Welcome Back! Football Returns Tonight

Josh Strope Sports Editor

Are you ready for some football?

OK, now that I’m done with my Hank Williams, Jr. impression, are you as excited for the return of football as I am?

Whether it is pro, college or high school, football season is my favorite season.

This season should be a good one.

As you see in today’s preview edition, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Super Six in Wheeling.

We all have our favorite moments of the games at the Super Six and I am no exception. Of course, picking my favorite will be a tough one.

Seeing coaches such as Magnolia’s Mark Batton and Madonna’s Bob Kramer finally get over the hump was special.

Last season watching Wheeling Central come together and win it for Coach Mike Young was impactful.

I wish I would have been in sports when Wheeling Park won the title. Coach Chris Daugherty is as much of a class act as you will find among coaches in any sport.

If I had to pick one, though, it has to be 1998 before I even entered this business.

Watching Quincy Wilson lead Weir to a state championship will always be a highlight for me. To this day, and I may be a little biased, but Quincy Wilson is the best high school player I have ever seen.

Speaking of my alma mater, Weir may be the team I am most excited to see this season.

Tyler Komorowski is one of the top five players in the valley. Sebastian Spencer is one of the fastest. Donavon Kirby comes over from Madonna after leading the state in rushing last season. Reed Reitter is the ultimate weapon, kicking 60-yard field goals in practice. I could go on and on down this loaded roster. I predict this team will be playing at Wheeling Island Stadium during the final game.

Wheeling Central is bringing a boatload of players back. Can the Maroon Knights repeat?

Steubenville is replacing a boatload of players. But Big Red doesn’t rebuild, they reload. Can they repeat?

Wheeling Park is replacing a Division I quarterback and other talented skill players. But Daugherty has me believing with a monster offensive line and a more experienced defense, this will be a team that can make a run.

John Marshall made the playoffs for the first time in a number of years last season. Can they deal with the expectations that come with being a playoff team? A new coach and a new stadium make the Monarchs a must-see team at least early on.

St. Clairsville will be one of the most physical teams in the Ohio Valley. I know I sure wouldn’t want to try and tackle Brady Kolb when he gets running downhill. Dustin Carrothers got better and better as the season went on in 2017 and another year as the starter could mean big things. Not to mention a big offensive line.

Can Magnolia rebound? Can Cameron make it three straight trips to the playoffs? What is football going to be like in Monroe Central and Martins Ferry without Jay Circosta and Dave Bruney?

A lot will be answered during what many call the “fastest 11 weeks of the year.”

Strap in and get ready for the ride.

Fall Sports Preview

For those of you looking for our annual fall schedule book, with capsules on some of the area’s top athletes in cross country, golf, soccer and volleyball, pick up a copy Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Bowling Teams Sought

Rose Bowl Lanes is seeking bowling teams. The Wheeling bowling alley is just starting its new season and teams are sought for every night of the week. If you are interested, contact Jerry Manukin at Rose Bowl Lanes at (304) 242-9223.

Josh Strope can be reached at jstrope@theintelligencer.net

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