Prep Notebook: Tri-State squads preparing for 2013
Football practice for West Virginia high schools begins Monday. Some schools in Ohio began Thursday while Kentucky schools started July 22.
Wayne and Wahama will be out to repeat as West Virginia Class AA and Class A champions, respectively. Wayne will be seeking its third straight state crown. In Class AAA, Cabell Midland made it to the title game in 2012 where it lost to Martinsburg.
In Ohio, Chesapeake has its new stadium with field turf ready. At Fairland, new sod is down and taking shape. Of the OHSAA's 821 member schools, 714 sponsor football teams. The goal is to be among the 224 playoff qualifiers when the final computer ratings are announced Sunday, Nov. 3.
Ohio's postseason field expands to seven divisions this fall after having six divisions from 1994-2012. Eight qualifiers in each region (four regions per division) will earn playoff berths, except in Division I, where there are only two regions and thus there will be 16 regional qualifiers.
During the 2013 playoffs, divisions II, III, IV and VI will play on Friday nights, while divisions I, V and VII will play on Saturday nights. One of the divisions playing on Friday night will play its state championship game on Thursday, Dec. 5. The other Friday divisions will play their state championship games on Friday, Dec. 6, while the Saturday divisions will play their state championships on Saturday, Dec. 7. The state championship games will be at Canton Fawcett Stadium and Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium before moving to Ohio Stadium in Columbus for 2014 and 2015.
HURRICANE SOCCER: Jim Dagostine stepped down as the boys soccer coach at Hurricane. Dagostine compiled a 127-20-13 record for an .834 winning percentage in seven seasons. He guided the Redskins to the state tournament five times, including last year's Class AAA championship. Hurricane lost 1-0 to George Washington in the state finals in 2007, lost 2-1 on penalty kicks to Wheeling Park in the 2010 state semifinals and lost 1-0 to GW in the 2011 state semis. Derek Ragle, who was an assistant under Dagostine for three years, was named his successor.
DUKE RIDGLEY: The Duke Ridgeley Tournament is scheduled Friday at Guyan Golf and Country Club. The golf tournament is named in honor of Ridgeley, a former sports columnist at The Herald-Dispatch. Teams expected to compete include Cabell Midland, Chesapeake, Huntington High, Coal Grove, Spring Valley, Huntington St. Joe and Wayne.
Cabell Midland, Spring Valley and Huntington High are having tryouts Monday through Wednesday. Knights golfers meet Monday and Tuesday at Esquire Golf Club at 3:24 p.m. The Timberwolves meet Monday at 4:15 at the Chesapeake Driving Range. And the Highlanders are at Sugarwood Golf Club on Monday through Wednesday.
AAU TRACK: Huntington High's Ryan McGuffin competed in the AAU Junior Olympics held July 26-Aug. 3 at Eastern Michigan's Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti. He qualified in the age 15-16 division in the long jump, triple jump, 400 hurdles and 200. He didn't place in any of the events.
CROSS COUNTRY: Practice begins Monday for Cabell Midland, Huntington High, Spring Valley and other schools in the Tri-State.
The first big meet of the season will be the GEICO Invitational on Aug. 31 at Cabell Midland High School. More than 1,100 runners competed in 2012. It was the biggest meet in the Mountain State during the season. Cabell Midland is host for the West Virginia High School Championships in October.
There will be boys and girls races for middle school, Class AAA, Class AA/A and high school jayvee teams. The first race will be at 9 a.m. Cabell Midland won the Class AAA boys title three of the past four years. This will be the first year for the Knights without Jacob Burcham, who won the individual title his final three seasons. He' now starting his freshman season at Oklahoma.
VOLLEYBALL/SOCCER: Vollyball and soccer teams in the Tri-State have started practice, too. In West Virginia, the first soccer matches will be played Aug. 23. Starting date for volleyball matches is Sept. 4.
REMINDER: By state law, all West Virginia head coaches must take the concussion course offered at www.nfhslearn.com "Concussion in Sports -- What You Need to Know" before their seasons begin.
David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.