Playoff Points, Positioning on the Line in Week 4

WHEELING – Playoffs? You want to talk about playoffs?

Actually, yes, I do. We’ll be four weeks into the season after Saturday wraps up, but there are some games on the schedule this week that will go a long way toward not only filling out playoff brackets, but affecting seeding.

The WVSSAC sent out its first set of ratings Tuesday, with several OVAC teams right in the thick of things.

Perhaps no game is bigger than No. 6 Morgantown (2-0) playing host to No. 3 Martinsburg (3-0), the two-time defending Class AAA champion than hasn’t lost since what seems like the Carter administration. Whomever is able to come out of this one unbeaten will be well on its way to a Top-3 seed, because the loser will continue to pile up the points the remainder of the way.

University (3-0), which welcomes Wheeling on Friday night, is tied with the Mohigans at eighth, while the Patriots (2-1) are rated 15th. Parkersburg South (2-1) is 17th.

Oak Glen is the lone Class AA school in the area appearing in the rankings. The Bears (2-1) are tied with Bluefield for 16th.

Meanwhile, Class A reads like a who’s who of the Ohio Valley. Four teams – Clay-Battelle (3-0), Wheeling Central (2-1), Bishop Donahue (2-1) and Magnolia (2-1) are all in the ratings. The Cee-Bees are ninth, while the Maroon Knights are tied for 12th. The Bishops and Blue Eagles share the 16th and final position.

Of that group, Magnolia has the most to gain this week with a quality River squad coming to town.

Speaking of rivers, let’s take a look on the other side of the Ohio, where it appears at this point several teams have the makings of a special season.

Indian Creek and St. Clairsville are ready to square off, as are Martins Ferry and Harrison Central as the Buckeye 8 opens with a pair of unbeaten battles. Points galore, are obviously at stake.

Meanwhile, Steubenville is off to another 3-0 start and welcomes a Brooke team that is licking it wounds after a couple of lopsided losses to St. Clairsville and University. It doesn’t seem things are going to get any better this week.

Weekend Wrap Is Moving

If you wake up Monday mornings ready to read our wrapup of the previous weekend’s prep football action, and I know you do, then listen up. We’re making a little change and moving that feature to Tuesday mornings.

However, we would still appreciate coaches and personnel sending their stats in Sunday night.

What I Think

  • Shadyside will advance farther than any of our OVAC teams on the Ohio side.
  • Don’t sleep on Monroe Central. We knew it was going to take a while to gel with so many new people in key roles, but their loss to Shadyside does nothing but prove how tough the Tigers are.
  • The person(s) that spray painted racist comments on the Bellaire facilities last week needs to be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  • Despite its perfect record, Reno Saccoccia will tell you Steubenville is anything but and he’d be right.
  • Interesting matchup Saturday night between St. John and Donahue. Irish coach Jason Merryman will have a real live example of where he’s trying to get his program before his eyes. The Bishops went through a similar process.

Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at