The 2016 high school football season is winding down. If you are not among the top 16 in each class, it is onto basketball, wrestling or whatever you choose. It looks as though the only local team with at least a remote shot of getting in is the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights. Except for a slight letup or two, the Knights have played up to expectation this year and have been successful. Hopefully, Friday night they will put it all on the line, dig deep inside themselves and show the rest of the state what Knights football is all about.
Can they do it? We all know they can! They are a hard-working squad that all of Tyler County can be proud of. Win or lose this is a special group of kids that will provide much more excitement for years to come.
To make things even look brighter for the future, the TYCON KNIGHTS 5/6 graders are extra special as they went undefeated this year and won the LKC Championship.
By the looks of the talent returning and those coming up, Coach Ryan Walton will probably want to stay around for a while. Hopefully so, he does a tremendous job keeping the kids motivated and is just a plain old hard-working coach. He reminds me of some of the long ago coaches who got the best out of everyone. In any case lets all go to Friday’s game and help the Knights bring home the win. I am still calling for an upset.
Looking at some stats for the season Tyler Anderson and Jace Reed, the two main ball toters for the Knights, are both having banner years. Between the two, they have combined for 254 carries, 1,600 yards, 14 TDs each and eight conversion runs. Both players have 110 points on the season. Reed has 13 rushing and four receiving TDs while Anderson has six rushing, eight receiving and three six-pointers on special teams. Add in 24 points from Mark Rucker and 23 from Griffin Phillips who by the way are just freshman and sophomore players , respectively, and you can see why the Knights have a potent offense.
The defense is special as well with 10 sacks on the year and 21 tackles for a loss. The defense also has intercepted 12 passes with Anderson getting seven of those. The alert defense has come up with 17 fumble recoveries with Wesley Watson and Trent Smith accounting for 10 of those. Anderson leads the team in solo tackles with 30 while teammate Brandon Keys has 23 and 25 assists. Look out Blue Devils here they come fired up and ready to play. The Knights will be the underdog but anything can happen and usually does on a given night. Whatever the outcome the Silver Knights can hold their heads high and say we gave it our all. We are proud of you!
Making things tough on a lot of schools has been the reclassification by the SSAC. Schools like Hundred, Paden City and many more just don’t hardly have enough to field a team let alone be competitive each week. Schools like Ravenswood, Webster County, Summers County and others with high enrollment take away any chance the schools at the bottom of the class may have. Paden City, with one of the smallest enrollments in the state, continues to be ultra successful. Most people come out and support the Cats but you also have those who set back and complain and talk about how much better they were and brag about what they did.
Bashing coaches is not ever the answer either! Schools the size of Paden City just don’t have the kids to compete. They are at a distinct disadvantage. With that being said, the Wildcats have only won two games this year but with a turn of events in a couple games they could easily be 4-5. However , they still have the best record in Wetzel County as all four county teams have only won a total of four games with Paden City claiming two. There will be at least five wins among Wetzel County schools this season as Paden City and Valley play at Pine Grove on Friday. I believe this is a toss up and will pick the Wildcats by two 14-12.
Also, the Wildcats volleyball team ,which only has three seniors, put together another good season this year, winning the Mason Dixon tournament and finishing as runnersup in the OVAC while finishing up at 27-13 entering sectional play. The OVAC has five classes which appears to work well for all teams.
It is a good example for the SSAC to look at. My figures show a format where Class A would have 30 teams from 0-300, Class AA 301-650 with 31 teams, Class AAA 650-1000 with 30 teams and Class AAAA 1001-up with 26 teams. It would work and be much fairer to all.
Also cutting the playoff to eight teams would be one less week of playoff action and provide a four-game campionship weekend. Something should also be done about the private and Catholic schools as they have a major advantage with open enrollment.
Anyway that’s just my thoughts and you can be sure many believe the system we have is the right one. Good luck to all teams this week. Go Knights, Go Wildcats and Go Mountaineers!!!!