Pigskin Preview coming soon!

Golf and cross country are well underway around the Mountain State; however, the official start of the high school fall sports season comes Thursday evening.

Friday night lights spark on a day early as the gridiron season opens for business around West Virginia. Wood County fans won’t have to wait for any action either.

A pair of local football powers spotlight in Williamstown and Parkersburg High.

Both, participants in the playoffs one season ago, face a postseason qualifier (definitely an understatement for one team) in early tests.

Mike Byus’ Big Reds head to Monongalia County for a matchup with Morgantown High at 7:30 p.m. Fans who can’t travel won’t miss out on the action. In addition to radio, the game is being broadcast on AT and T Sports Network.

Many younger fans probably can’t remember the last time a high school game was aired on television. I certainly couldn’t recall. Turns out there was a good reason for my lapse in memory. I was 2 when Capital beat PHS, 21-3, in a game that featured a 3-hour storm delay in 1990 on Sports South.

A two-hour trip north isn’t for everyone, but thankfully Yellowjackets’ athletic director Jeff Givens covered those grid enthusiasts.

Terry Smith and company renew one of the biggest Class A rivalries early this season. Mike Young brings his reigning state champion Wheeling Central club to Wood County for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

While this game may not be on TV, it has the makings of another classic competitive contest between the two schools.

Make sure to catch Williamstown now as they are puzzlingly on the road the next four games.

Of course most readers probably didn’t know this fact, but many will be fully up-to-date when our annual Pigskin Preview inserts in the paper Thursday.

Among the 128 pages are the previews, rosters, 2018 schedules and 2017 results of 30 area teams (24 high schools and 6 colleges) to fill in loyal fanbases from New Martinsville to Spencer.

Features and human interest stories exist throughout as well.

A few bonus stories appeared this year, but this is all I have to say about them. Pick up the tab to find out more.

Gracing the front cover are two of the top talents in the area.

Parkersburg High wide receiver Brenton Strange and Ravenswood linebacker Luke Jackson both have strong interest from top colleges in the country.

They were easy to work with but make sure to ask them how many times and different positions we took the cover photo in if you see them in your travels.

Things worked out well in the end though as one of models definitely approved.

Strange exclaimed “That’s sweet!” after seeing the finished product.

Sweet indeed.

Thanks to both athletes for the time out of their busy schedules.

A big thank you also goes out to Ravenswood High School for the use of Flinn Field as the backdrop for the cover photo.

∫ Before I forget, a Thursday edition of The News and Sentinel should be in the plans for fans of our weekly Pigskin Picks. We couldn’t leave out two Wood County teams from the pick list in the opening week.

After this week expect picks to return to Friday’s editions.


Contact Joe Albright at jalbright@newsandsentinel.com.