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2014 site & VHSL news

Sat., Nov. 8, 5 p.m. : Now that the last WV game is in the books, I've updated the standings and final ratings,

Fri., Nov. 7, 11:58 p.m. : Here's my UNOFFICIAL pairings ...

1A West

#11 Patrick Henry @ #6 Clintwood 
#14 Twin Valley @ #3 Galax  

#10 Covington @ #7 Northwood 
#15 J.I. Burton @ #2 Haysi 

#12 Auburn @ #5 Fort Chiswell 
#13 Rural Retreat @ #4 George Wythe 

#9 Hurley @ #8 Radford  
#16 Twin Springs @ #1 Honaker 

2A West

#11 Lebanon @ #6 Richlands  
#14 Chatham @ #3 Marion  

#10 Dan River #7 Buckingham Co. 
#15 Graham @ #2 Gate City  

#12 Tazewell @ #5 Union (BSG) 
#13 Central (Wise) @ #4 Glenvar 

#9 Lee @ #8 Appomattox 
#16 Martinsville @ #1 Giles  

Thur., Nov. 6, 10:15 p.m. : Updated the standings, ratings, 2A West and 1A West cheat sheets, and the 2A West tight and 1A West tight cheat sheets following wins tonight by Richlands & Heritage-Lynchburg.

Tues., Nov. 4, 5:30 p.m. : Tweeked & corrected the 1A West tight and 2A West tight cheat sheets - the correction only affects Auburn & Chatham, where I had forgotten to make their bonuses worth 2.22 & 1.11. The tweek was to re-space the numbers. Also updated this weekend's schedule.

Tues., Nov. 4, 1:30 a.m. : Posted the 1A West tight and 2A West tight cheat sheets.

Mon., Nov. 3, 10 p.m. : Updated the standings, ratings and cheat sheets for 2A West and 1A West. And I was wrong Sat. - J.I. Burton did NOT clinch a spot with their win tonight.

    I'll be posting "tightened" versions within a few hours, and will update everything again Thur. night after the Richlands @ Grundy game. AND DON'T FORGET TO VOTE TUESDAY !!!!

Sat., Nov. 1, 8:15 p.m. : Updated the ratings and added the cheat sheet for 1A West. By my numbers, only two teams have clinched a 1st round home game, but a whopping 14 teams are in, AND J.I. Burton will be in with a win Monday night, leaving seven teams going after the last spot, with Eastside & East. Mont. having a big edge on the rest of the pack. The absolute minimum to get in is 153 points. I'll update it again Monday night after the JIB-RC game,

Sat., Nov. 1, 2:15 p.m. : Updated the standings and cheat sheet for 2A West. By my numbers, six teams have clinched a 1st round home game, 11 teams are in, and 10 others are vying for the final five spots, with only Graham, James River & Floyd Co. playing "weaker" teams. The absolute minimum to get in is 157 points.

    I'll update it again Monday night after the JIB-RC game, and again Thur. night after the Richlands @ Grundy game.

Fri., Oct. 31, 7 a.m. : Updated the cheat sheet for 2A West to include last nights games.

Thur., Oct. 30, 1 p.m. : Added the cheat sheet for 2A West. Because of the games scheduled for tonight and Saturday, I'm not going to do 1A West until Saturday night.

Wed., Oct. 29, 10:30 a.m. : Well, as you can tell, I'm WAAAAY behind, so I'm just throwing a few things up right now. A few games have already been changed this weekend because of Halloween, and the NWS is calling for snow to roll in sometime Friday night, so start digging for those gloves and find the ice scraper. Here's the scheds for Halloween weekend and Nov. 7th, along with the current standings and ratings. The cheat sheets WILL be posted (by tonight, with some luck) and updated late tomorrow night.

Tues., Aug. 26, 4 pm : A bug-bite on my eyelid has really slowed me down. All I'll be able to add this week is the schedule for this weekend.

Thur., Aug. 21, 3:30 pm : Well, I was a bit taken aback a few days ago when a regional paper declared (local team) "Football Season Underway". How was that possible? I hadn't even put the weekly schedules together yet! Then I realized that (1) they were referring to the fact that PRACTICE has started, and (2) this community has a bit of history concerning what the definition of "practice" is. So, I'm still getting everything together, slowly but surely, when I see ANOTHER paper has declared that Va. Tech will play in a benefit game. I try not to make glaring miss steaks like that, which is partly why I'm behind again. Anyway, here's the latest schedule for this weekend. Look for more stuff Monday.

Thur., Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. : Here's a quick update on the semi-finals.

    First, we've reached the "state" level, so all games are now $10.

    The Class 2A Buckingham County "at" Brunswick game HAS been moved to Armory Field in Franklin (near Suffolk).
    The Class 5A North Stafford "at" Briar Woods game has been moved to John Champe HS.
    Finally, the Class 1A semi between Altavista and Haysi... well, it's FUBARd right now. On Monday afternoon, Kingsport's Times News said Altavista was protesting playing at Sandlick. Tuesday aft., Haysi said the field passed inspection, but they were going to have to tarp it before the rain comes in. Wednesday aft., the tarp was on it's way when the VHSL posted that the game would be played at "Franklin City Stadium", which I've never heard of before, and I know pretty much all the HS stadium names in the state. Made me wonder if they meant Lynchburg. But this morning, the VHSL "updated" the schedule again and put the game back 'officially' at Sandlick. And Haysi HAS moved their Christmas parade to Sunday.

Mon., Dec. 2, 6:45 p.m. : Updated the pairings page.

Mon., Nov. 25, 7:45 a.m. : Updated the pairings page, but not the stats... will work on that today.

