It’s back to the gridiron for the Man Hillbillies, the Logan Wildcats and the Chapmanville Regional high school football teams.
Chapmanville, Logan and Man will be back on the football field on Monday as all three teams are scheduled to hold practices for the first time.
CRHS is slated to hit the Field Turf first with its annual Midnight Madness practice on Monday at 12:01 a.m. The Tigers are then going to practice later in the late afternoon/evening on Monday. Logan also plans on having practice in the late afternoon/evening.
Last year was a new era in the Logan County football as the Tigers, Hillbillies and Wildcats all were able to play on their newly turfed home football stadiums.
This year, there will be changes as well in the Logan County football world.
At Chapmanville, former assistant coach Rob Dial puts on the head coaching headsets for the first time as he replaces longtime coach George Barker, who has remained on the school’s staff as the CRHS Athletics Director.
Barker stepped down after 12 seasons and six playoff appearances.
Dial was Chapmanville’s Offensive Coordinator from 1999-2012. The last four years, Dial has held administrative positions and was most recently the principal at Chapmanville Middle School.
Last year, Chapmanville returned to the playoffs, going 7-4 and eventually falling 42-14 at home to Robert C. Byrd in the opening round.
Chapmanville is slated to open the season Aug. 26 at Sissonville. The home opener is Sept. 2 against Herbert Hoover.
New to the Tigers’ schedule are league games against Nitro and Winfield — two of the conference’s three new members.
It’s also a new era for Logan and Man.
Man bumps back up to Class AA ball after spending the last 10-plus years as a Single-A school. Coach Harvey Arms’ Billies had success as a Class A school, advancing to the Wheeling Super Six state championship game in 2009 and making the playoffs the last three years.
Man, however, will be challenged with a difficult schedule. The Billies add Point Pleasant and Bluefield to the slate, hosting the Beavers and the Big Blacks in back-to-back weeks on Oct. 14 and 21.
Man and Logan are set to open the season on a Thursday night on Aug. 25 at Logan.
Logan, coached by Gary Mullins, are hoping to improve on last year’s 4-6 mark.
The Wildcats will also be a Double-A school as Logan dropped from the Triple-A ranks. Logan also returns to the Cardinal Conference.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).