Elkins High School football coach Greg Hott and his team will be facing an unfamiliar opponent when they open the season today at Oak Hill.
The Tigers, who finished 9-3 and made the Class AAA state playoffs last season, always opened the season with East Fairmont in the past.
But because of reclassification throughout the state, the Bees dropped to Class AA and had to be replaced on Elkins' schedule with another Class AAA opponent.
"We're excited to be opening up with a new team for a change," Hott said. "We've opened up with East Fairmont since I've been a coach here (25 years) so it's a nice change. I also think the kids are very excited about playing someone different in Week 1."
The Tigers are led by first-team All-State running back Clayton Collett, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season.
Senior running back L.J. Lawrence, along with quarterback Nic Martin will also look to be key players in the Tigers' Single Wing offensive alignment.
"We're going to need our skilled guys to really step up and have a good game," Hott said. "We also need to our offensive line to make their blocking assignments, and also make some holes for our running backs to go through."
Wideouts Sean Cain and Silas Gibson will also look to contribute for the Tigers' offense.
"We need to take care of the football and not make any mistakes," Hott said. "We've had some good practices and some decent scrimmages. I think the kids are finally ready to play games."
Oak Hill, which finished with a 5-5 overall mark last season, is under the direction of first-year coach Eddy Louk.
The Red Devils are led by running backs Dakota Miller and Kadin Goodman.
"Oak Hill has some really good size on them and they have a lot of speed," Hott said. "We're going to have to come ready to play on the defensive side of the ball."