Mon., Nov. 25, 5:15 p.m. : added dates/times.

Fri., Nov. 22, 4:15 a.m. : Covington @ Honaker kickoff has been changed to 7:30 tonight.

Thur., Nov. 21, 5 p.m. : Updated the pairings page.

Thur., Nov. 14, 11:55 a.m. : Added more tidbits to my pairings page, including a time change for Northwood @ Covington from 7:30 to 7:00 (although the VHSL hasn't done it yet), along with team scoring info. And nothing was ever said about Chatham, so I'm assuming the appeal wasn't filed to begin with (I can see reasons for that), and Giles will be hosting Grayson Co. Friday night.

Tues., Nov. 12, 8:15 p.m. : I'm still working on stats, but here's my pairings page, with a few tidbits for now; I should be adding more to it pretty much every day.

Sun., Nov. 10, 8:45 p.m. : Here's the updated The official pairings WITH date/time info. Scuttlebutt is that Chatham has filed an appeal which will be heard Wednesday, so Giles is in somewhat of a holding pattern right now. I just CAN'T believe the VHSL didn't notify the schools/coaches of the pairings until Sunday morning.

Sun., Nov. 10, 8:45 p.m. : Well, I hate to say it, but the VHSL has once again decided to not follow what the Handbook says, allowing Grayson Co. to get the West #16 seed instead of Chatham. I can't wait to hear the story. The official pairings were released today, but date/time info wasn't. My unofficail pairings were off a bit in 1A as I reversed the top 2 sedds. In 2A, I used a game result that had been reversed by the some media, so the pairings of the 6-11 seeds have been changed.

Sat., Nov. 9, 2 a.m. : Here's my UNOFFICIAL pairings for 1A & 2A West...

   1 A - West
16 Eastside @ 1 Haysi
15 Rural Retreat @ 2 Fort Chiswell
14 Bath Co. @ 3 Honaker
13 Auburn @ 4 Chilhowie
12 J.I. Burton @ 5 Clintwood
11 Northwood @ 6 Covington
10 Radford @ 7 Holston
 9 Galax @ 8 George Wythe

   2 A - West
16 (Chatham or) Grayson Co. @ 1 Giles
15 Lee @ 2 Union
14 Glenvar @ 3 Dan River
13 Va. High @ 4 Gretna 
12 Graham @ 5 Richlands
11 James River @ 6 Buckingham Co.
10 John S. Battle @ 7 Gate City
9 Appomattox @ 8 Marion

If the VHSL gives Bartlett-Yancey 2 wins like they should,
the #16 will be Chatham

Thur., Nov. 7, 2:15 p.m. : I have a bunch of stuff I want to post this evening, but I wanted to get this out of the way now, before some of you head home for the day.

    First, I made a mistake with Hurley's possible remaining points, and reduced their max. possible number by 1. The VHSL also made some changes this week... they added 1 to Martinsville (correcting the NC EG situation) and 2 to Va. High (they changed Tenn. High from a 3A to a 4A school).

    Now comes the problem... they have Bartlett-Yancey with 1 win instead of 2. I've been waiting for them to make a correction on that, but they haven't, and I'm getting tired of the hassle. So, my ratings and everything associated with them have 2 more points for Dan River & Chatham than the VHSL says is 'official'. I'm going to give the VHSL the rest of the day to post updated ratings. Sometime after that, I'll have a LOT to say. In the meantime, here's the updated ratings, standings and cheat sheets for 2A West and 1A - West, and the "tightened up" cheat sheets for 1A West tight and 2A West tight with Dan River and Chatham's numbers NOT matching what's official.

7:30 p.m. : I am getting SOOOOO tired of the way people have become. Republicans say they want smaller government, yet almost every Repub. Gov. refused to set up their own health care exchanges, relying on DC to do it. THEN the Repubs "complain" that the website isn't working good enough, and want the female in charge to resign. Ol' Cooch was running an anti-Obamacare campaign, and said Va. sent a message that we're against Obamacare because he... LOST! (By basically the same margin Romney lost by last year) And, I guess because Va. showed that he was "right", he's refused to call T-Mc to concede and say congrats (and he's not the only Tea Partier in that boat).

    I thought it was impossible to get lower than politics, but I'm beginning to rethink that.

    A girl from over in Whitley County, KY, a couple of counties down the line from Lee, withdrew from her regional XCC meet because her coach drew a particular bib # and race officials refused to let her change it. After this made it to the local news, the officials said they didn't know it was because of her religious beliefs. Her coach basicly said 'they're lyin'. I gotta say... I find it VERY hard to believe that the coach AND the kid BOTH FORGOT to mention why. And that THREE adults in Eastern Ky. didn't ALREADY know this to START WITH. And that the KHSAA doesn't automatically pull a couple of numbers to start with. (Who would like having # 13 ??) And, if the coach had the packet beforehand, why did she wait until THAT DAY???

    The NY Daily News story includes video from local TV WYMT. Lexington TV station WLEX had 410 Facebook comments in 44 hours, which I found amazing, until I saw that the 10-hour old Yahoo story had 16,579 comments! But the thing that amazed me was what prople were saying in those comments...
"That's the funniest thing I've read all day."
"If your fairy tale space wizard is going to punish you..."
"Runners have had that number BEFORE her and not complained"
"This is seriously so silly. SO silly. I can't even begin to describe just how stupid this is."
And those were the FACEBOOK comments, with people using their REAL names, AND picture! People have become so, so, I don't know.

    At the other end of the spectrum, we have 18-year-old Floridian TreVante Taylor and his bad attempt to avoid copying "The Last Boy Scout" by switching to something a little less menacing... a knife.

