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Mark Martin's Notepad

Super Six nuggets and the loss of some good men
December 2, 2013

Mark Martin It's Super Six time in Wheeling. West Virginia's three state high school football championships will unfold this Friday at Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium.

The field of six will feature some familiar faces and a couple of newcomers.

Also this weekend, Marshall plays for its first-ever Conference-USA title against Rice while the Shepherd Rams move on to the next phase of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

TWO'S COMPANY: With Wayne's semifinal victory over Robert C. Byrd last Friday, the two-time defending Class AA champions tied the state record for consecutive wins at 36. Tommy Harmon's program equaled the mark set by old Ansted (now a part of Midland Trail) High from 1970-73.

Winning a third straight AA crown Friday night in Wheeling will give Wayne the record at 37 in a row.

Former Ansted head coach Roger Eades said he was happy for Wayne. In reflecting on his teams at Ansted, Eades, who still lives in the area, said, “Your kids either learn to lose or they learn to win. Those kids learned to win.”

Ansted's streak was stopped by Monongah (now a part of North Marion) in the semifinal round of the Class A playoffs in 1973 at Ripley's Memorial Stadium.

BRIDGEPORT IS BACK: Bridgeport has enjoyed its share of success in football and the No. 2 Indians hope to end things for No. 1 Wayne at the Island. Bridgeport's last championship game appearance was in 2000 when they defeated Wayne. That Pioneer team was the first Harmon had brought to Wheeling Island Stadium.

Current Bridgeport head coach Jason Nicewarner was a player on that Bridgeport team that was guided by current RBC head coach Bruce Carey.

Bridgeport has six state titles to its credit.

MARTINSBURG'S MISSION: The Class AAA game at high noon on Saturday will have familiar face Martinsburg back on the Wheeling Island turf.

The Bulldogs will be gunning for a fourth consecutive state championship, which would be a record in Class AAA.

Dave Walker's outstanding program will be looking to beat a Mountain State Athletic Conference team for a fourth straight week when the No. 2-rated Bulldogs go up against No. 1 Huntington. So far in the postseason, Martinsburg has defeated Spring Valley, Cabell Midland and Capital.

HUNTINGTON'S HIGH: For the the first-time ever the Highlanders of Huntington High will play for a state championship.

As was the case for Dave Walker in his first season at the helm of Martinsburg, Billy Seals suffered through a 0-10 record before getting things turned in the right direction.

Seals has been to the last two Super Six events in Wheeling and can't wait for his program to be a part of it all.

WRESTLE WITH THIS: Two of the Super Six combatants this weekend claimed state wrestling championships back in February.
Huntington High won the Class AAA title while Greenbrier West took the Class AA-A crown.

GO NORTH, WEST CAVALIERS: Greenbrier West's hard-fought 21-14 victory over Magnolia in the Class A semifinals sends the Cavaliers to a state championship football game for the first time since 1991.

At Laidley Field in Charleston, West lost in the AA championship game to old Spencer High (now Roane County), 31-22. The Yellow Jackets came back from a 16-0 deficit to win the title. West would win the AA basketball championship that winter.

While all three No. 1 rated teams reached Wheeling and a pair of No. 2 seeds, West comes in at No. 7.

MADONNA'S RETURN: After a few minutes of his team's gut-wrenching overtime loss to Wahama last year at Wheeling Island for the Class A title, Madonna's Doug Taylor immediately started thinking about the 2014 season.

Taylor new a lot of people would be returning and his team had a shot at getting back to the Island.

The No. 1 Blue Dons and No. 7 West will compete in the final football game of 2013 in West Virginia when the Class title showdown unfolds Saturday evening. Madonna, Wayne and Huntington all have perfect 13-0 records.
COLLEGE BALL: Marshall plays for a championship in Conference USA against the Rice Owls this Saturday as Doc Holliday's program begins to turn the corner.

Meanwhile, Shepherd, representing the Mountain East Conference, takes another step toward a place in the NCAA Division II title game by facing West Chester.

THE LOSS OF SOME GREAT MEN: I hate to end this column on a somber note, but in the past few days the state of West Virginia lost some outstanding coaches who left lasting legacies.

Sid Cure, who guided old Gary High (now a part of Mt. View) to two state championships passed away the week of Thanksgiving. Cure, who still lived in McDowell County, was also the first-ever head coach at Mt. View and once led the football program at Bluefield State. He died of a heart attack at the age of 76.

Mike Michael was a former Mountaineer standout before embarking on a solid coaching career at the high school level. Michael served at one time as the head coach at Buckhannon-Upshur, Philip Barbour and Greenbrier East. He followed in the footsteps of his father who had been a high school coach in Virginia. Michael, who was 62, had been battling cancer.

Terry Spangler died in late '50s following a long illness. Spangler was one of Sherman's all-time greatest athletes. He went to WVU in 1976 on a football scholarship. He later transferred to Glenville and starred in both football and baseball. In his professional life, he excelled as coach in a variety of sports at Ritchie County High School.

The other loss was that of Frank Scagnelli, 70, who gave Charleston Catholic a life-time of great work both as a math teacher and coach. Scagnelli had some outstanding basketball teams as a head coach for the Irish.

The sports scene in West Virginia has lost three great men.

We will long cherish all that they did for young men and women and the friendships they provided to so many people.

God Bless their families.



PREVIOUS NOTES

Mark It Down December 2, 2013
Super Six nuggets and the loss of some good men

Mark It Down November 12, 2013
Remembering Rick Simmons

Mark It Down November 4, 2013
Gary Dove recalls one of the great McDowell County teams

Mark It Down October 29, 2013
Carpenter was one of WVIAC's classiest coaches

Mark It Down October 23, 2013
Marshall football has a Legg up with state native on board




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