Pigskin Preview is coming

Every year I have worked on the football tab (three years now), I have learned something new about completing one of our most important sports sections.

My first year in charge of filling in the pages taught me photos can be your best friend for blank space.

Next season, I learned how writing down the tab measurements for all the rosters makes for a much smoother process than manually manipulating the information.

This year may have taught me the most important lesson of all — always have a backup.

I was in the office Sunday afternoon making the finishing edits to the pages when all of a sudden our editing program crashes on me. I discovered the file has corrupted and was no longer usable when I attempted to resume my editing.

Thankfully, yours truly made a backup file on his desktop. The only thing I needed to do was drag pages from the completed tab to the backup.

Everything was finished for the final product 30 minutes later, instead of the hour or two needed to rebuild the entire section from the ground up.

Having shared my construction story with you, I can now say the 2017 Pigskin Preview is done.

Our 128-page tab comes bundled with Thursday morning’s paper.

Everything you need to follow local teams exists within the pages.

Rosters, schedules, previews, and features await all of our readers.

One of the biggest stories of the summer was Parkersburg High School welcoming a new head coach in Mike Byus.

Don’t worry PHS faithful, Jay W. Bennett has you covered with all the information needed on the Big Reds in 2017.

The quarterback battle at South raged on throughout the summer too now I think about it.

Brayden Mooney takes control of the job heading into the season, but he can’t rest easy as Brandon Penn is right behind him.

In Ohio, Fort Frye is on a mission to make three straight undefeated regular seasons happen despite losing a very experienced senior class. The last two campaigns marked the first time in school history the Cadets went 10-0 in back-to-back years.

Speaking of undefeated seasons, St. Marys polished off a 14-0 record with the school’s first state championship in 2016. Blue Devil head coach Jodi Mote is in the same seat as Cadet head coach Eric Huck in terms of graduation losses, however both men return plenty of talent from last year’s history making teams.

The Devils welcome back first-team all-state running back Jaiden Smith to the backfield, along with eight other seniors who saw major minutes last year.

Eric Illar takes over the reins from now-WVU player Will Billeter at quarterback.

In fact, Illar graces our front cover along with Mooney and the other new starting signal-callers for each Wood County school this season.

Let me take a quick minute to say thank you to all the QBs for repeatedly stepping back and throwing the ball as many times as we needed to get a good shot for use on the cover.

In addition to the Pigskin coming out Thursday, the annual fall schedule book will hit newsstands Friday.

Inside the pages of our helpful guide you will find schedules for volleyball, golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, cross country where they were made available for each school highlighted in the football tab.

Enjoy!

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com

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