    Oh, dear! All those old eyeglasses jokes (there were, like, 3 of 'em, right?) have made a comeback this week when a college white-cap called a safety on a pass attempt from around the 4 yard line Tuesday night. In a later press release, the ref admitted he wasn't watching the QB during the play.

    So, how young is too young for Hooters? Wait... let me try that again.
Should middle school boys have an awards dinner at a place that serves wings and beer? Hmmmm... I'm still missing it a bit.
Is more than a mouthful... okay, I'm just making this worse.

    Anyway, a MS coach in Oregon asked his boys where they wanted to have the year-end awards dinner, and guess where they wanted to go? So coach agrees, but the A.D. doesn't, and the coach is now the former-coach. (Time for a little media bashing here... LOTS of stories on this said the coach was FIRED. I've yet to find an article that says he actually lost his job with the school system. KGW says the volunteer coach was dismissmissed.) Meanwhile, the Delightfully Tacky eatery will not only host the unofficial party Saturday, they're picking up the tab AND making a donation to the local boosters. For more, visit OregonLive.

    I wsa watching Olbermann the other night and saw a piece of tech. that counts the yardage actually run on a play, not just the yards gained. I'd like to see that applied to the Rhode Island kid who needed almost :30 to go 60 yards.

    One scheduling note - Pendleton Co., WV was scheduled to play Fishburne Military this weekend, but FMA made the VIS playoffs, and Pendleton decided to take a forfeit instead of just calling it 'no game'. Either way, it doesn't count in the VHSL ratings.

    One nickname. Two coaches - 60+ years, 431 combined wins. One goes undefeated. Pick a Tiger.

    Well, I guess I've put this off long enough. Time to rip into the front office. Over the years, I had a pretty decent relationship with a person at the VHSL office in Hoo-ville, sending in info about out of state stuff like new schools and forfeits, and pointing out mistakes in the master schedules and ratings. Things started going downhill in '09 when they "rounded" Madison County down a seed, and I wasn't happy that they weren't going by what the rules stated. Then last year, there was a problem with Bartlett-Yancey that affected Dan River, and I had major issues with that. In the offseason, this "Note" was added... Any state in which a VHSL member school plays that allows Endowment Games, those schools may exchange a win in accordance with that state's rules which will be recognized in the VHSL football ratings. Well, once again, B-Y has caused a problem. They picked Chatham for their EG, and dropped that game (a loss), but the VHSL INSTEAD dropped their Week 0 WIN over Wheatmore. After doing a little digging, I saw that the 8/23 Wheatmore game actually was REMOVED from the Master Schedule update of Sept. 10th. I don't know what their problem is, but, once again, they seem to have decided to skip what the rule says and do things their own way.

    Also, when I asked them to clarify the new Tiebreaker rule for this year, I got a BS answer instead of a simple yes or no. So, I don't know if "9 games" means 9 ACTUAL games, like the rule reads, which means none of the regional schools will be affected, or if they're going to say "9 games vs. public schools", which brings Chatham, Montcalm, North Stokes, and others into the mix.

    While I'm ranting, I'll add that I really dislike the way they "update" the ratings. They have a home page, an online news page, a weekly update page (which doesn't load right about half the time on my computer), a Facebook page, "activities" Facebook and Twitter pages, and an athletics Twitter page, yet you won't find any mention of the football ratings on ANY of them lately. The only thing you can do is go to the football page and check the number of the ratings PDF file (the current one, which is 2 days old, is 8) to see if an update was made. NOWHERE do they say WHY the update was made. Well, this week, they started off by accidentally deleting a Week 0 win from Alleghany, NC, which left Grayson Co. 2 points short, and they added 1 point to Martinsville (to fix the EG stuff). When they went back and fixed Grayson, they also added 2 points to Va. High because they changed Tenn. High from 3A to 4A. AND STILL they don't have B-Y's record right. Wish they'd explain some of this stuff on ANY of their pages.

    So, to wrap things up, the links above all have the points the way they SHOULD be; we'll just have to wait and see what happens with the way things play out Friday night (here's the schedule).

Wed., Nov. 6, 5:45 p.m.: Right off the bat, I want to apologize for not having the updated/verified cheat sheets and ratings posted, but I have a MAJOR problem with the VHSL and their official ratings. I'll explain tomorrow, after I decide just how far I want to go with this. I'll have the stuff posted by the afternoon, one way ot the other.

Tues., Nov. 5, 2:15 p.m.: The VHSL and I are in disagreement on the ratings points for a handful of teams in 1A West & 2A West, and it won't be straightened out until tomorrow. Therefore, the 'tightened' cheat sheets won't be posted until tomorrow night, when I'll also update the regular cheet sheets (there WILL be changes) and the ratings.

Mon., Nov. 4, 9:15 p.m.: The VHSL screwed up in their new ratings.
When they updated over the weekend, they removed Alleghany's season-opening win over North Stokes, NC. Grayson Co. should have 170 ratings points.

Mon., Nov. 4, 7:15 p.m.: Time to get caught up on some things out east AND west.

    Virginia's been pretty lucky lately, but I guess the law of averages finally caught up to us, or something like that, but we lost a player last week. 15-year-old Soph. Jacob Vick, a starting LB for New Kent, collapsed during team drills last Tuesday evening and died a few hours later. Vick had suffered a concussion a while back and didn't play the previous Friday.

