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What to watch

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 12:44 AM

HUNTINGTON -- It's a time that high school football players and coaches alike have waited on for nearly eight months.

It's the first week of the new season in West Virginia and Ohio.

For some, that means building off the momentum of last year. For others, it's about putting the previous year's struggles in the past.

One thing is certain, however. Everyone is 0-0 and on a level playing field.

Meanwhile, some Kentucky teams are playing their second game.

Following is a look at some of this week's matchups:

Huntington High

at Hurricane

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Redskins Stadium

Radio: WRVC 930-AM and 94.1-FM.

What to watch: Huntington High -- The Highlanders feature lots of experience in the backfield with Paden Christian, Nick Tubbs and Charles Crawford, but they will only go as far as the offensive line pushes them. Hurricane -- The Redskins might have the state's best pure quarterback in Austin Hensley.

Spring Valley

at St. Albans

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Crawford Field

Radio: WVHU 800-AM. On the web: www.wfghfm.com

What to watch: Spring Valley -- The Timberwolves have to find a way to replace Elijah Wellman and Ryan George, the team's two all-time leading rushers. A massive offensive line will help. St. Albans -- The Red Dragons are looking to return to relevancy in Class AAA, but it will be a long road ahead.

Tolsia

at Wayne

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Pioneer Field

Radio: WFGH 90.7-FM. On the web: www.wfghfm.com.

What to watch: Tolsia -- Head coach Mike Smith has the Rebels thinking turnaround after leading them to a 5-5 record following a winless campaign in 2011. Is this the year the Rebels return to the Class AA playoffs? Wayne -- Two names to remember: Mason Hodge and Grant Ferguson. They will be uttered a lot this year.

Wheelersburg

at Ironton

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Tanks Memorial Stadium

Radio: WIRO 1230-AM, WTCR 1420-AM.

What to watch: Wheelersburg -- The Pirates return many starters from a team that nearly tripped up the Fighting Tigers a year ago. Can they go into the Tigers' cage and claw out a win? Ironton -- The Fighting Tigers are looking to replace many seniors from a talented 2012 team, but return tackles Tyler Webb and Isaac Sherman.

Fairland

at Portsmouth West

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Senators Field

What to watch: Fairland -- Chance Short and Evan Maddox return to aid the Dragons' offense this season. Portsmouth West -- The Senators will be looking for revenge after falling to Fairland 34-14 in last year's season opener.

Oak Hill

at Chesapeake

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Panthers Field

What to watch: Oak Hill -- The Oaks got a 33-7 win over the Panthers in last season's opener, but will walk into a wild environment as Chesapeake opens its new field. Chesapeake -- After missing all of 2012, running back and linebacker Chad Meadows returns to wreak havoc.

Meigs

at Coal Grove

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Patterson Field

What to watch: Meigs -- The Marauders look to turn things around under coach Mike Bartrum, a retired NFL player who was part of the 1992 Marshall I-AA National Championship team, after going 3-7 in 2012. Coal Grove -- The Hornets are back doing what they do, which is hitting teams in the mouth and beating them up front.

Raceland (1-0)

at Ashland (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Putnam Stadium

Radio: WBVB 97.1-FM

What to watch: Raceland -- The Rams rolled East Carter to open the season, 40-14. Ashland -- The Tomcats dropped their opener, 37-26, at Newport Central Catholic, the defending Class 2A state champion.

Greenup Co. (0-1)

at Russell (0-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Henry R. Evans Stadium

On the web: WLGCRadio.com

What to watch: Greenup Co. -- The Musketeers lost last week to Lewis County, 26-20. Russell -- Veteran coach Ivan McGlone, 75, leads the Red Devils into their first game.

-- Grant Traylor

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