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RINE: Whg. Central, Magnolia Are Class A’s Elite

September 4, 2012
By SHAWN RINE - Sports Editor ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Is it too early to call off the rest of the West Virginia Class A season and just play the championship right now between Magnolia and Wheeling Central? I don't see anyone else capable of winning the thing at this juncture.

Perhaps then, we'll get a preview of what's to come when the two teams lock horns in three weeks in New Martinsville.

Who could be some of the other contenders? Well, Madonna and Williamstown will be around to be sure. But the facts are this: those two clubs have already been beaten by Central and Magnolia, respectively.

It's difficult to fathom that we could be talking about the Maroon Knights in this context after they lost QB Parker Henry. But that's what Wheeling Central does - it finds a way. There's too much pride in that locker room, both as players and coaches.

The Blue Eagles may have the best wide receiver in the state in Stephen Rogalski. Nobody, certainly not in Class A, has an answer for the senior standout who not only won The Intelligencer's Sophomore of the Year two years ago, but has been an all-state receiver twice in his career. Quarterback Tanner Hanna knows where Rogalski is at all times as the stats - 21 catches, 315 yards, one touchdown - will attest.

The Blue Eagles are a couple extra points from 2-0.

Big Battles

A couple battles of the unbeaten that will not only have OVAC but also state implications, are set to unfold in New Manchester and Morgantown. Coach Ian Whittingon has Oak Glen rolling as it prepares to welcome Andrew Connor and Indian Creek to the brand-new turf.

Meanwhile in Touchdown City, Coach John Bowers' Mohigans entertain Jon Bolen's South Patriots. Morgantown earned a pair of victories last season against the Patriots.

They're Better

Hopefully people in Marshall County realize what they're watching with Rick Goodrich at John Marshall. These days nobody wants to have patience - instant gratification, all the time - but they need to with the Monarchs.

I said when the job was posted it wasn't even a 1- or 2-year fix, but probably closer to three. Goodrich is known for his weight programs and kids don't suddenly get stronger in a couple months. Wait until this year's sophomores are seniors.

Until then, watch the improvement in front of your eyes. It's already evident even if it doesn't show up on the scoreboard.

What I Think

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