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Opening Night Has Arrived

August 29, 2008
Joey Kittle

There's no greater joy for an avid high school football fan than opening night.

Every team takes the field with aspirations of making the playoffs or in some cases, have a winning record.

For the next 11 weeks, there will be upsets, blowouts, exciting finishes and different stars shine on cool Friday nights leading up to the final 48 teams that will continue the journey in the playoffs, which ends in early December on the surface of Wheeling Island Stadium.

So don your favorite school's colors, strike up the band, purchase a program and take it all in ... because it starts tonight.

Here are some questions concerning high school football heading into opening night.

n Can Elkins halt a 10-year losing skid against its traditional opening-night opponent East Fairmont?

n Can Buckhannon-Upshur and Philip Barbour, two teams with plenty of offensive weapons, improve enough on defense?

n Can Tygarts Valley find a replacement for running back Keith Currence, who accounted for nearly 70 percent of the Bulldogs' total offense in 2007.

n Can Tucker County, led by talented quarterback Brendan Miller and a strong supporting staff, return to the playoffs first the first time since 2005.

n Can Eddie Vincent continue to turn Lewis County into a program to contend with in the future?

n Can the Potomac Valley Conference have at least three teams in the Class A playoffs once again?

n Can the NCAC have two teams in the Class AAA state semifinals again in 2008?

n Can a Big 10 Conference team advance past the second round of the postseason?

n Can anyone unseat Wheeling Central's four-year run as Class A champions and Parkersburg's two-year reign as Class AAA championships?

n n n

MAYLE?UPDATE:?Speaking of a former Friday night star, Scott Mayle is listed fourth at one receiver spot on the Buffalo Bills' depth chart. The Philip Barbour product saw action in Thursday night's preseason-finale against the Lions. Mayle was on the practice squad last season.



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