MADISON — Last year’s first-ever Cardinal Conference Gridorama at Mingo Central High School’s Buck Harless Stadium was a big success.
Conference officials hope it is again this year as it moves to another Field Turfed facility at Scott High School in Madison.
This year’s Cardinal Conference Gridorama is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 16.
All eight league foes will be in action in the preseason event and four controlled, timed scrimmages will be played.
Each scrimmage will be limited to two hours on a continuously-running game clock. Each game will be divided into 10-play drives and also down-and-distance drives.
The Gridorama is slated to begin at 1:15 p.m. as the Poca Dots play the Sissonville Indians.
Then in Game 2 at 3:30 p.m., the Herbert Hoover Huskies take on the Tolsia Rebels.
The third game at 5:45 p.m. has the George Barker-led Chapmanville Regional High School Tigers squaring off with the Wayne Pioneers, last year’s Class AA state runner-ups.
The last game at 8 p.m. has the host Scott Skyhawks doing battle with the Mingo Central Miners.
The matchups were determined by blind draw. The Tigers faced Poca in last year’s gridorama.
Chapmanville went 5-5 last season, while Wayne was 13-1. The Pioneers lost 14-13 at a snowy Wheeling Island Stadium in the Super Six Class AA state championship game last December. Wayne is also the defending Cardinal Conference champions.
CRHS coach George Barker said he likes the concept of the Cardinal Conference Gridorama.
“We’re going to scrimmage Wayne,” Barker said in an earlier interview. “We get to have eyes on all seven opponents in one evening, so it makes scouting easier. We have a conference agreement to trade films but you also need to get your eyes on a team in live action, too. It makes it a little bit better. It gets everything off to a good start. I like having it the first scrimmage. We can control it and you know that the competition is going to be good. Wayne’s been so good that nobody wanted to play them. Maybe that will be good for our kids to start off that way. We always end it with them, so this year we are going to start it with them.”
Some critics of the conference gridorama format don’t like that you have to scrimmage a team that you will play during the regular season as all eight league squads are required to play the seven conference foes.
Barker said, however, that he hasn’t heard any complaints about that.
“We did it last year and nobody really had anything negative to say about that issue in the meetings. I think everyone liked what we are doing,” he said. “I think that it’s a good thing.”
The Tigers are set to play host to Wayne during the regular season on Halloween Night in the finale for CRHS.
Since Chapmanville’s open date is the following Friday on Nov. 7, the Tigers play 10 games in 10 weeks just as they did last season.
After scrimmaging the Pioneers, Chapmanville has one more preseason test the following week at home against Class AAA Lincoln County.
The regular season opener is Aug. 29 at Sissonville in a league game.
The gates for the Gridorama are set to open at noon.
Admission is $7 for students and adults. Admission receipts will be divided among the member schools.