St. Marys rooting for Yellowjackets?
One of the unusual parts of being a sports fan of any team usually happens around the time the postseason approaches. During the jockeying for certain playoff positions or just trying to qualify to get in, fans of teams can sometimes find themselves rooting for a school’s heated rival.
Being a Red Sox fan, I can say I have actually rooted for the Yankees to win before because it would help my beloved Sox gain ground in the division race or secure a certain playoff spot out right if New York won.
While this local rivalry may not be as heated as Boston-New York, St. Marys fans find themselves in a similar position this weekend when they will be rooting for Williamstown (eke!) to knock off Class A No. 1 Tolsia in the last game of the year.
“It is sort of funny” chuckled St. Marys head man Jodi Mote. “I have had several people come up to me and mention it this week already.”
Although the origins of this rivalry have been lost to history, Mote remembers the friendly banter between the two schools going all the way back to his playing itme at the school.
“We wanted to beat them when we played,” said Mote. “We did beat them a few times while I was playing there. The two schools are only 13 miles apart and it isn’t just in football but all sports. I think it is more of a mutual respect for the talent and history of both the schools. Each have great traditions and I think that is a big part of the rivalry.
“It wasn’t a big deal when I first started coaching at the school. They beat us 54-13 my first year and than 62-2 my second year.”
Things really didn’t start getting heated again until around 2005 when the Yellowjackets only defeated the Blue Devils, 25-22. Since then, both schools have had multiple winning seasons and the annual meeting between the two has been a pivotal game in the Class A playoff race.
Sorry, I am getting off track. Many readers may be wondering how such horrific events may have come to pass in St. Marys and its supporters rooting for the Yellowjackets. Well, I have an answer for you.
St. Marys currently sits at No. 4 in the Class A playoff rankings according to the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission ratings and have already secured a guarenteed first-round home game at Bill Hanlin Stadium. If the Yellowjackets were to upset Tolsia, there would be some hope of the Blue Devils being able to move up into the No.2 slot to gain home field advantage until Wheeling.
Though the Blue Devils have proved they can win on the road this season (they have wins at Marietta, Williamstown and South Harrison) the home turf and the roar of the home crowd would make things more special for a team I believe has a great chance at winning a state championship this season.
Speaking of football, for those looking for our usual GameDay tab you can find the previews for it on the last two pages of the sports section today.
Contact Joe Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org