CHAPMANVILLE — A break even 5-5 season probably isn’t going to cut it.
Not this year.
Not if you want to make it to the Class AA football playoffs this fall.
Double-A got that much tougher when the WVSSAC tackled its most recent realignment, sending Class AAA power Point Pleasant down to the 2A ranks, along with Logan, Winfield, Nitro, Oak Hill, Shady Spring, Elkins, Lewis County and Lincoln County.
No schools moved up from Class AA to AAA.
Mount View, Ravenswood and Tolsia dropped from Class AA to Class A but that will be a net gain of six Double-A schools this fall.
With the increased numbers and with Point Pleasant likely to grab one of those 16 playoff spots, a 6-4 season will be needed most likely in order to make the 2A playoff field, new Chapmanville coach Rob Dial said.
“With so many teams in Double-A, with a lot of those Triple-A teams dropping down I don’t know if a 5-5 team in Double-A will be able to make it,” Dial said. “At a minimum, I think that you are going to have to win six games. You really have to shoot for seven to make it to the playoffs.”
Chapmanville did just that last year.
The Tiger advanced to the Class AA playoffs last fall with a 7-3 mark, falling 42-14 at home to Robert C. Byrd to close out 7-4 with four straight losses after a 7-0 start.
“For us, if we can somehow get to six or seven wins that’s going to give us an opportunity to make the playoffs,” Dial said. “On the flip side of that, in the Cardinal Conference with the 10 good teams that we have in there, there might be a team in the conference that is 4-6 or 5-5 that is good enough to get into the playoffs and should have been in the playoffs but there schedule didn’t allow it.”
A few 5-5 teams have slipped into the postseason in recent years.
In 2012, Mingo Central was 5-5 and lost at Keyser 61-14 in the opening round of the playoffs.
Logan also advanced to the 2005 playoffs with a .500 mark, falling 66-0 at Weir in the Class AA Round of 16 to close out with a 5-6 record.
Last year, Wayne was 5-5 but did not make the field.
The Pioneers are hoping to be in the playoff field this fall. Mingo Central, Chapmanville, Logan, Winfield, Scott, Sissonville and Herbert Hoover also hope to be in contention for playoff berths.
“In my opinion if you are a team that finishes in the top three in the Cardinal Conference at season’s end you are very well a team that could contend for the state championship,” Dial said. “That’s where our program wants to be — at that level. For us, we’re just looking to get better. We want to go out there and try to compete every Friday night. We want to go out there and compete and give it our full effort.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).