    Lee County native Mike Smith's Hampton squad has wrapped up the regular season with a 6-4 record, barely avoiding setting a record for most losses in a season during his 40+ years. A couple of weeks ago, the Crabbers trailed by a TD early in the 3rd, then won by a TD in a game that was called w/:54 left after Gloucester (which falls to 0-24 vs. Hampton) committed four personal fouls in about 3:00, and a player was ejected for what appeared to be a cheap shot on the QB. Gloucester then sent the tape to the VHSL, which overturned the two ejections. (For some reason, I thought there was a rule against hurdling a player.)

    Warwick, which started out 0-7, has changed coaches. After one of the team's best players walked off during a loss to previously-winless Menchville, the Raiders admin. decided to replace Bernard Griffin with P.E. teacher/former A.D. Michael Cooke.

    The regular season has wrapped up in TN & KY ; here's a few things I thought were worth mentioning... Morristown East had a MAJOR turnaround, going from 1-9 last year to 9-1; Greeneville outscored their opponents 549-54, but were out-done by Knox Fulton (612-57); East Ridge set a school record with 6 wins, but won't be in the playoffs because they elected to NOT play a full District schedule this year (and next), and 3A Warren Central (from waaaay down near Bowling Green [treat]) gave up just 25 points this year, but only went 9-1 as they had an 8-3 loss to 6A Daviess County.

    Here's the playoff schedules for Tenn. and Kent. I also have just the 'local' games on my weekly schedule page. (And no, that's not a typo... a 3-7 is hosting a 7-3. Ky. uses a pod system, with 2 Districts per pod, where my #2 seed hosts your #3 seed, with seeds based on District records. You can check out Class 1A, Dist. 7 & 8 and see for yourself.)

    While I was confirming a score Friday night, right above the Hurley-Phelps score on the KY list, I saw this... Highlands 71, Warren Central 69, so I had to find out more. (Fort Thomas) Highlands led 27-0 after just 7 offensive plays, and was up 41-7 in the 2nd quarter when the coach decided to let the def. reserves get some SERIOUS playing time. This led to Warren Central finishing with a state-record 918 yards of offense (Cawood once had 860 against Bell County), with 716 rushing yards, good for 2nd all-time on the state list. The 918 yards is also good for 2nd best in the nation. (Remember, this was by the LOSING team).

    A team having a Homecoming King is fairly common, but a little west of Knoxville, Coalfield's team also had the Homecoming Queen!

    Looks like the VHSL and I disagree on the ratings for Grayson County. Will see what the problem is later tonight.

Sat., Nov. 2, 5:45 p.m.: Updated the standings and playoff pairings cheat sheets for 2A West and 1A West. For those of you who haven't checked these out before, I have a page to figure out those pesky playoff pairings. I start with the current ratings points (PLEASE, don't call them 'power points') and list the possible points every team can get, giving a range for both a win or a loss. I also do a 'tightened' sheet that I usually post around Tuesday that cuts it all down to just the essential stuff. Remember, everything is UNOFFICIAL until the VHSL posts their updated ratings on Monday or so, but I've been doing this for years, so I'm pretty accurate. Thing is, you never know where I might have mistook an 8 for a 3, or what might pop up. For example, the KHSAA announced yesterday that Fairview would forfeit their first four games, AND 'vacate' their Class A runner-up finish last year. Is that important? Well, their 5th game was a win over East Ridge, and a forfeit there would have given 3 Black Diamond teams another rider point or two. Next posting should be Monday evening. OH YEAH, SET THOSE CLOCKS BACK TONUGHT!

Wed., Oct. 30, 2 p.m.: HOLS-ton... hel-LOOO!!! Yes, just like ol' Keith, I'm back. And just like the big O, I'm quite a bit later than you were expecting. Between setting up my new multi-screen SportsDeck, learning how to say 'acceptable deductible' in Swahili, and unraveling the new ratings scale, it's been kinda CrAzEe around here.

    Let's start with the stuff you know you want... the updated standings, ratings, weekly schedules and regional colleges pages, the long-awaited changes and schools/stadium info pages, and the cheat sheets for 2A West and 1A West.

    It was quite an interesting first month of the season, especially in the SW part of the state. Auburn opened up with a 27-0 win over Narrows, ending a 39-game winless streak, which apparently motivated Page Co. to end their 31-game skid the next week. That same night, Union tied Richlands w/:48 left, then won the game with a walk-off (?run-off?) pick-6. And Clintwood scored 34 points on just 3 snaps, thanks in part to 54, 54 & 62 yard punt return TDs. The following week, Clintwood scored with 1:00 left to pull back ahead of Haysi, but gave up a 47 yard pass on 4th & 4, and a 27 yard TD pass with :12 left to fall 26-22, and Phoebus' Marshawn Williams tied a state record with EIGHT rushing TDs. Down in TN, Science Hill thought it was basketball season already as they put up 90 on David Crockett, then gave up 64 the next week. That same night, Hampton gave up a school-record 66 points in a loss to Woodside, Graham set a school record for points and victory margin with a 67-0 win over Grundy, and Tazewell trailed Chilhowie by 21 with 1:30 left, but scored on 3 consecutive snaps (they recovered both on-side kicks) to take the lead, only to lose the game on a last-second FG.

