This week in MOV athletics
Championship season for winter sports is finally here.
After two months of regular-season competition, plenty of heartbreak, and more blood, sweat and tears than can be imagined, the best of the best in the state and its leagues will be crowned.
Three team state championships and countless individual state honors are up for grabs this week alone.
PHS girls’ swimming eyes one of those group titles and a few of the solo ones as well.
Terry Nisewarner’s Big Red girls face stiff competition from Fairmont Senior, Wheeling Park, Morgantown and GW from Feb. 15-16 inside WVU’s Natatorium.
The PHS and South boys as well as the Patriot girls can claim individual golds too.
Yours’ truly will file from Morgantown on Friday. Stay tuned for a state preview and columns on some of the PHS and South swimmers too this week.
Closer to home — One Little Kanawha Conference champion has been crowned with one more to go this weekend.
Either Braxton County or Webster County will try to make it two new champions in the league, after Parkersburg Catholic took the girls crown, when they face off against Ravenswood Saturday night in the Waco Center.
Rob Strcula’s Crusader boys did their best to make sure there would be two new champions this season, but came up just short over the defending LKC boys champion Red Devils, 63-61, Friday night.
I almost stopped at the game, but the call of a nice bottle of red wine and a night in my new comfy La-Z-Boy chair was too strong to pass up.
Anyway, the LKC boys aren’t the only ones determining a new champion this weekend. The Mountain State Athletic Conference girls also put someone new on top of the mountain. Huntington, last year’s champion, isn’t in the mix after a down year.
Scott Cozzens’ PHS team, who fell to the Highlanders in 2017’s title game, is in contention. Knowing how competitive the Big Reds are there is little doubt in my mind they are planning on hearing their names called for the first-place trophy collection after the game.
George Washington, who the Big Reds easily handled earlier this year, stand in the way of the throne.
Talented freshman Kalissa Lacy and senior Katy Darnell lead the Patriots into battle.
Those aren’t the only Patriots area residents should keep an eye on.
Top-ranked Parkersburg South boys hoops faces Indian Creek in an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
A win sends Mike Fallon’s team to the OVAC 5A title game Saturday at Ohio University-Eastern.
Over in Ohio, ladies sectional action begins later this week.
Waterford begins its march to possibly a fourth-straight trip to the state tournament when they face Symmes Valley or Southern at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in Meigs.
Jerry Close’s Wildcats ride a 21-game winning streak into action, with just one blemish on their record. Parkersburg High took a 56-52 in both teams’ season opener way back on Dec. 2.
Amy Colgrove’s talented Warren squad starts what they hope will end in a trip to Columbus with a matchup against Sheridan or Athens at 2:45 p.m. Saturday in Logan.
Warrior rival Belpre faces Miller at the same time the Colgrove’s squad tips off, only the Golden Eagles will be in Meigs.
Congratulations are in order for plenty of local efforts this past week.
Parkersburg High and first-year mat coach Matt Littleton are sending 10 wrestlers to next week’s state tournament inside the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Big Reds’ Garrett Donahue and Stephen Carder claimed Class AAA, Region IV championships Saturday at Huntington High School.
Another big shoutout goes to the Parkersburg South wrestling team. Shaun Smith’s Patriots ran away and hid for the Class AAA Region IV crown two days ago.
South not only won the team title, 264-205, over the Higlanders, but qualified the entire 16-man starting roster for state.
Six of those matmen were named regional champions.
There is a real possibility the Patriot faithful could have three top-ranked teams to root for after the No. 2 Patriot girls took down No. 6 Wheeling Park in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 5A championship game on the same day.
The win was the eleventh in a row for the Patriots and yet another victory over a ranked team this season.
Job well done everyone.
Contact Joe Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org.