MAN — The Man High School football team is sitting in a great place.
After five weeks and the midpoint of the prep grid season, the Hillbillies (3-1) are tied for the No. 5 spot in this week’s Class A Computer Ratings with East Hardy (4-0), Moorefield (4-1) and Valley Fayette (4-0).
Man was off last week but moved up to fifth from the No. 8 spot.
With five games left to go in the regular season the Billies are in good shape, not only to secure their first trip to the Class A playoffs in in four years but also to get homefield advantage.
Since Man is in the top eight, if the season ended today, the Billies would host a first-round game.
Man returns to action at Fayetteville (2-3) on Friday night after observing a bye week last week.
Of Man’s five remaining opponents, only Chapmanville Regional is ranked. The Tigers (3-2) are No. 13 in the state in Class AA and come to Man on Oct. 11 for the annual Man Homecoming Game.
The Billies then close out with four teams currently rated outside of the Class A’s top 16 — Sherman, Pocahontas County, Tug Valley and Van. Tug Valley is the highest rated of the bunch at 2-3 and No. 19.
Man has showed a lot of improvement this fall after suffering a 2-8 season a year ago.
“We feel like the kids have played well,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “Things are good for us at this point. We just have to keep working each week to get better.”
Arms said Fayetteville will be tough to beat since they are much improved from last year.
“Fayetteville is a good team,” he said. “They’ve probably got a more varied offense than anyone that we’ve seen so far. They run a lot of formations against you. They can run the power I and they can run the spread. They can also throw the ball some. They do a lot of things. We’ll have to be on our toes. They are a lot better than last year.”
Fayetteville is Man’s first game this season against a Single-A team. The Billies lost to 3A Logan in the opener, then reeled off three straight wins over Class AA squads Mount View, Westside and River View.
Arms said all of Man’s remaining games are big.
“You want to get better each week,” he said. “Each game gets a little more important to you as you go through the season. You just take them one at a time and hope that all goes well for you.”
Arms said Man’s bye week helped his team rest and heal up some.
“It was alright for us. If you are going to have an off week during the season right in the middle is the best place for it,” Arms said. “I would rather play 10 straight through but you have to do what the schedule allows you.”
Arms said his team has no major injuries heading into tonight’s game with the Pirates.
“We’re OK. It’s a full go,” he said.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
2013 Man High School
Football Schedule (3-1):
Aug. 30: Logan, L 20-40
Sept. 6: at Mount View, W 44-0
Sept. 13: at Westside, W 22-14
Sept. 20: River View (Hall of Fame Game), W 46-8
Sept. 27: OPEN DATE
Oct. 4: at Fayetteville, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11: Chapmanville (Homecoming), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Sherman, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25: Pocahontas County, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1: at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8: Van, 7:30 p.m.
CLASS A Football Ratings
1. Williamstown 4-0 9.50 t1
2. St. Marys 4-0 9.00 3
3. Madonna 4-0 8.50 t1
4. Notre Dame 4-0 8.25 t6
5. East Hardy 4-0 8.00 4
(tie) Man 3-1 8.00 t8
(tie) Moorefield 4-1 8.00 12
(tie) Valley Fayette 4-0 8.00 t6
9. Meadow Bridge 5-0 7.80 t8
10. Wheeling Central 4-1 7.60 11
11. Clay-Battelle 4-0 7.25 10
12. Tucker County 4-1 7.20 t14
13. Greenbrier West 4-1 6.80 5
14. Wahama 4-1 6.00 t14
15. Doddridge County 4-1 5.40 13
(tie) Parkersburg Cath. 4-1 5.40 t16
17. Bishop Donahue 3-2 3.80 t16
(tie) Gilmer County 3-2 3.80 —
19. Tug Valley 2-3 3.60 18
20. Pendleton County 2-3 3.40 19