Over the last 14 years the Logan-Chapmanville high school football series has produced some interesting twists and plot lines.
Game number 15 is scheduled for Friday night as Chapmanville (4-0) is scheduled to host Logan (2-2).
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
It’s been a good series between Chapmanville and Logan.
Logan, winners of five out of the first six matchups since the two schools started playing each other in 2001, leads 8-6 in the all-time series.
The Wildcats have won three out of the last four years but dropped a 48-42 overtime game to the Tigers last season at Logan.
Chapmanville won four straight over Logan from 2007-10 in the midst of its playoff run.
There’s lots of angles to the Logan-Chapmanville football game.
Since the schools are only 12 miles apart everyone knows everyone.
There’s no secrets.
One of the plot lines is this.
Since 2004, there has been the teacher vs. pupil coaching matchup.
Chapmanville coach George Barker was once the Logan football coach in the 1990s and early 2000s.
One of his assistant coaches was current Logan mentor Gary Mullins.
Then there was a former coaching matchup between two men who were leading their teams against their own alma maters.
There was even a visit from a Hollywood movie star.
But what the Tigers and the Wildcats have produced most has been good football.
Coach Barker surely knows about this.
The Tigers’ coach has the distinction of coaching in the county rivalry on both sides of the field.
After stepping down as head coach of the Wildcats after the 2003 season, Barker left for his alma mater Chapmanville the following year and began the rebuilding process there. Barker was replaced at Logan by Mullins, his former assistant.
The “trade,” if you will, has worked on both sides.
Mullins has led Logan to five Class AAA playoff appearances.
Barker has guided the Tigers into the Class playoffs five times, including a Final Four berth in 2011 when Chapmanville lost at Point Pleasant in a bid to reach the Wheeling Super Six.
Coach Mullins said it’s been a good series with Chapmanville.
“It seems like most of the games are close,” he said. “They seem to go down to the wire and that’s what you would expect when two county schools play each other. Both teams want to win and both teams play hard and put a lot of time in in the off season. It’s a big game and it’s good for the communities. It’s always an exciting game to be at.”
When he was at Logan in the early 2000s, it was Coach Barker who was instrumental in getting the game started.
“When I was at Logan I was instrumental in trying to get this game established,” Barker said in an earlier interview. “I think that it’s a natural game. It’s a game where both schools benefit financially. It makes it more interesting when you are so close and so competitive.”
At the beginning of the series during the first three years, the game pitted then Chapmanville coach Ronnie Ooten, a Logan High School graduate, against then Logan coach Barker, who graduated from Chapmanville.
The rivalry has shifted back and forth.
Logan went 4-1 in the first five meetings and has gone 3-1 in the last four games against the Tigers.
Chapmanville controlled the series in the middle years, winning four in a row over the Cats from 2007-10 as Coach Barker led CRHS to the playoffs each year.
The 2011 meeting at Chapmanville was a memorable one as the Cats escaped with a 22-21 victory over the Tigers. The game was typical of the rivalry as it went down to the last minute with a late Logan touchdown. The Wildcats then elected to go for the win and the two-point conversion. Logan running back Joe Street jumped at the goal line and was hit in mid air. His second effort then put him in the end zone for the winning score.
The Logan-Chapmanville football series began in 2001 and was played just a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks. There was a patriotic fervor across the nation and locally as many American flags were spotted across the Chapmanville Middle School parking lot the night of the game.
Logan won the first meeting 21-0 over the Cats.
The second game in 2002 had a special visitor.
It was Logan’s homecoming game and LHS was to have a special guest that day — Hollywood movie actor Leslie Nielsen — known for his comedic roles in the Naked Gun trilogy of movies and also Airplane! Nielsen was in town for the weekend as he was promoting bio fuels across the region.
Nielsen stayed in Logan all afternoon on game day, rode through downtown Logan on a homecoming float and stuck around to be the special guest at the Chapmanville-Logan football game at Logan Stadium.
Nielsen greeted Coach Barker on the sideline before the game and went to midfield with the Wildcat and Tiger captains and the referees to do the coin flip.
Barker said no one at the game called Nielsen “Shirley” but said the actor did have a funny quip during the pregame.
“He flipped the coin and the team that won the toss said that they wanted to defer. So when the official turned to the other guy they said, ‘We want to defer.’ And that’s when Leslie said, ‘Defer? Well, the fur is going to fly tonight,’” Barker said. “He was also part of the homecoming parade.”
After doing the coin flip, Nielsen stayed for a few minutes to sign a few autographs. He soon left along with his agent, who was wearing a black “Naked Gun” windbreaker.
Logan ended up beating Chapmanville 27-8 in the ‘02 game. Nielsen died in 2010 at the age of 84 but will forever be tied locally to the county football rivalry.
