MAN — The Man High School football team has never shied away from playing up a class.
Even in the years the Hillbillies have competed at the Single-A school, Man often plays 2A or even 3A teams.
This fall is no exception as Class A Man is scheduled to square off with six Double-A teams and four very good Single-A squads.
There will be no gimmies and no cupcakes.
“We have six Double-A teams and four Single-A,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “With those Single-A teams all of them would have probably been playoff teams last year if we had a normal season. It’s a good schedule to make points on if you win some games.”
Man’s season opener is slated for August 27 at home against Class AA county rival Logan.
The Billies then host Mount View in Week 2 on Sept. 3 before hitting the road for the first time on Sept. 10 at Class AA Westside.
Man then hosts 2A Mingo Central on Sept. 17 and travels to Class A power Wheeling Central on Sept. 24.
The Billies host Buffalo on Oct. 1 and observe their open week on Oct. 8.
Man then closes out the 2021 season with three away games in the last four weeks. The Billies play at Class AA Independence on Oct. 15, go to 2A Point Pleasant on Oct. 22, host Single-A contender Tug Valley on Oct. 29 and finish up on Nov. 5 at 2A county rival Chapmanville.
The Billies have one preseason scrimmage set against Class AAA George Washington. The second one is being finalized.
With last year’s hectic COVID-19 disrupted season, the Billies went off the grid and played George Washington and Class AA Herbert Hoover last season in games that were not on the original schedule. Man lost both, 34-7 to the Patriots in a Saturday matinee and falling 42-12 to the Huskies on a Tuesday night.
Man finished up with a 4-4 mark in last year’s tough schedule.
The Billies also defeated Class AA James Monroe (26-0) last season, playing another team that was no on the original schedule. Man’s other wins were over Mingo Central (28-24), Logan (44-6) and Buffalo (19-14).
Man did not play county rival Chapmanville last season as the game was canceled.
The Billies finished out last year’s crazy season playing four games in just 10 days.
Several top Man players return this season.
Junior running back Josh Moody, who was injured and missed some action, had 62 carries for 322 yards and a score.
Israel Canterbury, a senior this fall, saw action at the beginning of the season before seeing his season cut short due to injury. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 243 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Jeremiah Harless, a senior, also played QB, and was 25 of 68 in the air for 551 yards with six touchdowns and two picks.
Justin Grimmett, a junior, was Man’s leading receiver with 22 catches for 432 yards and four touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Justin Grimmett had 63 stops and four interceptions.
Harless had 54 tackles and three picks. Jayden Moody, a junior, had 32 tackles and an interception. Xander Mullins finished with 37 tackles. Chris Isaacs had 23 stops and a pick.
Man loses eight seniors due to graduation from last year’s team, including Nick Plumley, Erick Grimmett, Kenny Greene and Cam Frye.
“Those four — Canterbury, Harless and the two Moodys are coming back. Jayden Moody came on for us really strong last year,” Arms said. “We have one of our linemen back in Xander Mullins. Justin Grimmett is also coming back and he had a real good season last year for us as a receiver and a linebacker.”
Man heads into the 2021 preseason camp with holes to fill on both the offensive and defensive lines.
“Our biggest concern right now is our line. We graduated all five of our starting linemen last year,” Arms said. “We’ll have to put in a lot of time in getting our offensive line ready.”
Man is currently conditioning in its three-week summer practice period. Regular preseason practices are set to get under way on Aug. 2.
2021 Man High School Football Schedule:
Aug. 27: Logan, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 3: Mount View, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 10: at Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 17: Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 24: at Wheeling Central, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 1: Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 8: OPEN DATE
Oct. 15: at Independence, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 22: at Point Pleasant, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 29: Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 5: at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.