    On Oct. 4th, Rural Retreat oops, I mean Fort Chiswell had a game down in NC that was called with 1:05 left due to a power outage. Normally, I'd think 'this was a blowout' or 'they'll resume it Saturday' if it was close. Wrong on both counts. The Indians were up just 21-17, but they had the ball and just needed to take a couple of kneels anyway. The next week, another game apparently ended early, but under completely different circumstances. OH, how the mighty have fallen. A school that was state champs less than a decade ago quit. QUIT!. (Okay, I'm a little off-base here... it wasn't the TEAM that quit, it was the COACH, who told the team to get on the bus w/1:16 left.) What caused this?? A TD pass during running-clock time. Now, the fact that it was a TD pass by a SR. QB who had NEVER completed a varsity pass before, and it was on Homecoming night, didn't matter. Elsewhere, after running just 2 plays from scrimmage, Haysi had 23 points. And right beside of that on page C-4 of the Daily Telegraph... Summers Co. (WV) scored 29 before the offense even took the field! Out East, Hampton lost to Denbigh, giving Mike Smith his 4th loss of the season. In over 40 years with the Crabbers, Smith has never lost 5 in a year, and the only way he can avoid it this year is to win another state title.

    On the 18th, Chilhowie handed George Wythe their first Hogo loss since 2005, two of the best 3A teams in the state went to OT in Daleville, and a coach may have lost his mind. His school went from a district where they were 25-50% larger than the other schools to one where they're mid-sized. He said if they were still in the SWD, they'd win the district. Pretty bold, there, considering he had just lost consecutive games to the three smaller schools in his new district by at least four TDs, and I can't remember them ever winning the SWD title. Then came Saturday, when Galax's Steven Peoples set a new state rushing record that, at the same time, isn't a state rushing record. Peoples churned out 502 rushing yards (on just 22 carries) against Graham, breaking the old VHSL single-game record of 500 yards by West Springfield's Damone Boone in 1995. Peoples had 6 rushing TDs before wrapping things up with a 75-yard fumble return TD. Thing is, the game was hosted by Graham, whose home field lies less than 502 yards across the state line. The rushing record for a HS game in WV belongs to Matewan's Paul McCoy, who had 638 yards against county-rival Burch back in 2006. Last weekend was pretty quiet in VA, except for some weird comments by a former state-championship coach, who complained that his team was being 'forced' to play much larger schools (3 of his 5 District opponents are at least 50% larger). He might have a point, but it's hard to swallow when you consider the team went 0-4 against smaller non-District opponents this year. But down in NC, a 53-year-old record was broken when Princeton HS Jr. Johnny Frasier scored 50 points.

    Speaking of records, they're being broken all over the place recently, and not just by guys. Yep, the gals are re-writing the record books, too. A cheerleader up in Ohio did 42 consecutive handsprings last month, but has already been passed by a Georgia gal who did 44.

    Back to football, we've had one VHSL forfeit this season, as Charlottesville picked up a W against Culpeper Co..

    A school just across the NC border has had to forfeit 2 games (which don't effect any VHSL ratings) due to a misundestading of 'participation' rules by their first-year head coach. From the best I can figure, NC has these rules ...

  • A Fr./So. JV kid can play in up to 8 quarters of Varsity action during a season. (this means ON THE FIELD, not just dressing and standing on the sidelines).
  • A school can only apply the "8 quarter" rule to 12 players per season.
  • A Junior can not play in both a JV & a Varsity game in the same week.
    So, Northern Guilford had to forfeit their 49-7 victory over (Burlington) Williams on Sept. 13 because they used the 13th JV player of the season in that game. That also brought their 31-game winning streak to an end. A couple of weeks later, after reviewing film of their previous games, they forfeited a 33-7 win over Northwest Guilford on Sept. 6 because they used a Junior or two who had played JV the night before.

        Down near Charlotte, The Gaston Gazette reports that defending 2A champ East Lincoln had to forfeit wins against East Gaston, Q Foundation and North Lincoln, none of which effect our ratings.

        The good ole WVSSAC is in the news again with another eligibility (and potential forfeit) case that made it's way into the courts. And, not surprisingly, Martinsburg is the school involved. Here's the basics... 18-year-old QB Malique Watkins (barely) passed 8th grade in WV a few years ago. His dad was an alum of St. James private school in Maryland, so son was sent there to get his grades up, but their admission tests placed him in the 8th grade again. The next year, he came back to WV and started 9th grade at Hedgesville, then transferred to Martinsburg as a 10th grader. Now he's a Senior, and his eligibility was questioned.

        At the start of the year, the WVSSAC checked to see if he played football as an 8th grader at SJ and said 'no, he's good', so he played. Then they found out about the repeat year and declred him ineligible. The WVSSAC rules say a kid can FAIL either 6th, 7th or 8th and have 4 years of HS eligibility, but "A student held back one year on (sic) sixth, seventh, or eighth grade without failing shall lose the fourth year of eligibility after entering ninth grade" (Rule 127-2-5.3.a). So... if he passed at the WV school, but the MD school made him repeat a year, was he held back or not? The WVSSAC ruled hin ineligible, but a court injunction allowed him to play until his appeal was heard last Thursday.

        WVSSAC executive director Gary Ray told WV Metro News, “In the hearing last week, information came out that he was actually retained according to county policy – that being the case, he is in fact eligible. He was retained and confirmed by the central office, based upon Berkeley County policy. This information had not been available to me earlier until we had the hearing. After the hearing, we were able to make the final determination.” The Charleston Daily Mail said 'Ray would neither confirm nor refute reports from various media outlets that stated Watkins had been held back in the eighth grade according to Berkeley County Schools criteria. That information had not previously been mentioned in the process'.

        So, Martinsburg gets to continue their effort at a record-tying fourth straight state title after the WVSSAC took a weekend to decide that new information, that no one on the WV message boards seemed to know, made him eligible. And people are wondering... why did it take FOUR DAYS to make the announcement???

