Class AA Tilt Mirrors Past Game
This isn’t the first year that these two teams have played for the W.Va. Class AA championship.
In fact, they competed in the 1972 title game in Parkersburg – a game won by the Red Devils, 14-6, despite an unforgettable passing display by the Blue Eagles.
And there’s a personal connection between the two games and the Blue Eagles’ prolific aerial attack.
In the 1972 game, the top Magnolia receiver was OVAC Hall of Fame inductee JOHN (FUZZY) FILLIEZ, who would go on to set an NCAA receptions record while a four-year starter at Marshall.
This season, the leading Blue Eagles receiver is sophomore STEPHEN ROGALSKI, a nephew of Filliez. Rogalski’s mother EVA, is a sister of the 1972 Magnolia star.
“Fuzzy wants to come in for (tonight’s) game,” Mrs. Rogalski says. “He’s seen a couple of the games this season and calls Stephen to wish him well before some games.” The former Magnolia three-sport all-stater currently resides in Delaware, Ohio.
In that 1972 game, Magnolia coach LOU NOCIDA had all-state quarterback BRIAN BOOK go back to pass on 40 consecutive plays and the blond-haired signalcaller connected on 29 of 51 passes. However, one of the incompletions was a dropped pass in the end zone by the usually sure-handed Filliez.
Rogalski, meanwhile, has already bettered his famous uncle’s career TD mark of 16. He’s landed 17 this season after catching two as a freshman.
“I know Stephen is really proud of his uncle but he’s his own person and wants to make his own mark,” his proud mother noted of her three-sport son who also carried a 4.0 grade point average.
The sophomore had extended family support in the Alumni Field stands last Friday when Big Blue dominated Greenbrier West, 41-7, in the semifinals. “We had a lot of family members back for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Mrs. Rogalski said. “I think we had 19 in our cheering section at the game and that included 11 nieces and nephews of Stephen.”
With support like that, the sky’s the limit for the nephew of one of Magnolia’s most honored athletes.
Magnolia will be bidding for some school, and Ohio Valley, history in the title game.
Both Magnolia and No. 1 ranked Ravenswood enter the showdown with 13-0 records. A state title victory would give the Blue Eagles a first 14-0 season and a claim to the best squad in the 105 years of Magnolia football.
The 1992 team, coached by DAVE CISAR, ended with a 13-1 mark after bowing 7-3 to Buffalo Wayne in the Double-A finals on an icy Laidley Field surface in Charleston. That situation was one of the factors in the Wheeling Super Six organizers seeking the event which has been in the area since 1994.
If Magnolia ends with a 14-0 mark, it would become only the seventh team in OV history to finish unbeaten with at least 14 wins. Steubenville the mark with back-to-back 15-0 records in 2005-06. Wheeling Central had two straight 14-0 marks in 2006-07. Weir High was 14-0 in 1998 and Weirton Madonna recorded a 14-0 record last season.