” said Poindexter. “We have good depth, and we’ve had guys step up in the backfield to replace Jacob Summe (last year’s leading rusher, who has been out with an injury.”

Summers County, though, has some big weapons of its own. Brown is already up to 321 rushing yards this year on 44 carries, and Smith is capable of going the distance on any play.

“They have three or four big weapons,” said Poindexter. “We have to play fundamental defense against their speed. We can’t give up big plays. They’re going to get a few, but we can’t give up too many.”

What Tanner is looking to see from his Summers County team is a complete game. Penalties and mistakes have hurt the Bobcats during the first few weeks, perhaps keeping games closer than they should have been.

“We really haven’t played up to our potential,” said Tanner. “We can’t make those mistakes in a game like this.”

In an effort to relate to his players, Tanner has compared the season to a video game. The Bobcats are now on the second level, and in order to “beat the game” they have to clear this next test.

“Our kids are extremely excited,” he said. “I think they understand the implications. This is what sports are all about.”

— E-mail: and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 042014 old white Happy birthday to The Old White

    As Greenbrier owner Jim Justice proudly stood behind the podium on the first tee box addressing a crowd at the 100th anniversary of the historic Old White TPC Course, a surprise guest emerged from the bushes by the tennis center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 bubba Watson becoming a West Virginian

    Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was glued to the television a week ago today, watching Bubba Watson try to chase down his second green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042014 spartans LOCAL ROUNDUP: Spartans win Spring Break Wooden Bat Classic

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • St. Joe’s Lewis named 2014 High School Coach of the Year

    Huntington St. Joseph girls basketball coach Shannon Lewis has made a habit of celebrating success in Charleston over the last few years.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014