By Steve Keenan
The massive storm associated with Hurricane Sandy earlier this week left a huge mess throughout large portions of the state.
It created life problems such as several deaths, wide-scale power outages, collapsed buildings, road closures, etc. for countless West Virginia residents and others along the Eastern seaboard.
Schools were obviously affected, too, and, while this weekend’s football schedule has been shuffled, four of the five Fayette County teams will play either tonight or Saturday. (The fifth, Meadow Bridge, ended its regular season at 8-2 last week.)
Some of the games slated to conclude the regular season were in doubt all week, as administrators, school officials and coaches waited to see if their schools would even have power, at the same time scrambling to see if their field would be playable (or a replacement field was available), in addition to dealing with other issues.
Midland Trail’s game with PikeView, originally set for Thursday at Hico, will now be played at 7 p.m. tonight at Greenbrier East High School. Coach Joe Dean felt his players deserved the chance to play the PikeView contest.
“I’m hesitant because of not practicing, but the kids have worked so hard,” said Dean, whose team’s 5-4 record has the Patriots 21st in this week’s WVSSAC Class A ratings with a very slim shot at the postseason. The turnaround occurred after this year’s seniors won two games combined in their first three seasons.
Winless Fayetteville’s home game with Independence has also been moved to Greenbrier East. It will be played at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Other games involving Fayette County teams — both with playoff implications — will be contested as scheduled tonight. The Class AAA No. 17 Oak Hill Red Devils (6-3) will play at winless triple-A foe Lincoln County (0-9), while the Class A No. 8 Valley Greyhounds (8-1) will travel to Hinton to attempt to knock off the Class AA No. 12 Summers County Bobcats (6-3) and hold on to home-field status for the first round of the playoffs next week.
Some games, such as the Nicholas County contest at Richwood, were scrapped entirely.
Ray Londeree, an assistant executive director with the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, said Thursday the governing body opted not to extend the regular season to next week due to potential scheduling conflicts down the line with other state tournaments.
Any games played after Saturday would not count in the playoff ratings, so schools were urged to play this weekend if at all possible.