The chase begins today as three Kanawha Valley teams start gunning for more championship hardware as the season kicks off around the state.
George Washington is the reigning Class AAA boys state titlist while Winfield captured the second of back-to-back championships in AAA girls. Sissonville won its first championship since 2002 last season in AA-A girls while PikeView took the AA-A boys crown.
George Washington (AAA girls) and Charleston Catholic (AA-A boys) and Winfield (AAA boys) are also looking to get back to the state tournament after losing in the semifinals in their respective divisions.
GW’s boys open at Riverside and the Winfield girls host Brooke today while Sissonville’s girls visit Mingo Central on Saturday.
There are new coaches at Capital (boys and girls), Hurricane (boys) and Sissonville (boys). At GW, longtime boys coach Tom Hopper is taking a leave of absence and will miss the season.
Some of the Valley’s top returning goal scorers include Charleston Catholic’s Joey Trupo, who tied for first with 33 scores in 2013, and Hurricane’s Loran Meadows (26) for the boys.
On the girls side, Charleston Catholic’s Caroline Dundervill tallied a high of 41, but Sissonville’s Madison Jones (40) and Karlie Pinkerton (38) weren’t too far off the pace.
Winfield senior Jayne Lawman, who enters the season with 74 career goals, has a chance to break 100 for her four-year prep career. Jones, who is just a junior but already has 68 career goals, could also surpass the century mark with another big season.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.