High school football openers highlight week

PARKERSBURG -Are you ready for some football?

You better be.

Every Mid-Ohio Valley high school team -except for Magnolia, which has an opening-week bye -opens its season this week, with Federal Hocking getting the jump on the others with its Thursday night Tri Valley Conference game at Alexander.

For all the other squads, it will be time to burn the Friday night lights.

The only Wood County team opening at home is Parkersburg South, which will play host to Ripley at the Erickson All-Sports Facility. The Patriots and the Vikings have a recent tradition of opening the season against each other, one of the few matchups that takes place between a Two Rivers Athletic Conference school and a member of the Mountain State Athletic Conference.

Speaking of the MSAC, Parkersburg High will venture across the Ohio River for a non-league meeting at Warren. As if being the season opener and playing a nearby rival isn’t enough, Parkersburg will have the added incentive of attempting to record the 800th football victory in the school’s history.

Wood County’s two Class A football programs both hit the road with Williamstown venturing north to meet Tyler Consolidated and Parkersburg Catholic heading south to Putnam County to take on Buffalo.

Washington County rivals Fort Frye and Belpre will open their seasons at Belpre’s Ralph Holder Stadium while the county’s other teams will play on the road with Marietta playing its traditional season opener at Morgan, Waterford traveling to Miller for a Tri Valley Conference game and Frontier visiting Shenandoah in a Pioneer Valley Conference contest.

If you are looking for a game between two perennial powers, you should head to Flinn Field at Ravenswood where the Class AA Red Devils celebrate 100 seasons of football against Class A powerhouse Wahama.

Perhaps the biggest rivalry game of the night will take place at Imlay Field in St. Marys where the Class A Blue Devils will play host to Class AA Ritchie County in a battle of Little Kanawha Conference next-door neighbors.

That isn’t the only game pitting schools located in adjacent counties. Three other LKC matchups fall into that category as Clay County travels to Roane County in Class AA while Gilmer County entertains Calhoun County and Doddridge County heads east on U.S. 50 to meet South Harrison in Class A.

Other Class A games will see both Wirt County and Paden City open on the road as the Tigers make the long trek to Valley Fayette while the Wildcats venture to Clay-Battelle.

Also in Ohio, Caldwell hits the road with the Redskins visiting Newcomerstown.