The locker room was quiet.

These Cabell Midland High School football players were frustrated, disappointed and even disgusted with their performance. They looked at the scoreboard as they left the field at the Castle and the 28-18 score mocked them. It ate at them, gnawing at their guts.

What made this loss different is it wasn’t a loss at all. The Knights won, beating George Washington on Nov. 22 in the quarterfinals.

“I had to remind them that we won,” Cabell Midland coach Luke Salmons said. “They felt like they lost. They didn’t think they played very well at all and they weren’t happy about it.”

Such thinking is a trait of the Knights’ squad, as tough as any the school has fielded. Not only do Cabell Midland’s players hate losing more than they love winning, they detest winning in non-dominating fashion. The Knights have outscored opponents by an average of 40-12.

At noon Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium, No.2 Cabell Midland (13-0) meets No. 1 Martinsburg (13-0), the three-time defending state champion. The Bulldogs are a heavy favorite. They’ve beaten each opponent by no fewer than 35 points. Still, the Knights aren’t a bunch who will back down.

Expect Cabell Midland to enter the contest expecting to win, play hard and let the result take care of itself. A bunch that has overachieved in the eyes of many hopes to do so one more time.

SHARP RECEIVES PROBATION: Former Spring Valley High School pitcher Cody Sharp received one year probation after a guilty plea for his involvement in an altercation with a Cabell Midland High School student after a boys basketball game on Jan. 5.

Sharp is a freshman pitcher at Marshall University.

RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Ironton fullback/linebacker Beau Brownstead received an offer from Capital University. … Poca football standout Bronson Skeens committed to West Virginia State University. … Parkersburg South wrestler Brayden Roberts committed to West Virginia University. … Lewis County (Kentucky) volleyball player Shelby Harris committed to Georgetown College. …

Spring Valley offensive lineman Bryce Biggs visited Penn State University. … Bluefield defensive end Sean Martin committed to West Virginia University. … West Carter girls basketball player Ragan Adkins signed with Midway College. … Ironton girls basketball star Riley Schreck committed to Urbana University. … Hurricane pitcher Brenen Lewis is scheduled to sign to play for Shepherd University on Wednesday.

NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES: A pair of Huntington High graduates were honored as their conference’s wrestlers of the week last week. Logan Grass of Mercyhurst University was honored by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Zane Lanham of West Liberty was honored by the Mountain East Conference. …

Fairmont Senior had its 26-game winning streak broken last week in a playoff semifinal loss to Bluefield. … Former Fairland and Boyd County boys basketball standout Gunner Short scored a career-high 25 points in the University of Rio Grande’s win over Siena Heights.

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