It’s just too bad Logan High School officials didn’t let Nielsen sing the National Anthem.
In coaching on both sides of the rivalry, Barker is 7-7 in Chapmanville-Logan games. Mullins has a 6-5 mark as a head coach. Both coaches are entering their 12th seasons this fall.
Since the Logan-Chapmanville baseball and boys’ basketball series have been shelved the last few years, the football matchup is the only time the two schools will meet this year in a major boys’ sporting event.
The series also produced some other memorable games.
In the 2003 game, which was also Chapmanville’s homecoming game, quarterback Jeremiah Butcher led the Tigers to a 20-14 upset over Barker’s Wildcats.
The 2006 game at Logan was also a close one. Down 14-7, Chapmanville QB Evan Brown raced down field for a possible game-tying 70-yard touchdown run. It was called back due to an illegal blocking penalty. The Cats got the ball back and chewed up the rest of the clock, taking a few knees deep in the Tigers’ red zone.
From 2007-10, Chapmanville dominated the series, winning all four meetings. In the 2010 game, Chapmanville won 35-20 at Logan. The Tigers were led that season by the dynamic backfield duo of Jake Robinson and Dustin Botsch, a former Logan player, who was taking on his ex-Wildcat teammates for the first time.
The 2007 matchup was also a nail-biter with the Tigers winning 13-12.
The biggest blowout was a 42-6 victory by Logan at Chapmanville in 2005.
Coach Barker said one of the reasons the Tigers and the Wildcats never played in the past was the descrepancy in the enrollment figures.
Back in the 1970s and 80s, Logan was a large Class AAA school and Chapmanville was a small Double-A.
Over the years, the Logan area has seen a downturn in population and enrollment, pushing LHS down to one of the smallest Class AAA schools in the state. From 2003-08, Logan dropped down to 2A status.
In 2009, LHS went back to Triple-A but remains one of the smallest 3A schools in the state.
On the flipside, Chapmanville’s enrollment and town population have stabalized over the years or has even increased. With the closure of Harts High School in 2007, many of those students enrolled at the new Chapmanville Regional High School, further increasing the school’s enrollment.
“Logan was always a large Triple-A school and Chapmanville was a small Double-A,” Barker said. “There was a big descrepancy in student population. Man was once a Triple-A school along with Logan. The numbers have only changed here in the last decade or so. Chapmanville’s population grew enough but not enough to get us to Triple-A. Logan’s dropped down to Double-A. Our two enrollment numbers made it more comparable. Football is a numbers game. It’s different than basketball where you only play five guys. I just thought since the numbers were getting closer that it would be a good game for both schools.”
Chapmanville football coach George Barker has reportedly been feeling ill this week and may miss Friday’s Logan game, said his son James Barker, a CRHS assistant coach and the Tigers’ Offensive Coordinator.
“He’s been in the hospital,” James Barker said on Wednesday. “He’s got two kidney stones and he’s in a lot of pain right now. Right now, we don’t know when he will be back. He’s having a procedure being done today and he’s supposed to have surgery tomorrow (Thursday). We don’t know if he will be here on Friday night or not. If he’s here on Friday night he’ll probably be in the booth and not on the field.”
Football Friday Night
WHAT: Logan (2-2) at No. 7 Chapmanville (4-0)
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Tiger Stadium, Chapmanville, W.Va.
SURFACE: Field Turf
LAST WEEK: Logan lost 57-7 to Point Pleasant … Chapmanville won 55-14 at Poca.
RADIO: WVOW 101.9 FM, Logan, W.Va.
INTERNET STREAM: www.loganwildcats.tv and www.chapmanvilletigers.tv
Chapmanville vs. Logan
All-Time Football Series
(Logan leads 8-6)
2014: Chapmanville 48, Logan 42 (OT)
2013: Logan 27, Chapmanville 14
2012: Logan 20, Chapmanville 0
2011: Logan 22, Chapmanville 21
2010: Chapmanville 35, Logan 20
2009: Chapmanville 21, Logan 14
2008: Chapmanville 21, Logan 6
2007: Chapmanville 13, Logan 12
2006: Logan 14, Chapmanville 7
2005: Logan 42, Chapmanville 6
2004: Logan 29, Chapmanville 6
2003: Chapmanville 20, Logan 14
2002: Logan 27, Chapmanville 8
2001: Logan 21, Chapmanville 0
2015 Chapmanville Regional
High School Football Schedule (4-0):
Aug. 28: Sissonville, W 30-6
Sept. 4: at Herbert Hoover, W 38-35
Sept. 11: Scott (Hall of Fame Game), W 48-16
Sept. 18: at Poca, W 55-14
Sept. 25: Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 2: Mount View (Homecoming), 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 9: at Man, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 16: Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 23: at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 30: at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6: Bye week
(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).