WHEELING - Two weeks into the prep football season and the cream has already started rising to the top. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the St. Clairsville Red Devils.
If I've said the words ''they lost a lot to graduation'' once, I've said it a thousand times, and the Red Devils certainly fit that category. But with Matt Kinnick taking over at QB for his departed brother, Zach, the train has continued rolling to the tune of 41 points per game.
Is there a team in the area with more talent? Jaylon Brown? Jerrid Marhefka? Michael Ferns? I mean, if these guys are putting up video game-type numbers with Dan Monteroso still healing, what are things going to look like when he gets back?
Outside of Steubenville, which continues to be in a class of its own, you have to think St. Clairsville has as good a shot as any to make a deep playoff run on the Ohio side of the river.
Here are some other early storylines:
''I'm glad you at least called to check into this,'' Duckworth said. ''I had someone ask me if (the meeting) happened, and I didn't know what they were talking about.
''In W.Va., coaches are protected by the same laws as teachers. You pretty much would have to commit a felony.''
This much is certain, though - things are really spiraling out of control quickly. The Monarchs have been beaten by a combined 88-14 in the first two weeks, and are 5-27 during Wilson's tenure.
It's time for the school board to put its support behind Tom Bruney, or both parties need to agree to go in another direction. The current atmosphere isn't good for anyone involved.
A couple more and Mike Young and crew will wrap up the Buckeye 8 championship.
It was hard to picture initially, but the Golden Bears have found a replacement at running back for Chance Rowland, who ran for more than 4,000 yards in his career. His name is Lucas McDowell, and all he did was rush for 231 yards and four scores on five carries Friday night, in a 69-6 pasting of Frontier.
Unfortunately, Chris Daugherty's crew is suffering from a couple pretty difficult issues. First, Park hasn't had much success in the last couple of seasons and is still trying to figure out how to win.
Secondly, the Patriots are awfully small. Much like last season, bigger, stronger teams are hanging around until the fourth quarter and simply wearing Park down.
Does the Phone Work?
Subscribers and general observers have no doubt noticed that, at times, we've had fewer game reports in our Saturday morning section. Well, I'm here to tell you that's certainly not of the newspaper's doing.
For whatever reason, schools/coaches/whatever, are simply dropping the ball when it comes to reporting scores. Sure, that hurts the paper and its readers, but the real losers here are the children at the various schools.
Sorry, but in a day and age when everyone, even those as young as 10 have cell phones glued to their hip, not taking the time to call in the stats for a game - win or lose, home or away - is inexcusable.
Take Friday night for example, when such stalwarts as Magnolia, Beallsville, Bishop Donahue and Wheeling Park didn't report contests. This isn't the first rodeo, and it's time to step up your respective games.
Mount Union Hall of Fame
Former Wheeling Central track and field standout Heather O'Shea is one of three athletes set for a Sept. 24 induction in the Mount Union Hall of Fame.
A 1995 graduate, O'Shea is one of the most-decorated athletes in Purple Raiders history. She won 17 Ohio Athletic Conference (nine indoor, eight outdoor) titles and was a two-time OAC Most Outstanding Indoor Athlete (1994, 1995) and 1995 OAC Outstanding Outdoor Athlete.
A six-time All-American, O'Shea was a two-time NCAA champion in the 800 meters and part of the 1995 national champion 1,600-meter relay team. She held seven Mount Union track and field records, with six of those still standing.
An Academic All-American, she was awarded the OAC's Clyde Lamb Award in 1995 as the conference's top female student-athlete and an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net