RACHEL, W.Va – The kickoff of high school football is now less than two weeks away in the state of West Virginia and that means teams are starting to look for ways to tune themselves up before Week 1.

With scrimmages beginning this weekend, teams flocked to Rachel on Saturday to take part in the third annual Big X Grid-o-Rama at North Marion High School.

With twelve squads split up between three sessions throughout the day, there was plenty of gridiron action to take in with numerous local teams as well as a few from outside the immediate area getting a chance to see where they are through two weeks.

North Marion head coach Daran Hays oversaw the event for the third time this weekend and says it’s only grown over the years.

“I think that was the thing that was most appealing when we had some non-local teams want to jump in as well,” he said, “It was kind of an opportunity that we can kind of self-scout each other, see ourselves against some local teams that we don’t play and then get some upper tier, state caliber teams around here.”

The addition of Wheeling Park, Spring Mills and Point Pleasant to this year’s event brought a new aspect to the evaluation process with some atypical compeition for local schools joining the fray.

Hays says that in addition to getting some reps against someone other than your own team, a day like this brings plenty of value with the ability to see what some of your younger players can do in live competition.

“I told the guys yesterday, the guys that we’ve seen on Friday nights, we want to kind of limit their reps. We want to see them play a little bit but we don’t want to play them to death,” he said, “We want to see a lot of those “tweener” guys, those guys that were JV last year that are developing into being able to contribute to wins on Friday nights.”

Other schools that took part in the Big X Grid-o-Rama included Lincoln, Buckhannon-Upshur, Fairmont Senior, Lewis County, Elkins, Philip Barbour, Liberty and Preston.