Some new, some old faces come to Charleston May 27, 2013
The curtain closes on the West Virginia high school sports scene this week at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park.
The final championship event is in baseball with 12 teams coming to the capital city.
There are several teams that have become fixtures in Charleston through the years, while others are making an appearance for the first time in quite a while.
Cabell Midland – The last trip for the Knight program was in 2003. That year, Midland knocked off Fairmont Senior by a final of 2-1.
Beckley Woodrow Wilson – The year was 2008 when the Flying Eagles from the South played in Charleston. Beckley squandered a huge lead on Nitro in a semifinal game and the Wildcats stormed back for the win. The next day, Nitro claimed the Class AAA title.
Parkersburg South – This will be the first visit to State Tournament play since 1986 for the Wood County school. South’s lone softball title was won in 1975 with a win over Tridelphia (now a part of Wheeling Park). That was the last year in which baseball was played in just one class.
Hedgesville – For the first time since 1975 the Eagles are flying into State Tournament competition. Usually, the Eastern Panhandle sends the powerhouse of Jefferson and from time to time Martinsburg. But this year the Berkeley County school emerged as the one to represent the area.
Fairmont Sr. – For the 10th time in the past 11 years the Polar Bear program will make its way to the State Tournament, only this time as a Class AA team. While Fairmont Senior has been a regular participant, it has yet to leave the capital city with a championship trophy. During its run, Fairmont Sr. has played for and lost four championships. Three of those titles were lost consecutively from 2003-05.
Bridgeport – Another former Class AAA program returns to Class AA. Robert Shields’ Indians won a Class AA crown in 2000 while losing title game showdowns in 1992 and 1994. Like Fairmont Sr., Bridgeport was part of the AA field last year.
Herbert Hoover – The Huskies are still reeling from last year’s State Tournament. Hoover lost to Wyoming East, 1-0, in the championship. Last year’s trip was Hoover’s first since winning it all in 2007.
Independence – The Patriots sidelined last year’s AA champs on their way to Charleston. Now Independence returns for the first time since 2009. The school won the AA title way back in 1990 over Sherman.
Magnolia – Veteran coach Dave Cisar is bringing a Blue Eagle baseball team to the State Tournament as a Class A school following many years at the Class AA level. Cisar, who has over 800 wins during his illustrious career, guided Magnolia to the state championship in 2006. It was the school’s second, adding to the one garnered in 1989.
Charleston Catholic – The Irish of head coach Bill Mehle have been a fixture in the State Tournament eight of the last 12 years. But there is glaring common theme among those eight trips – no title. In fact, during that stretch only one Irish team – the 2011 crew – played for the title.
Clarksburg Notre Dame – Coming out of the baseball-rich area of Harrison County the Fighting Irish are back to fight for a title in Class A. Notre Dame was in the 2005 championship losing to Wheeling Central and lost in the 1991 title game.
Valley – There appears to be a nice, little program brewing at the Smithers-based school. This will mark the third year the Greyhounds have reached the State Tournament under the leadership of Joe Craffey. The 2013 squad hopes to be the first to reach the championship.