CHAPMANVILLE — Several Chapmanville Regional High School football players will be shifting into starting roles for the first time as the Tigers head to Sissonville to take on the Indians on Friday night in the 2016 regular season opener.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Sissonville High School’s Joe Sawyers Field.
Chapmanville was 7-4 last year and advanced to the Class AA playoffs where the Tigers lost 42-14 at home to Robert C. Byrd. Sissonville is coming off a 5-5 grid campaign.
Chapmanville was hit hard by graduation with the losses of such players as quarterback Alex Berry (2,345 passing yards, 31 TDs), record-breaking wideout Jacob Dingess, running back/linebacker/kicker Tanner Dillon (997 rushing yards, 13 TDs), linemen Ricky Combs and Andy Bias and almost a dozen other players.
With the graduation of three-year starter Berry at QB the Tigers will turn to junior Adam Vance.
Vance has some experience under center for the Tigers. He was Chapmanville’s JV quarterback last year and saw some limited varsity action, including a TD pass in the Man game.
The game will also be the debut for new CRHS head coach Rob Dial, who is putting on the headsets for the first time after longtime coach George Barker stepped down.
“There’s going to be a lot of guys who will be starting for us for the first time in different positions,” Dial said. “All of those guys have to realize the difference between practice speed and game speed. Some of our guys saw that in our scrimmage against Winfield. The tempo and the game pace changes. No matter what we do in practice as coaches and telling them to go hard it’s different on Friday night. There will be thousands of fans in the stands and excitement and it changes things for our players and both teams. Whenever you have new guys starting there’s going to be an adjustment phase. So we need to get through that adjustment phase as quickly as we can, settle down and play our style of football.”
Dial said his team is ready to go and reports no major injuries going into the opener.
“We are in great shape injury-wise we have no injuries to my knowledge,” Dial said. “We have a lot that we need to work on. We have a lot to work on with the game plan with Sissonville and to get ourselves a little bit better. We’re looking forward to a good opening game on Friday night.”
Counting Friday night’s Chapmanville at Sissonville game, two other Cardinal Conference games will be on tap.
The Nitro Wildcats, a former Class AAA school, makes their league debut with a game at Poca.
Herbert Hoover plays at Scott in the other conference clash.
Logan, another new league member, hosted Man on Thursday night in a non-conference game and rolled over the Hillbillies 48-13 in the Coalfield Kickoff Classic at Logan Stadium.
Logan senior wide receiver Braxton Goff scored four touchdowns in his high school football debut.
Look for full coverage on the game in Sunday’s Logan Banner print edition.
Three other non-conference games are set for Friday night: Mingo Central at Wyoming East; Wayne at Tolsia; and Hurricane at Winfield.
Winfield is also joining the 10-team league this fall.
Tolsia, last year’s Cardinal champs, have dropped down to Class A ball this fall.
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Chapmanville 0-0 0-0 0 0
Logan 0-0 0-0 0 0
Mingo Central 0-0 0-0 0 0
Scott 0-0 0-0 0 0
Wayne 0-0 0-0 0 0
Team CONF ALL PF PA
Herbert Hoover 0-0 0-0 0 0
Nitro 0-0 0-0 0 0
Poca 0-0 0-0 0 0
Sissonville 0-0 0-0 0 0
Winfield 0-0 0-0 0 0
Week One Cardinal Conference Schedule:
Thursday, August 25
Man at Logan, late
Friday, August 26
*Chapmanville at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.
Mingo Central at Wyoming East, 7:30 p.m.
*Herbert Hoover at Scott, 7:30 p.m.
Wayne at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
*Nitro at Poca, 7:30 p.m.
Hurricane at Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
* Cardinal Conference game
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).