CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – On Monday, we began our Interactive HS Football series in class Single-A.
We now move to Class AA, giving fans the opportunity to vote on how they think the 2020 season will play out.
Last year, five Double-A teams from North Central West Virginia qualified for postseason play, including the now-Triple-A Bridgeport Indians, who defeated Bluefield in the state championship game.
Fans can vote in both of the Class AA polls below. Polls close on Friday at noon, with results being revealed Friday night in the 12 SportsZone.
Which Double-A team in our region will have the best record?
Fairmont Senior: Nick Bartic’s Polar Bears once again finished the year with a late-season game against Bluefield, this time falling to the Beavers in the semi-finals. A slew of talent graduated from the Polar Bears roster, including WVU commit Zach Frazier and a number of other key offensive and defensive players. Returning, however, is Kent State commit Gage Michael at quarterback, and Kayson Nealy on the outside. The Polar Bears are scheduled to face five playoff teams from a year ago, including two Triple-A teams.
Lewis County: The Minutemen made it back to the playoffs for a second straight year last year, but were bounced out in the first round by another local team. An impressive senior class, with multiple college football players, graduated after a 7-3 regular season. However, Dustin Cogar is bringing back second-team all-state running back, Marshall Hobbs. This will be another senior-laden roster for the Minutemen, looking to continue this recent run of success.
Liberty: AJ Harman’s Mountaineers put together an 8-2 record in 2019, but got a tough draw against a good Keyser team in the playoffs. Quarterback Noah Leggett and second-team all-state linebacker Seth McIntire both graduated. Liberty returns a number of leaders from last year’s squad, and has a favorable schedule that includes just three playoff teams from a year ago. However, all three of those games will be played away from Clarksburg.
North Marion: Daran Hays and company played to a 7-3 record last year, and the Huskies made the postseason for the second time in the Hays era. North Marion may have graduated quarterback Gunner Murphy, and Jahkari Mesidor on the outside, but the Huskies return a pair of all-state players in Tariq Miller and Garrett Connaway. North Marion also plays just three playoff teams from last year, with two of those games being played at home on the Husky Highway.
Robert C. Byrd: The Eagles are the only team in this section that didn’t make the postseason last year. After a 5-5 season, Josh Gorrell returns players at a number of key positions, including first-team all-state player, Jeremiah King. Injuries were an issue for the Eagles last year. But if they can avoid the injury bug this year, the Eagles should be in playoff contention.
East Fairmont: The first year of the Shane Eakle era was a success by all accounts. The Bees won as many games last year (4) as they had in each of the previous three seasons combined. East Fairmont begins the season against Grafton, the team it beat last year to end a 13-game losing streak. Eakle saw a number of key seniors graduate after the 2019 campaign. The goal on the east side of the Friendly City is to take the next step, and work towards a postseason appearance for the first time since 2007.
Elkins: The Tigers have suffered back-to-back losing seasons, and have missed out on the playoffs each of the last seven years. But there is reason for hope in Randolph County. Elkins looks to have a huge senior class. The schedule is tough, with four 2019 playoff teams on it as of now. (Note: The Tigers are still working on scheduling a tenth opponent for this season.)
Grafton: After a five-win season in 2018, the Bearcats took an unexpected step back in 2019, managing to only win one game. Grafton will have that chance, with only three playoff teams on its schedule, and two of those games set to be played in Grafton. (Note: Grafton is also working on scheduling a tenth game.)
Lincoln: The Cougars missed out on the postseason after playing to a 5-5 record last year. Rob Hawkins graduated some important seniors, including Colten Hovermale, but bring back a lot of talent in what looks to be a talented junior and senior class. The Cougars coaching staff was pleased with how their players attacked the phased workouts, and are hoping they can carry that into the season.
Philip Barbour: The Colts are currently on a 13-game losing streak. But it was only three seasons ago that Philip Barbour was in the postseason. The Colts currently have a trio of games against playoff teams on their schedule for this year. (Note: Philip Barbour is also working on scheduling a tenth game.)