(08/24/2006)
By Gaylen Duskey
realfang@citlink.net

There is something about the start of football season that brings out the prognosticator (usually called guessing) in some of us, like me, for instance.

I really don't care how any teams do except for Calhoun High School, Marshall and Glenville State.

But, for this article I will stick to Calhoun High School. So how will the Red Devils do?

They could go anywhere from 10-0 to 0-10, although the latter scenario would be nearly impossible to obtain.

The first scenario, on the other hand, is possible with an upset or two alone the way.

Calhoun has more talent than seven or eight of the teams it plays and nobody on the Red Devils' schedule has anywhere near the speed of Logan High School, a team that pummeled Calhoun 5-1 (touchdowns) in a scrimmage.

No, the talent level Calhoun will face during much of the 2006 season is closer to that of Paden City, a team the Red Devils blasted 7-1 (touchdowns) in a scrimmage that was not that close.

Let's look at the upcoming season.

1. Gilmer: If Calhoun struggles against the Titans it will be a long, long season.

2. Ritchie: Everyone says Mike Lucas (Ritchie's new coach) will make the Rebels competitive. Yeah, maybe so. But he will not make it some 60 points better than it was last year, and that is about how bad the Red Devils beat the Raiders.

3. Doddridge: Calhoun should pound this team, but, and this is a big "but" - the Bulldogs can be dangerous because they can pass the ball and that has been the one thing that had bothered the Red Devils in their two scrimmage games.

4. Parkersburg Catholic: Calhoun has MORE TALENT (I put that in capital letters so that doubters will know). Calhoun should win the game. The problem recently has been that the Crusaders got the Red Devils to play the game the Crusaders wanted. Calhoun should win but it must not allow PCHS to decide the game that will be played.

5. Williamstown: This will be the toughest game on Calhoun's schedule as far as talent goes. Williamstown will have won something like 100 straight regular season games when the 2006 season starts and there is a reason for that - Williamstown has talent. The Yellowjackets are supposed to be rebuilding this year. But in the past few years Williamstown has not rebuilt, , it has reloaded.

6. South Harrison: A new team in the LKC and a new team on the Red Devils' schedule; Last year South Harrison was a playoff team so it had to have talent. But how much talent returns from that team and how does the competition South Harrison used to face stack up with the LKC.

7. Roane: This is the other team that may have more talent than Calhoun (thought I was going to say St. Marys didn't you?) and the Raiders could be fighting for a Class AA playoff spot then. The Raiders say they want to be a "smash mouth" team this year. Hope so. That's what Calhoun does best. 8. Wirt: The Tigers are supposed to be an up-and-coming team. Hope so, because they have a long to come.

9. Braxton: Did anyone appreciate Calhoun smacking Braxton County around last year as much as I did? It was great even if the fog did keep people from seeing the second half of the game. Braxton was really down last year. It's a huge Class AA school and it has a lot of student-athletes to choose from. But, barring a miracle, the Eagles will face another long season.

10. St. Marys: This was a game that Calhoun should not have lost but when the Red Devils' big stud running back (Paul Goodrich) went out with an injury the Red Devils did not react too well. I thought Calhoun was a better team last year and I feel the same way this year.

So how will the Red Devils do?

If they pull off an upset or two they could go 10-0 or 9-1.

If they win all they should win, they will be 9-1 or 8-2. If they stumble a bit it could be anywhere from 7-3 to 5-5.

Anything worse would be very, very disappointing.

Seven wins should get the Red Devils in the playoffs. Nine would almost guarantee a home playoff game.

There's the quick analysis but they play the game between the lines not in the headlines and footballs do have pointed ends so they take funny bounces.


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