Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Just think of this as a whether (or not) report.
n Should Wheeling have a monopoly on hosting the annual West Virginia high school football championship games?
That’s a valid question.
Particularly in light of the fact that since Wheeling is situated in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle, it isn’t centrally located.
Take the 2018 Super Six, for example, which was played for the 25th consecutive year in Wheeling Island Stadium.
Martinsburg High School traveled 234 miles to play Spring Valley, which traveled 236 miles, in the Class AAA championship game. Then, Bluefield journeyed 284 miles to play Fairmont Senior (95 miles) in the Class AA title game. Finally, in the Class A game, Williamstown traveled only 93 miles to play what amounted to as a “home” game versus Wheeling Central.
That meant the schools traveled a total of 1,884 miles to Wheeling and, then, back home. Bluefield High School traveled the most, totaling 568 miles round-trip.
So, does it come as any surprise that Mercer County officials are pushing to have the Super Six Bowl rotate between Wheeling and Bluefield?
A recent story in The Bluefield Daily Telegraph detailed the efforts to bring the high school football championships to Mercer County.
According to the newspaper, this push is being spearheaded by former state delegate Marty Gearheart. Along with other Mercer County officials, Gearheart met with Secondary School Activities Commission officials last December.
“We prepared a nice presentation,” Gearheart told The Bluefield Daily Telegraph. “We have established ourselves as credible and will be included in the bidding this December.
“We can make our proposal head-and-shoulders better. We are still working on that.”
About 25 members compose Mercer County’s “Super 6 South” committee. In their plan, two of the championship games would be played in Bluefield’s historic Mitchell Stadium. The remaining title game would be in Hunnicutt Stadium in nearby Princeton.
Gearheart believes it is time for a change after 25 years.
He just might be right.
Gearheart envisions a rotation with Super 6 South in Mercer County one year and Super 6 North in Wheeling the next.
It’s an interesting concept considering the state high school football championship games haven’t rotated in at least 40 years. The title games were played in Charleston’s Laidley Field for 15 consecutive years (1979-93). Then, it moved to Wheeling in 1994 and has stayed there.
The reality is it’s going to be very difficult to get the SSAC to move the Super Six from Wheeling.
But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. It probably should. Of course, that is contingent on the Super 6 South committee or any other group beating the package Wheeling offers.
Here’s wishing all the best to Gearheart & Co. in Mercer County’s quest.
But I’m not holding my breath.
n Don’t be surprised if some big name college basketball programs get hit with major NCAA violations in the next couple of months.
At least six Division I men’s programs will receive notices of allegations for Level I violations, according to CBS Sports.
And, yes, it could impact the Big 12. Kansas has been under NCAA investigations along with Arizona and Louisville. Also, Oklahoma State was mentioned during the FBI’s investigation. An Oklahoma State former assistant coach already has pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.
It looks like it’s going to get very ugly.