        You may have heard that Kentucky decided last week to ban the post-game handshake. Well, they didn't. Wait, they did... but not really... well... hang on... I think I need my sonic screwdriver to fix this mess. Let's try this... if a press release says "It is directed that teams and individuals do not participate in organized post game handshake beyond that interaction that is required by the NFHS playing rules (i.e. the awarding of a bout winner in wrestling)", in a document titled "commissioners directive", what would YOU think? Well, as The Rock says, "It Doesn't Matter". What matters is that the Commish said it's NOT a rule, and maybe I shoulda used a different word. So, here's the original from 10/8 (I can't find any other place that re-posted the entire document) - the only change was removing the 2nd sentence of the 3rd bullet-pointed item, and here's the "official" release from the KHSAA (which HAS been changed) and their clarification press release.

        In an effort to look good/be first, a state Congressman said he'll file a bill to prevent the KHSAA from issuing fines not only for post-game handshakes, but, depending on your interpretation, fines for anything. His press release said "...any find (sic) collected or administered by the organization will first have to originate in the Kentucky General Assembly."

        Berea Online said 'The KHSSA’s Director, Julian Tackett, recently told the Louisville Courier-Journal that school officials and coaches who fail to observe the directive could fined up to $1,000.' I've looked for this online, but was unable to find it. I DID find a story in the Bowling Green paper that said 'Tackett said there doesn’t necessarily have to be a monetary fine for an incident in postgame activity, but the maximum fine is $1,000.' I also found a C-J article that says that 'failure to keep the peace can result in fines of up to $1,000.', but it also mentions Riggs' bill, so that can't be the article Riggs used as reference.

        So, due to bad wording, social media, and mainstream media's refusal to publicize corrections as strongly as the original story, a lot of people still think, incorrectly, that you can't have post-game handshakes in Ky.

        USA Today just ran their first-ever Best High School Football Coach contest. And the winner is someone I had the privilege of seeing in a pre-season scrimmage, Philip Haywood of Befry, KY. Almost 3.3 million votes were cast in the final round that lasted 8 days. Voting was really crazy... it took over 6 days for Haywood to reach 500,000, but the 2nd 500,000 took just 28 hours, mainly because he fell behind runner-up Kevin Lynott of Middletown, MD. A final push added another 500,00 votes in only 16 hours, giving the winningest HS coach in Ky. history a 218,000 vote win.

        Let's head back to Science Hill, where the 'Toppers are in a bit of a pickle over peanuts. Their Band Boosters sell shelled peanuts at the concession stand, but a parent wants that to stop because her baby is allergic to them. I found it kinda ironic that the family was offered seats in a food-free area... the band section. So, here's my thing... If someone asks me if I want a peeled orange or banana or potato, I expect it to be peel-less. So, why aren't shelled peanuts shell-less ??

        Anyway, what happened next shouldn't be a surprise... they formed a committee to study the situation.

        Over in eastern Kentucky, a Johnson County HS Soph. has caused a stir on the Bluegrass message boards because of what he's doing with his foot. Tyler Pack tied the state record with a 58 yard FG against Fleming County on Oct. 4th. The next week, he broke the record with a 60 yarder against Greenup County... on a free kick, which some people think isn't "fair", which is being rebutted with "if it's so easy, why hasn't anyone done it before"?

        I ran across a message board post that linked to a video from a WV HS game a few years ago. The poster said the refs called this very unusual 'catch' a no-catch after a discussion. After the season, they looked at the video in a refs meeting and told the kid that it should have been ruled an interception. DUH!

        Up in Ohio, one school district is refusing to let a seventh-grade girl play football ... they don't allow girls to participate in games and contact drills.

        Here's an interesting item that I'd never heard of before... a HS guidance counselor in Tenn. told a transferring Senior she couldn't enroll because she was already 18. You can call it a breakdown in communication, or misapplying a rule... either way, the snafu was easily fixed. I hate that it became a big deal, but I'm also glad it did, just to remind everyone that people make mistakes.

        Last month, a 16 year old Jr. from NY state died a few days after a helmet-to-helmet hit. A few days later, his school decided to cancel the rest of the season.     Up in WV, a South Harrison HS Sr. passed away a few days after suffering a severe head injury during a football game.     And just south of D.C., a Woodbridge High Sr. was stabbed & killed last month after helping a friend who had been robbed days earlier.

        Speaking of NoVa, at least three schools there cancelled their Homecoming parades this year. Why ?? Simple... it's those tax-cutting, smaller-government Republicans !!

        There was a "situation" recently down in LA where the zebras and a local cop had a disagreement over 'sideline management' that resulted in a couple of refs getting arrested. One of the other officials said the cop used an expletive during the dust-up, which apprently started because the cop, whose kid was playing, and some of his friends wouldn't move out of the officials way.

        A WV middle school coach drew a bunch of attention a while back when he told a girl she'd be the first one cut if she tried out for the team next year. (Yeah, this one's been out there a while... I'd been waiting for a follow-up on it, but I'm afraid it might not make the news now.)

        Has "zero tolerance" struck again??? A HS girl recently got a call from a drunk friend who wanted a ride home from a party. Her reward for doing a good deed? A 5-day suspenion from school and demotion from Captain of the volleyball team. Here's stories from ESPN , ABC News and Wicked Local (which should tell you this happened up in Mass.).

        Has "zero intelligence" struck again??? Down in Texas, a parent was SO upset that sonny's winless team (Fort Worth Western Hills) got CLOBBERED 91-0 by the #1 ranked 4A team (Aleto) that they filed a bullying report against the other team's head coach.

