It’s the third straight season a running back from another school has transferred to Chapmanville Regional High School and has yet again raised another red flag in the world of West Virginia high school athletics, which has been plagued for years by athletes playing for one school and then mysteriously popping up somewhere else.
Two seasons ago, Scott High School’s Jake Robinson joined the Tiger football team.
Last year, Robinson teamed in the Chapmanville backfield with Dustin Botsch, who came over from rival Logan High School for his senior season.
Robinson went on to rush for more than 2,000 yards last season for the Class AA playoff-bound Tigers and was a nominee for the Kennedy Award.
Botsch ran for nearly 1,000 yards and had more than 500 yards receiving last fall.
Alexander comes to Chapmanville from St. Albans were he played just two games this season for the struggling Red Dragons.
Alexander, the son of former WVU and Los Angeles Rams running back Robert Alexander, ran for 700 yards for St. Albans last season as a sophomore but then moved with his family to Florida. The Alexanders then came back to St. Albans, where he was at first thought to be ineligible to play by the Kanawha County Schools, due to the county’s 365-day sit-out rule for transfers. He was given a waiver, however, since he did not play for the Florida school.
Now, Alexander is a Tiger.
With the acquisition of Alexander, Chapmanville’s already deep backfield with Tyler Cox, Dustin Smith and Devin Wiley is that much deeper.
Alexander will most likely help the Tigers but his late arrival to the team has seemed to rankle a lot of state prep football fans.
Chapmanville is off this week and won’t play until Oct. 21 at Tolsia, so that will at least give Alexander an extra week to learn the Tiger playbook and system.
“I don’t know much about him as a player,” Barker said. “If they say he’s eligible he’ll get just as many looks as anyone on the team. Coming in late in the season and learning the system it will be hard for him to contribute a whole lot. The off week will help a little bit but I guess time will tell what he gets to do and we’ll wait and see how everything falls into place. He attended practice on Monday but they’re still working on all of the particulars on him. It’s just one of those situations where the school has to declare him eligible. Once they do that it will be fine.”
Alexander’s transfer has been fodder on the high school football Internet message boards.
Alexander reportedly was unhappy with a lack of playing time at St. Albans which prompted the move.
Some are crying foul, saying this is a transfer for athletic purposes only, which violates WVSSAC rules.
Many are also questioning the transfer at Week 7 of the season and wondering how Alexander’s addition to the roster will affect the team’s chemistry.
When asked to respond to the critics, Coach Barker said this: “I don’t know. You tell me why they (the transfers) are here. I think we do things right. We’re in the weight room and we’re doing a Bible verse of the week. We’re working together and you see those kinds of things going on. We have family written on our shirts. We try to treat players right. If that’s what you call recruiting, that’s what you do. We are what we are. I don’t like our present situation with all of that stuff but it happens. A player comes to our school and they should have the same rights.”
The Tigers have all but wrapped up their fifth straight trip to the Class AA playoffs.
Chapmanville has also clinched its sixth winning season in a row dating back to 2006.
CRHS has two first-round playoff wins under its belt (2007, 2010) but have never made it past the Class AA quarterfinals in school history.
The two playoff wins are the only two post-season victories in Chapmanville football history.