This week in MOV athletics

Mother Nature hasn’t been the most cooperative so far this spring sports season, but the prep campaign powers on regardless of delays and cancellations.

PHS and South baseball try again for the first meeting of the season at 7 p.m. today after the Patriots field wasn’t ready last week.

Not only do the two rivals do battle, but each welcomes in a Class AAA top 10 opponent as well.

Neither of those bigger then when Alan Burns’ Big Reds play host to reigning state champion St. Albans at 4 p.m. Saturday inside Bennett Stump Field.

Rick Whitman’s Red Dragons, currently ranked second in the state behind Hurricane. have several returning members from last year’s all-state and title teams.

Juniors Jake Carr (WVU commit) and Nick Loftis were each named first-team offensive utility players last season. Both pitch and play the outfield with Loftis also seeing defensive time at the hot corner. Noah Cummings was special honorable mention, while Connor Fizer was an honorable mention choice.

Todd Burner’s crew says hello to No. 8 Ripley at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Patriots just fell out of the Top 10 themselves earlier this week. Meanwhile the Vikings stand at 6-3 with their losses coming to top-ranked Hurricane, the Patriots (10-7 back on March 22), and Huntington (12-2).

Shane Casto has a young team, but the Vikings are talented.

Down in Class A, Ravenswood travels to No. 2 Wheeling Central for a 4 p.m. start Saturday. Wes Swain’s team got off to a slow beginning (0-3) but have their eyes set on a trip above the .500 mark with seven scheduled games this week alone.

Fifth-ranked Williamstown plans to bounce back from its first loss of the season Friday against Cameron with a slate of seven contests in the following seven days.

Most notably among those matchups are trips to rival St. Marys and No. 3 Huntington St. Joe.

Ed Wilson’s Blue Devils stand at 2-4 so far this year, while the Irish had compiled a 5-0 mark as of the time of this publication.

Over on the hard courts, Parkersburg High tennis welcomes in one of the few Class A teams capable to challenge the Big Reds in Charleston Catholic. The Irish girls have 11 state titles in the past 17 years, while the boys captured 10 of the last 13 championships.

They face a PHS squad sky high with confidence after a dominant trip to the Eastern Panhandle this past weekend. Jeff Olson and Heidi Asbury’s players won 75 of the 77 matches played along with two teams victories.

There were no gimmies either as Washington, Jefferson and Martinsburg sent players to the state tournament last season.

Two of the biggest track and field tournaments this week include the Warren Warrior Invitational and the PHS Russ Parsons Invite.

The attendance list for both meets features some of the best talent in the area together for a day of tough competition.

Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com.

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