Parkersburg South Director of Athletics Rick Leach and head football coach Jon Bolen have been spending an extraordinary amount of time these days talking on the telephone.
And, not to one another.
What the Patriot duo is attempting to do is find a 10th opponent to fill out Parkersburg South's 2011 football schedule.
"We are having a heck of a time," explained Bolen. "We've called every team in the state that has an opening and none of them have agreed to play us."
The lack of cooperation from Mountain State programs has the Patriots having to look toward our nation's capital to bring in a team to fill the gap made when Warren Local elected not to renew its contract with the school.
"The problem you run into whenever you bring a team in from D.C. is you have to pay a lot of money for them to agree to play and then you are never sure what you are going to get," continued Bolen. "Sometimes they are very talented and can give you fits and then there are other times when you'd be better off just scrimmaging yourself."
The idea is not a new one for Bolen and the Patriots, but belonging to not one, but two conferences-the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (OVAC) as well as the Two Rivers Athletic Conference (TRAC)-should have put an end to any kind of scheduling problems the program might have faced in future years.
"I am sure there are a few teams in the OVAC that would schedule us," said the coach. "But, you have to be careful when you are putting a schedule together that you don't schedule yourself right out of the playoffs."
The Patriots already have games slated against TRAC rivals Brooke, Morgantown, University, John Marshall and Wheeling Park as well as their traditional showdown with crosstown rival Parkersburg.
Also back will be Jackson County rival Ripley as well as Robert C. Byrd and Musselman.
Parkersburg South is coming off of its third playoff appearance under Bolen. The Patriots reached the quarterfinal round after a win over Logan on the opening weekend of games and finished with a 7-5 mark.
The Patriots will return a solid corps of players from that squad, including first-team all-state defensive back Logan Cox as well as quarterback Tyler Bolen, running backs Hunter Hamilton and Jordan Quiocho and wide receiver Braxton Johnson.
"Maybe that is it (returning so many players)," said Bolen. "It seems like everybody wants to play you when you are down, but when you bring back a good team, they don't."
Time still exists, however, but should a 10th team not add its name to the list in March or April, Parkersburg South fans will have to be content with watching their favorite football team play only nine regular season games in 2011.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org