The start of the 2016 high school grid season is still three weeks away and football fever is starting to grow across Logan County and the Mountain State.
However, in a mere 10 days, county gridders will hit the field for the preseason openers.
Chapmanville Regional High School, led by first-year coach Rob Dial, will travel to Valley Fayette for a 10 a.m. scrimmage against the Greyhounds on Aug. 13.
That same day, the Logan High School Wildcats will head to Naugatuck for a triangular scrimmage against the host Tug Valley Panthers and the Paintsville (Ky.) Tigers. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
Also on Aug. 13, the Man High School Hillbillies will travel to Charleston to take on the Class AAA George Washington Patriots in the traditional preseason opener between the two schools. The Billies and Pats are slated to start at 10 a.m. at the George Washington High School football field on the school’s South Hills campus.
All three county teams will get tough tests from their preseason foes.
This will mark the third straight year Logan has faced Tug Valley and Paintsville. Last year, the three teams played each other at Magoffin County High School in Salyersville, Ky. Two years ago, the scrimmage was played at Logan.
Logan, 4-6 last year, takes on a pair of teams which had success last fall.
Class A Tug Valley, after reaching the state semifinals a pair of seasons ago, went 8-4 last year, topping Man 38-28 on the road in its playoff opener before falling 55-26 at Moorefield in the quarterfinals.
Paintsville, coached by Logan High School graduate Joe Chirico, was 13-1 last year, winning over Bracken County (50-24), Raceland (20-15) and Paris (48-28) in Kentucky’s Class A playoffs before dropping a 42-23 game to eventual state champion Pikeville in the state semifinals. The Tigers were a perfect 10-0 during the regular season.
Valley Fayette, Chapmanville’s opponent, was just 1-9 last year but are looking for improvement. Chapmanville was 7-4 last year, but lost its last four games after a 7-0 start. The Tigers were beaten 42-14 at home by Robert C. Byrd in the first round of the Class AA playoffs.
George Washington, playing in the tough Mountain State Athletic Conference, were 7-4 last year. The Patriots were beaten 25-7 at Huntington in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs. Man finished 8-3 last year.
The Hillbillies, Tigers and Wildcats will then each have another preseason test on Aug. 20.
Chapmanville and Logan are set to play in the Cardinal Conference Gridorama at Scott High School in Madison with the Tigers facing Winfield at 10 a.m. and Logan taking on Mingo Central at 5 p.m.
Man heads to play Aug. 20 in the River View Gridorama.
Logan hosts Man on Thursday, Aug. 25 in the Kickoff Classic at Logan Stadium. Chapmanville travels to Sissonville for its opener.
Both games have 7:30 p.m. kickoff times.
Cardinal Conference Gridorama
August 20 at Scott High School
Chapmanville vs. Winfield, 10 a.m.
Nitro vs. Sissonville, 12:15 p.m.
Herbert Hoover vs. Poca, 2:45 p.m.
Logan vs. Mingo Central, 5 p.m.
Scott vs. Wayne, 7:15 p.m.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).