Three weeks into the high school football season, Wood County's four teams are a combined 6-6.
The two Class AAA schools - Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South - both are 2-1. The two Class A participants -Williamstown and Parkersburg Catholic -stand at 1-2.
While casting my vote in the statewide poll on Sunday, I found it difficult to support any of the Wood County teams, all of whom have suffered at least one one-sided beating.
Parkersburg South lost to Morgantown 41-7 on Friday night. The Patriots have lost four key players to injuries and without them South has gone from a solid top 10 team to one that likely will struggle to make the playoffs.
That's a shame, for this group of seniors has worked hard since arriving on campus as freshmen and have been pointing to 2012. Plus, it's the last year at South for coach Jon Bolen, whose players would love to send him out a winner.
That, of course, can still happen, but with a depleted lineup and an extremely rugged scheduled, the mission becomes much more difficult.
Parkersburg High got some good news with the return of standout receiver and defensive back Matt Santer, one of the team's few two-way starters. The Big Reds are 2-0 on the road, but lost their only game at Stadium Field by 39 points to Cabell Midland. This Friday night, another team from Cabell County -the undefeated Huntington Highlanders -comes to town and will provide a major test for a young Big Red team that is improving, but has little time to grow up.
When Wheeling Central lost the first week of the season to Harrison Central from Ohio, voters in the statewide poll naturally turned to Williamstown to put in the top spot. That's how much respect the Yellowjacket program has earned for its consistent excellence during the past decade.
Yet, Williamstown is on a two-game losing streak, including a 32-point loss to Fairfield Union last Friday night. The Yellowjackets may still be the best Class A team in the Little Kanawha Conference, but they will get the best effort from all those local foes they have pounded over the years. If the Yellowjackets are going to host a home playoff game, they need to run the table the rest of the season.
Parkersburg Catholic lost its opener 45-0 to pass-happy Buffalo, but has played solid football each of the past two weeks. The Crusaders, as always, are fighting the numbers game. This is a solid program that manages to overcome the odds year after year. But the remaining schedule includes games with Wirt County and Williamstown as well as surprising Doddridge County, which is off to a 3-0 start.
Catholic squeezed into the final playoff spot a year ago and may be able to equal or better that effort in 2012.
But the road to the playoffs for all of Wood County's teams is filled with potholes.