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Prep Notebook: Former teammates coaching title games

Nov. 26, 2012 @ 12:01 AM

Former Marshall offensive linemen and teammates Nate McPeek and Luke Salmons have a chance to pull off an unusual football double this weekend.

Salmons is head coach at Cabell Midland and the Knights take on Martinsburg in the West Virginia Class AAA state title game at noon Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium. McPeek runs the show at Fairview and the Eagles face Mayfield in the Kentucky 1A title game at noon Friday at Western Kentucky's LT. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

"We've talked," McPeek said Sunday while taking a short break from working up a game plan. "It's pretty neat what we've got going. I wished him luck. He's done a great job."

Fairview (14-0) is seeking its first state title as is Cabell Midland. The Knights (13-0) entered the playoffs as No. 1 seed.

McPeek played for the Thundering Herd from 2000-03. Salmons suited up 2001-03. In their senior year, McPeek played left tackle and Salmons lined up beside him at guard. Mark McHale was their position coach and Bobby Pruett was the Herd's head coach.

"We've played in big games and it's an awesome feeling," Salmons said. "It's better as coach. You know what it takes and try to get the kids to understand that."

Salmons said McHale and Pruett taught him and McPeek at lot.

"He prepared us for more than football," Salmons said of McHale. "Coach Pruett was about relationships with players. I'm trying to do the same thing."

Salmons said he and McPeek exchange many ideas during the season. Fairview players have taken part in an NFL camp at Cabell Midland.

"We're both passionate about the sport," Salmons said. "This is what you play for."

Fairview beat defending state champion Hazard, 40-6, in the semfinals.

"We played probably our best game of the year," McPeek said. "We need that kind of effort one more time."

LET'S GO: Huntington High, Cabell Midland and Spring Valley open the 2012-13 wrestling season on Saturday.

The Highlanders take on national and Ohio Division II power Graham (St. Paris, Ohio) at 6 p.m. at Huntington High's Archer-Lucas Gymnasium. The Falcons, ranked No. 17 nationally, have won 12 straight Ohio Division II state titles. They had four state champs, eight placers and outscored runner-up Lexington, 183.5-97.5, to prevail in 2012. The Highlanders return three state champs -- Jordan Allen, Billy Waldeck and Clairon-bound Justin Arthur.

Cabell Midland heads to Parkersburg South for a quad against the Patriots, Ripley and Buckhannon-Upshur. Parkersburg South has won four straight West Virginia Class AAA state titles.

Spring Valley heads to Hurricane for the Mike Ellis Invitational. Wrestling starts at 9:30 a.m.

HELPING A CAUSE: The OHSAA Foundation is about to complete the 2012 Foundation Game schedule as part of the sixth annual statewide community service initiative, "Foundation Service Week." Service Week started Nov. 16 and ends Saturday. More than 150 schools across Ohio participated in the initiative. As part of Foundation Service Week, all participating schools identified a community service project that is meaningful for their school and community.

Participating schools make a $250 contribution to the OHSAA Foundation. Contributions to the OHSAA Foundation will be returned to all OHSAA member schools in the form of scholarships, leadership conferences and educational materials for student-athletes in all sports. All remaining proceeds from Foundation Games go to the participating schools' selected charity and community service projects.

Here's a rundown on the area schools involved and their projects.

Nov. 20, Gallia Academy at Oak Hill, boys and girls, Food Drive.

Tuesday, Ironton St. Joe at Ironton, boys, Lawrence County Relay for Life.

Tuesday, Portsmouth Notre Dame at Wheelersburg, boys, Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Friday, Symmes Valley at Chesapake, boys, The Beasts of the Southeast Scholarship Fund.

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

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