WHEELING - The first weekend in December in Wheeling means it's Super Six time, and we couldn't be more pleased to serve as your host for the 18th consecutive season. Wow. What a weekend of football we have planned for you, our guests.
You know, some have said this has the potential to be the very best, most-competitive set of three games since the state football championships arrived in Wheeling all the way back in 1994. I'm inclined to believe that is exactly what's going to take place and we're expecting huge crowds.
This Super Six has everything you could ask for:
So without further adieu, here are my picks for this weekend and a small explanation of why for all three games.
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
No. 6 Wayne (11-2) vs.
No. 1 Point Pleasant (13-0)
We'll do this in order and start with the game that features the third-most experienced team in the Super Six field, Wayne (1-4 previously) against the only one that has not previously appeared, Point Pleasant. The teams met back in Week 6 and it was a dandy, with a late goal-line stand helping the unbeaten Big Blacks prevail.
But that was a long time ago, as both Wayne coach Tommy Harmon and Point Pleasant counterpart Dave Darst will attest. This isn't the time to have nerves, and I think that may be an issue for the newcomers. We've seen it time and again on this stage, where a team making its debut finds itself in a big hole before it gets its collective feet settled on the ground.
We're going with experience, and with the 'Wayne-T' offense.
PREDICTION: Wayne 27, Point Pleasant 21.
No. 3 Geo. Wash. (13-0) vs.
No. 1 Martinsburg (13-0)
You couldn't really ask for more than this one. Defending champion Martinsburg, which has won 27 games in a row, against a George Washington team that is making its second appearance in Wheeling, and features what figures to be the runaway selection for this season's Kennedy Award, junior running back Ryan Switzer.
When Bulldogs coach Dave Walker (1-4 previously) says Switzer is his team's biggest challenge yet, you believe him. Because Martinsburg has played some of the best competition the state of Virginia has to offer.
But this is still high school football in West Virginia, where one exceptional player can for all intents and purposes win a game by himself.
So I'll go with the team that has the best player.
PREDICTION: George Washington 21, Martinsburg 20.
Saturday, 7 p.m.
No. 3 Williamstown (13-0) vs. No. 1 Whg. Central (12-1)
No strangers to one another, these teams played in three title games in a row from 2005-2007, with Wheeling Central winning each time.
This game comes down to who can stop whom. The Yellowjackets will be big and imposing along the front lines, something that has given the Maroon Knights issues this season.
With that being said, Williamstown has to find a way to do something not many have - stop the Wheeling Central spin series. Given the choice, I say the Maroon Knights are more likely to come up with a couple stands, than are the Yellowjackets.
PREDICTION: Whg. Central 30, Williamstown 20.
Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net