The athletics directors at Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South are entertaining the notion the annual football game between the Big Reds and the Patriots become the final regular season game for both teams.
Lori Lowers of PHS and Rick Leach of South are flirting with implementing the idea beginning with the 2012 season.
The concept, while foreign to this generation of students and athletes at the two schools, isn't totally new to the city rivalry series.
It first was implemented for a four-year period from 1972 to 1975.
Then, after a dozen-year hiatus, it returned to the final game of the season from 1987 to 1990.
This appears to be a good move.
Even in years when one team or the other -or even both teams -are struggling, they still would have something to which to look forward.
And in years when both teams were rolling into the state playoffs, this would be a huge matchup for both squads.
If you are looking for an example of a huge rivalry that always closes out the regular season, look no further than Jackson County.
Ripley and Ravenswood traditionally have played each other as the regular season finale for both teams.
They would not have it any other way.
As the season progresses, the interest builds. By the time game week finally rolls around, it has reached a fever pitch.
By moving the South-PHS game to the end of the campaign, both teams also would be able to complete conference play before turning their attention to their city rival.
As one who has watched this series from its inception - I was at the first game in 1967 -I'm in favor of this proposal.
I've noticed many times in the past that the loser of the city game simply doesn't recover from the defeat. Plus, if the loser is having a poor year, it really has nothing more to play for other than pride.
We'll let the two ADs continue to talk and see if they can work this out.
In the meantime, both schools have completed their schedules for this fall, when the Patriots and Big Reds will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.
The Big Reds will open at Stadium Field on Aug. 26 against Brooke. The rest of the schedule is Sept. 2: at Cabell Midland; Sept. 9: Marietta; Sept. 16: at Huntington; Sept. 23: St. Albans; Sept. 30: at Riverside; Oct. 7: at Parkersburg South; Oct. 14: Woodrow Wilson; Oct. 28: at South Charleston; and Nov. 4: George Washington. In a break with tradition, PHS will not take the 11th and final week off. Rather it will do that on week 9, having an open date on Friday, Oct. 21.
South recently moved its game against Brooke from Sept. 2 to Oct. 14. That means the Patriots will open the season on Aug. 26 at Ripley, then enjoy their bye week.
Leach said he made the move to accommodate Brooke, which was looking to pick up a 10th game against an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference member.
South's schedule for 2011 is Aug. 26: at Ripley; Sept. 9: Morgantown; Sept. 16: Musselman; Sept. 23: at University; Sept. 30: Warren; Oct. 7: Parkersburg; Oct. 14: at Brooke; Oct. 21: Robert C. Byrd; Oct. 28: at Wheeling Park; Nov. 4: at John Marshall. University and Morgantown -new opponents for this year -will become fixtures on the South schedule now that the Mohigans and Hawks have joined the OVAC and are part of-along with South -the Two Rivers Athletic Conference. Other members of the TRAC are Wheeling Park, John Marshall and Brooke.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org