LET THE GAMES BEGIN
The waiting is over for area high school football team as the season will officially begin today.
A full slate of action is on tap, including Oak Hill at Elkins, Bridgeport at Buckhannon-Upshur, Philip Barbour at Grafton, Pendleton County at Tygarts Valley, University at Lewis County, Moorefield at Petersburg and Page County (Va.) at East Hardy.
The Oak Hill-Elkins and Moorefield-Petersburg contests will begin at 7 p.m., while the other games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers are searching for a third straight Class AAA playoff appearance but several key skilled players from last year’s squad – including all-staters Clayton Collett and L.J. Lawrence – must be replaced.
Veteran coach Greg Hott will turn to an experienced offensive line, anchored by seniors Michael Beckwith and Dustin Chewning, along with junior Caleb Riggleman, to lead the young squad.
The Red Devils, who lost a thrilling 43-36 decision to Elkins last season, are led by all-state running back Jalen Jones, who rushed for 2,194 yards in 2012.
Halfback Jarrell Green and fullback Antwon Smith also are offensive weapons for Oak Hill, which lost to Cabell Midland in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs last season.
The Tigers will remain home after today’s game to battle Hampshire next Friday evening.