By Cam Huffman
According to The Inter-Mountain in Elkins, the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission has voided all wins by the Elkins High School football team this season, because a player was ruled ineligible.
The sanctions were a big blow to the Tigers, who were 7-2 and ranked No. 8 in Class AAA, but a huge boost locally to Oak Hill, one of the teams that lost to Elkins and will now pick up an extra win.
The Red Devils were 5-3 and ranked No. 18, but with a pair of winless teams in PikeView and Lincoln County left on the schedule, it was going to be difficult to pick up points.
But with Wednesday’s news, the Red Devils can add another AAA victory to their total and will now be 6-2. That, coupled with Elkins obviously falling out of the top 16, should put Oak Hill in good position to earn a postseason bid, and possibly even host a home game, if it can win out.
The report in The Inter-Mountain did not specify who the player was or why he was ruled ineligible, but it did indicate that a school from a neighboring county filed a complaint against Elkins. The allegation was reviewed by the WVSSAC on Tuesday, before the decision was made to void the victories.
Woodrow Wilson — The Flying Eagles (6-3) have climbed all the way to No. 10 in the Class AAA rankings — and could gain another spot with Elkins out.
Woodrow battled through a difficult stretch that included matchups with some of the state’s top teams in Spring Valley, Cabell Midland and Huntington, and although it lost all three, it was competitive in each game.
That stretch seems to have made Beckley a better football team, and head coach John H. Lilly’s crew is now playing with confidence after winning back-to-back games to all but lock down a spot in the playoffs.
Friday will bring the Flying Eagles another big opportunity as they hit the road to face No. 13 Capital (5-3), which is coming off a big upset victory over George Washington. If Woodrow Wilson can find a way to knock off the Cougars, it may begin the playoffs with a home game at Van Meter Stadium.
River View — Once 4-1 and looking like a lock for the postseason, the Raiders’ fortunes have certainly taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks.
After three-straight losses to Wyoming East, Bluefield and Nicholas County, River View is now 4-4 and No. 26 in Class AA. With Lincoln County and Westside left to play, the Raiders would need a miracle to avoid missing the postseason for the first time in school history.
AROUND THE STATE
There are a number of intriguing matchups in all classes this week, beginning in Class AAA with the Mohawk Bowl, pitting Morgantown’s two high schools — University and Morgantown — head-to-head.
The game is always a big one, but with University (8-1) ranked No. 4 in the state and Morgantown (6-2) ranked No. 7, this could be a classic.
Two rivals in the Eastern Panhandle will also meet on Friday when No. 6 Musselman (6-2) makes the short drive up I-81 to meet No. 2 Martinsburg (8-1). The Bulldogs from Martinsburg have dominated the series in recent years, but the Applemen are hopeful they have the team to finally break through.
A big rivalry game also highlights the schedule in Class AA where two Mineral County schools, Keyser and Frankfort, meet. Like the Mohawk Bowl, this game is always a big one for both schools, but with Keyser No. 2 at 7-1 and Frankfort No. 7 at 7-1, this year’s meeting could take on some added intensity.
Another interesting game in Class AA has No. 5 Robert C. Byrd (8-1) visiting No. 6 Scott (7-1).
Perhaps the biggest draw in Class A comes from two teams fighting for a playoff spot as No. 13 Wheeling Central (6-3) travels to face No. 14 Bishop Donahue (6-2) in a must-win contest for both schools.
— E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.