        Now, I noticed that the local school officials had "no comment", other than saying that they don't HAVE a "zero tolerance" policy. And the stories basically used quotation marks every time ZT is mentioned. Now, to me, this is a red flag, saying 'we don't actually know... we haven't actually SEEN it, or even know if it even exists'. Maybe I'm wrong here, but none of the stories mentioned anything about a 'socail contract', either. Someone left a comment that athletes have to sign one of those 'I agree to be held to a higher standard' papers, that might include something like 'I won't be at a party where alcohol is being served'. So I did a little research... At the state level, MIAA Rule 62.1 says "guilt by association" ISN'T their thing. At the school level, the Chemical Health Policy for athletes seems to mirror what the state says, but the Code of Conduct for Athletic Particiapation in the Athletic Handbook says the school "has strict rules against being knowingly in the unlawful presence of" alcohol. However, I wasn't able to find that mentioned anywhere else. So, is it a rule if they just SAY they have a rule against it???

        Here's something some of you might want to pass along to your XC buddies. Saw a story from up in Fauquier where a guy ran most of a race with just 1 shoe after getting 'heeled' by another runner. Unfortunately, it was the shoe that held the timing chip, and his team only had 5 guys, so they didn't get a time.

        Found a story about how MS sports are disappearing out east, and it left me a bit confused. If you "are not planning to not send", doesn't that mean you ARE sending them ????

        You remember the "bulletproof backpacks" that were in the news a couple of years ago? Well, Hardwire Armor Systems has rolled out their newest products for the younguns/yutes... bulletproof whiteboards and clipboards.

        I read a REALLY interesting story a while back. A study/survey of big college athletics showed that just SEVEN of the 226 participating Div. 1 public universities made money in 2010-11. Va. Tech cleared nearly $19 million in football & basketball, but only covered 89% of their athletic costs.

        It only took about 15 years, but Bruton Smith was finally able to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Va. Tech has pushed back the start of a 2-game series with Wisconsin to 2019 (giving then Wisc. & Mich. back-to-back in 2020) so they can FINALLY play Tennessee in a regular-season game for he first time since 1937. The Sept. 10, 2016 encounter will occur at the extremely neutral, mid-point location sometimes called The Last Great Colosseum, Bristol Motor Speedway, which hasn't seen an end zone since a 'Skins-Eagles exhibition game in 1961.

        Instead of screwing around with the already established Hokie-Smokey Classic, which we all know is played in the Spring, someone came up with The Battle at Bristol, which, of course, BMS owns and will plaster on anything possible to make a buck. (Hey, I'm not complaining... I understand balance sheets AND I own stock in SMI). With a possible $4.3 million payout to each team, 150,000 tickets would need to average almost $60 each. Then you have all the contruction costs of hauling in dirt and renting turf and more bleachers and other stuff, so an average price of around $100 usn't a surprise. Part of the idea is to set an attendence record for a college football game, which currently stands at 115,109 after Michigan hosted (and defeat) Notre Dame in The Big House earlier this year. BMS holds around 160,000, and thinking is that bleachers on the track and pit road could increase the capacity to around 175,000 seats.

        Some smart cookie at WJHL-TV filed an FoI request and got a copy of the 6-page contract. Here's a few tidbits...
    Each school gets 1,000 "free" tickets and 40,000 tickets to sell (with 5000 of those to sell for no more than $40).
    BMS keeps the $$$ from parking, concessions, souvenir programs/items (minus licensing fees), etc.
    Tennessee will be the 'home' team, so televison rights belong to the SEC, which is partners with CBS & ESPN.
    The Vols side will be the backstretch, closest to Rt. 11-E, with the endzone between turns 3 & 4 (closest to Rt. 394; Tech will get some of the tickets in that endzone).
    Tech will be on the frontstretch, closest to the dragway, with the endzone between turns 1 & 2.
    Here's BMS' seating diagram and a local road map.

        Looking at the aerial view, I guestimate that the front/bottom row of seats will be about 70 yards from the field at midfield and 130 yards away in the center of the turns.

        I love how one of the hotels is complaining because the school got a good deal on the price, meaning they can't jack up the rates on those rooms for the fans. (135 rooms jacked up $30 each is $4,000 of lost revenue.)

        And Tech has changed the date of their 2015 meeting with Ohio State from Sept. 26 to Labor Day Monday night, Sept. 7, for ESPN. They'll meet next season on Sept. 20 in Columbus, Ohio. Wait... that was JUST changed... it was moved to Sat., Sept. 6th (which is NOT Labor Day weekend), which was previously a bye week for the Hokies.

        ACC rival Miami finally got word on their sanctions from the NCAA... over the next three years, they lose nine football scholarships and will be on probation, but they received no bowl ban (thanks to their self-imposed ban the previous 2 years) and no TV restrictions.

        I don't thibk I've ever heard of a "name" college having to forfeit a game because they didn't have enough players, until now. Last week, Grambling State players skipped practice and just 22 of them showed up for the bus to take them to Jackson State (Mississippi), leading to a forfeit. The A.D. said the school would pay a $20,000 fine, but Jackson State wants a LOT more, since it ruined Homecoming weekend and kept 'millions' out of the local economy. The problems started with Hurricane Katrina. With reduced state tax income, La. has cut higher education funding by nearly 50% over the past 5 years, which trickled down to the athletic departments.

        The players complained about mold in the locker room, poorly cleaned uniforms leading to staph infections, the lack of “materials to treat injuries properly”, and problems with tile in the weight room. And while this last item isn't the worst thing, it shows just how crazy things are there. Then-Coach Doug Williams went 'outside the box' to raise money for new tiles, which he bought and had delivered in June. The school then put the tiles in storage and fired the coach, just weeks after he signed a 3-year, $750,000 contract. And the players had to ride a bus 13 hours to GAMES while the cheerleaders, band and school officials flew, and the bus didn't stop for food until some of the parents complained. Here's a couple of stories from SI and CFT.

