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Prep Notebook: Tri-State football kicks off Aug. 17

Jul. 29, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Football pairings are set for the first Cardinal Conference Grid-O-Rama scheduled Aug. 17 at Mingo Central High School's Buck Harless Stadium in Matewan.

Poca and Chapmanville will meet in the opener at 3:30 p.m. Sissonville and Tolsia will play at 5 p.m. Defending West Virginia Class AA champion Wayne will take on Scott at 6:30 p.m. The host Miners of Mingo Central will face Herbert Hoover in the finale at 8.

Chapmanville is looking to rebound from last year's 4-6 record. It was the first time since 2006 the Tigers had not advanced to the Class AA state playoffs. Last year's sub .500 season also broke a string of six straight winning seasons. The Tigers beat Poca 34-33 last season at home in Week 4. Chapmanville and Poca will meet again on Sept. 20 at Poca.

Practice in West Virginia starts Aug. 5.

ANOTHER ALL-STAR GAME: High school seniors -- Class of 2014 -- from Ohio and Michigan will play in the inaugural Ohio-Michigan Border Classic on June 14, 2014, at Donnell Stadium in Findlay, Ohio. Kickoff will be 1 p.m.

The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association (OHSFCA) and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) will select the head coach and five assistants. Each coaching staff will choose 40 players from throughout their states. Those selections will be announced in February at the Ohio-Michigan Border Classic press conference.

All profits from this game will be dedicated to the scholarship funds already established by their respective coaching associations. Players will report on June 11 and players and coaches will be recognized at The Border Classic Awards Banquet on June 13.

ASHLAND TENNIS: Rich Meade of Ashland beat Wheelersburg's Chad Pierron, 6-4, 6-0, in the men's open singles finals of the Ashland Bellefonte Cancer Center USTA Tournament at Bellefonte Country Club.

Meade, a Huntington St. Joe graduate who played for Florida Atlantic this spring (he transferred from Winthrop) slugged his way to a semifinal victory over Robert Skolik, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Skolik, a Huntington High product, is entering his sophomore season at Eastern Illinois.

The men's open division had 18 players. Skolik finished 2-1 in singles, beginning with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Ukranian native Kateryna Yergina -- the only female in the event. She played No. 1 at Virginia Commonwealth and has some experience at the professional level.

MORE WORK: Gary Ray, executive director of the WVSSAC, was named to the Board of Directors of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Ray's four-year team began in June at the annual conference when his appointment was approved by the National Council. Ray will represent Section 2 which consists of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Washington, D.C.

The National Federation is focused on several key issues including concussion prevention, coaches education, video streaming of high school events along with writing the rules governing the sports contests for most interscholastic activities. Past WVSSAC bosses who served on the Board of Directors include Gordon Eismon, 1959-60, 1969-72; and Bill Hanlin, 1986-89.

Ray joined the WVSSAC staff in 2001 as assistant executive director and was appointed as the association's executive director in 2007. He is a graduate of Winfield High School. Ray earned his bachelor's degree from Glenville State College and received his master's degree from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.