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Wildcats’ schedule alters after Van cancels

By Staff | Jul 1, 2009

Paden City’s football schedule should have been set in stone by now, but now they aren’t sure of what team they will be playing to start the season.

Van High School, out of Boone County, W.Va., has been a familiar opponent for the Wildcats on and off through the years. Because of small numbers trying out for the team, officials have decided to cancel the upcoming football season.

They faced a similar problem last year, but were able to start the season with fewer than 20 players. By the end of the year they barely had enough to field a team and finished with a 3-6 record.

One of those losses came at the hands of the Wildcats with an 8-0 setback in Paden City last year.

Van’s athletic director, Eddie Hendricks, said more than a dozen students attended a meeting last Monday and was confident that at least 11 will be available, but eligibility issues remained with up to four others. Academics and graduated alumni were a plague to this year’s potential team as there may not have been enough students to fill the void of lost talent from last year.

A decision was supposed to be made last Wednesday, June 24, about the season. The decision came early on the morning of Tuesday, June 30.

Paden City has kept a keen eye on the situation and has been looking at various options just in case the Bulldogs would decide to cancel their season.

The Wildcats’ Head Coach Brent Croasmun said he had not heard anything from Van as of Monday, but had a few ideas if the Bulldogs decided to cancel.

Already there are two strong possibilities that would give the Wildcats a 10th game.

One of them is playing Williamson High School of Mingo County during the first week. The Wolfpack are in a similar situation as they were scheduled to play Van on Sept. 25. If Paden City and Williamson play, it would be during the first week and the Wolfpack would use the weekend they were to play the Bulldogs as an open week.

Another option would be playing Hannan High School, another team Van had scheduled, but in order for that to happen, Paden City would need some cooperation from Weirton Madonna.

Hannan was scheduled to host Van during the second week while Weirton Madonna is slated to host Paden City. With Van now out of the picture, it leaves the possibility for Paden City and Madonna to bump their game up a week as the Blue Dons have it open. That would allow the Wildcats to schedule Hannan a week later.

“I know Williamson has talked to us,” said Croasmun. “Whether or not Hannan has a backup plan to play somebody else, I don’t know.”

Croasmun also mentioned that the Mason County school is a team they’ve tried to schedule in years past. Hannan currently has Valley (Wetzel) scheduled for the first game of the season.

As if that wasn’t confusing enough, Matewan and Montcalm High School are other possible options. Both schools are open for the first weekend. Matewan currently has nine games scheduled while Montcalm had 10 games, but one of them being with Van.

While the latter two schools aren’t nearly as strong an option as Williamson or Hannan, nothing is set in stone and it will still take some time to figure out.

Any indication to the site of the 10th game will be determined based on the potential opponent’s schedule, but Croasmun did mention that he would like to keep the five home, five away format.