Heading into fall

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over and October is right around the corner.

Football Friday night this week marks the beginning of fall, which means golf season is quickly winding down.

In fact, all of our Mid-Ohio Valley golf programs will be in action on Monday with hopes of advancing to the state tournament. Greenhills Country Club is the only area course playing host to a tournament — the Class A, Region IV meet.

Ravenswood, which has been led all summer by Alex Easthom, Carson Fox and Ciah Kennedy, is hoping to be one of the top two teams in order to secure its state berth.

The local field at Greenhills will consist of the host Red Devils, who just won the Little Kanawha Conference championship, along with Williamstown, Wirt County, Calhoun County and Parkersburg Catholic. Crusader Brice Ferrell was the LKC medalist on Monday.

Class AAA rivals Parkersburg and Parkersburg South will play Monday at Sleepy Hollow.

Tuesday evening, I finally had a chance to get out and cover some cross country at the Mid-Ohio Valley Challenge in Mineral Wells.

St. Marys senior Brady Gorrell, who finished 14th at the Class AA/A state meet last year while fellow classmate Walker Hashman earned all-state accolades by placing 10th, was quite a joy to interview following his win against some tough competition.

It was a rather warm and muggy evening. After we talked for a few minutes and I shook his hand again, he apologized for being so sweaty and dripping perspiration everywhere.

Anyway, the Blue Devils of head coach Steven Nutter who still must compete at the regional against Class AA programs earned the first West Virginia Class A boys state cross country title last fall. Although single-A programs always had to compete versus their double-A counterparts, 2016 marked the first time boys and girls state team champions were crowned.

Of course, the Blue Devils would like nothing more than to have a repeat performance this year, but they are in the same stacked regional. On top of that, coach Nutter has been unable to have his squad at full strength.

“We haven’t,” Gorrell said of staying healthy. “As of today, it’s looking much better than it has been because we had a lot of people who were very beat up.

“I’m unsure what caused that, but we had a lot of people who had hip issues and as of today, almost all of them finished and they finished well. We just got to train them up now. They already have their base. It’s just a mater of getting healed up at this point.”

As per usual, our fearless gridiron picks will be in Friday’s paper. No one on staff has yet to pull off a 22-0 week, but rest assured we’re trying.

I managed a 20-2 effort last week, but missed on perfection when Ripley lost on the road to St. Albans and I opted to go against visiting Ravenswood, which got a huge game from first-year senior running back Jayden Rhodes in a key triumph at Tyler Consolidated.