        The Sporting News and Charleston, SC's The Post and Courier had stories about a former all-state QB who, against NCAA regs, had a menu item named in his honor. Who in the WORLD would EVER put Tajh Boyd and chicken together???

        With apologies to Under Armour, I HAVE to share this WVU message board I just found ... We Must Ignite This Couch!

        Wanna know how to star in a TV commercial (and eat all the Buffalo Blue Cheese Thickburgers you can sink your teeth into)?
    1. Win a beauty pagaent.
    2. Get a boyfriend who's a star QB.
    3. Go to the national title game.
    4. Have Brent Musberger say "What a beautiful woman" when the cameraguy spies you.
    5. You've made it!

        Have you seen the Jim Harbaugh credit card commercial? You know, the "we can't secure the Quarterback-Center exchange" one? I wonder if Joe Gibbs is like that down near Charlotte?

        I'm ticked that Shayne Graham got cut twice this year. I believe we've probably seen the last of him in the pros. And with the Joneses gone, and Ronde retiring over the Summer, that just leaves three SW VA guys on NFL rosters, Heath Miller, Ahmad Bradshaw (on IR for the rest of the year) and Jeff King.

        I'm also pretty ticked about “Kickalicious”... Harvard Rugby or something. NOBODY wanted him? I mean, geez, wouldn't the PR & the jersey sales & the new kid fans be worth whatever the NFL minimum is? (Okay, I looked it up... $405,000) Or even the practice squad?? (About $100,000.) And it turns out the Lions DID try to keep him, but the NFL told 'em no . (Upon reading this, I see the word 'may', not 'must'.)

        You may have heard that some stuff from the Houston Astrodome is being "yard-saled" Saturday. AstroTurf can be had for $20 per square foot. Unfortunately, they aren't doing sales over the internet.

        Just in time for Halloween, here's the full-length Thriller video done with Legos. What happens when the Big Bang Theory meats The Time Warp?? I don't know, but it sure ain't pretty, (This one is.) And this has nothing to do with Halloween, but you can't miss a video with Wolowitz on keyboard... that's a MUST see.

    Wed, Oct. 2, 9:45 a.m. : Added the weekly schedules and regional colleges pages and the current standings.

    Thur., Sept. 26, 2:45 p.m.: Don't be surprised to hear "It's clobberin' time!" down in the A-T-L tonight. In a battle of top engineering schools, Va. Tech will debut their new “Hokie Stone” helmets. I expect those who have never set foot on campus will think it's some kind of nod to the Idol of Millions, the one and only Benjamin Jacob Grimm.

    Tues., Sept. 24, 9:30 pm: Added the weekend schedule.

    Thur., Sept. 19, 5:30 pm: Added the weekend schedule.

    Wed., Sept. 11, 8:15 pm: Added the weekend schedule.

    Thur., Sept. 5, 7:45 pm: Added the weekend schedule.

    Thur., Aug. 29, 11:45 am: Added the Aug. 30th weekend schedule. Looks like it'll be Tues. or Wed. before I'll have the other stuff ready.
        1 pm : Changed Tazewell @ Va High to 8:00.

    Wed., Aug. 21, 9:45 pm: Updated the pre-season scrimmages/jams page.

    Tues., Aug. 20, 3:30 pm: Updated the pre-season scrimmages/jams page.

    Thur., Aug. 15, 6:45 pm AND 11:30 pm: Updated the pre-season scrimmages/jams page.

    Mon., Aug. 12, 7:45 pm :

        Greetings, my fellow Friday football fans, and thanks for bearing with me. My dad passed away the week after the state finals, so it's been kind of a rough year, what with trying to get the house in order and everything. Plus, I've been tied up in some legal stuff this Summer... PLEASE, be careful when reading online mags/papers and MAKE SURE to only click on the link that says SUBSCRIBE TO (the Post) and AVOID the link that says BUY (the Post).

        Okay, actually, I've spent most (wait, make that ALL) of the Summer with, and recovering from, an eye infection. Ever hear that old saying "the cure is worse than the disease"? Well, my on-again, off-again sun-caused eye irritation and itchiness led to eye drops that left me out-of-focus & hazy for the past month. Saturday was the first time I could type more than a sentence without needing a half-hour break afterwards. Needless to say, I'm WAY behind on everything, but I DO have some pre-season scrimmages/jams put together. I doubt that I'll add any more to this weekend's list, but I'll do my best to fill up next weekend's schedule.

        I've also got a couple of video clips that'll help pass the time. Have you seen F.O.Y.P. yet? It's what might result form an encounter between Huey's classic Hip To Be Square and Andy Samberg & JT's Christmas collaboration "D.I.A.B." (not to be confused with Mel B's comment last week that she likes "Nick in the box", which drew a little chuckle).

        Almost as funny is a clip from a recent Mets game, which you'll NEVER see happen at an NFL game (NFL fans would NEVER buy one of those... right ???)

        And forget "Dufnering"... I'd rather be Djokovicing.

        Time to flashback to Hill Street once again as I remind you guys... 'Let's be CAREFUL out there'. A pre-season All-State Sr. from NC has already suffered a season-ending injury.

        Pity the kids about an hour north of me who just found out their school suffered construction damage, so they've been moved to a middle school (a la Blacksburg).
        (And for those of you who know about my love of the regional Fourth Estates misnomerisms, I give you the boulder that reeked havoc. Maybe even funnier is that the printer-friendly version masthead is from a close-by NC paper!

        Finally, Have you thanked a coach today?

        So, lets see... that hits NC, KY & WV. Maybe I'll find some VA stuff soon.