MAN – Since moving down to Class A status in the early 2000s, the Man High School football team has still played a Double-A schedule and maintained its relationships with its old 2A friends.
Over the years, that has helped the Hillbillies in their playoff runs.
The 2009 season and the drive to Wheeling and the Super Six is a perfect example.
Under the current WVSSAC Computer Ratings, six points are awarded for a win over a Single-A school, nine for a victory over a 2A team and 12 points for a win over a Triple-A opponent.
Bonus points are also counted.
Man has taken advantage of this in the tenure of head coach Harvey Arms.
Take last year.
The Billies opened the season with a 32-26 win over county rival Logan, a Triple-A school. Man grabbed 12 points right off the bat, or the equivalent of two wins over Single-A teams.
It was two for the price of one.
Even though Man stumbled late in the season with a pair of losses to Tug Valley and Van the big win over Logan and other victories over 2A schools helped nudge the Billies into the playoffs.
Man will also be “playing up,” if you will with its season opener again with Logan on Aug. 28 and matchups against Double-A teams Mount View, Westside, River View and Chapmanville.
Man’s first game against a Class A team this fall isn’t until Sept. 25 with a Week 5 game at Fayetteville.
“The good thing about our schedule is that it will get you points in the WVSSAC system if you win,” Coach Arms said. “It’s up to us to go out there and win the ballgames and rack up some of those points. Hopefully, we can close out a little bit stronger than we did last year. At the end of the year last year we had some major injuries and that hurt us badly at the end. The schedule is tough all the way down and there’s no easy games. We’ll have to play hard and play smart. That’s where we hope our experience comes in.
“Our kids are working hard and we know that they will work hard to get better.”
The Billies will face the same 10 teams as it did last year.
After the Logan opener, Man heads to 2A Mount View on Sept. 4 and then to 2A Westside on Sept. 11. The Renegades were a Final Four team last year in the playoffs.
On Sept. 18, Man returns home to play 2A River View in the annual Hall of Fame Game.
The Billies go to Class A Fayetteville on Sept. 25 and observe a bye week on Oct. 2 in the middle of the season.
Man then hosts 2A county rival Chapmanville on Oct. 9 in the MHS homecoming game before heading to Single-A Sherman on Oct. 16.
The Billies host Class A Pocahontas County on Oct. 23, then travel to Naugatuck for an Oct. 30 game against Tug Valley.
Man will be looking for revenge on the Panthers, which advanced all the way to the Class A semifinals last year before falling to Williamstown. Tug Valley has gone 3-1 against Man in the last four meetings. The Panthers beat the Billies 26-20 last year at Man and also downed MHS 24-14 in 2013 at home.
Tug Valley is a preseason No. 3-ranked team in the state. Man was ranked No. 9 in the preseason poll.
It could be another Man-Tug Valley classic this season.
“We have had some tough games and tough competition with them in football and basketball both,” Arms said of Tug Valley. “It’s almost to the rivalry stage. We know that they will be tough and we know that our whole schedule will be tough.”
The regular season finale is Nov. 6 at home against Class A Van on Senior Night. Man will also look to turn the tables on the Bulldogs, which surprised Man last year with 14-12 win at home over the Billies, a year after getting thumped 61-6 by Man.
Man in the Class A playoffs
in the Harvey Arms era
2014: Tug Valley 16, Man 12 (at Mingo Central, first round)
2013: Bishop Donahue 21, Man 16 (at Man, first round)
2009: Weirton Madonna 27, Man 7 (at Wheeling, Class A state finals)
2009: Man 27, Richwoood 20 (at Man, state semifinals)
2009: Man 37, Fayetteville 26 (at Man, state quarterfinals)
2009: Man 25, Parkersburg Catholic 20 (at Man, first round)
2008: Williamstown 21, Man 16 (at Williamstown, state quarterfinals)
2008: Man 27, Mount Hope 20 (at Mount Hope, first round)
2005: Williamstown 26, Man 12 (at Williamstown, state quarterfinals)
2005: Man 14, Hamlin 0 (at Hamlin, first round)
2004: Weirton Madonna 47, Man 0 (at Weir, first round)
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).