MAN - Depending on how the next round of realignment goes, Man High School could find itself back in the Single-A ranks.
That's just fine with Harvey Arms, if it does happen.
Man High School enjoyed a lot of success as a Single-A school on the gridiron, and really just about all of its sports for that matter, when it last played at the Class A level from 2004-16.
Then in December 2015 came the surprising news.
Man would be moving back up to Double-A beginning the following school year.
Man High School felt it got hosed as it was the only school in the state to move up from Single-A to Double-A.
After the move, that made Man the smallest Double-A school in the entire state in enrollment.
The Billies have gone 5-5, 1-9 and 6-4 as a Class AA school in football, and with a disproportionate 44 teams in Double-A, that made making it to the 16-team playoff field that much more difficult.
The WVSSAC is scheduled to tackle realignment this fall with the alignment and format to be released in December.
The SSAC is reportedly looking at a trial two-year four class basketball format to begin in the 2020-21 season, however, nothing has been mentioned about football, baseball or other sports.
If the current three-class system is kept for football, Arms said he expects Man to return to being a Class A school.
"If the procedure stays the way that it is now I kind of think possibly that we will (be Single-A)," said Arms, who enters his 18th year at Billies' helm this fall. "But they are looking to do this thing in basketball and I don't know if they will do any changes for football or not. They are talking about doing a two-year trial for basketball. They may tweak some things in other sports but I don't know. But if they keep it in pure enrollment the way that it is now I think that we'll be headed toward Single-A."
Even if Man goes back to being a Single-A school, look for the Billies to retain many of their games against Double-A teams such as Logan, Chapmanville, Westside, Wyoming East and River View, teams they have played for years.
"No matter if we are Single-A or Double-A our schedule will not change because we've played these key Double-A teams and that goes back for years," Arms said. "It's been a long time playing them."
In its Single-A run, Man was often able to beat many of those 2A teams and that gave the Billies added points in the WVSSAC's computer ranking system which gives six points for wins over Class A teams, nine for 2A and 12 for 3A.
"That helped us a lot, playing those Double-A teams and playing stronger competition," Arms said.
This year, Man plays Single-A teams Mount View and Tug Valley.
Mount View was a 3A and 2A school for many years before declining enrollment in McDowell County pushed the Golden Knights down to Single-A in the last round of realigment.
Man also has 3A Greenbrier East and 2A teams Lincoln County and Point Pleasant on its schedule this season.
Man could try to add Single-A teams to its schedule in the future but in southern West Virginia there's not many Single-A options.
Boone County teams Van and Sherman, both currently in Class A, are possibilities. Putnam County team Buffalo, a longstanding Class A school, is also an option if Man decides to add more Single-A teams to its schedule. Fayetteville is another possibility.
Man had an impressive run as a Class A school.
The zenith was the 2009 season when the Hillbillies advanced to the Class A state championship game at Wheeling Island Stadium after home playoff wins over Parkersburg Catholic (25-20), Fayetteville (37-26) and Richwood (27-20). Man ended up falling 27-7 to Weirton Madonna in the state championship game, the school's fourth state runner-up finish in its history, and closed out with a 12-2 record.
Man also had Class A playoff berths in 2004, 2005. 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The Billies advanced past the first round in 2005 with a 14-0 win at Hamlin. In 2008, Man was also a first-round playoff winner with a 27-7 victory over Mount Hope.
Man lost to Bishop Donahue and Tug Valley twice in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 playoffs.
The Billies are excited for the upcoming season which begins on August 30 at home against arch rival Logan.
"We're looking forward to the season," Arms said. "We've had players working out in the weight room and running. We're excited about another new season. We're looking forward to getting started."
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Harvey Arms File
Career coaching record at Man High School:
2015: 8-3 (Lost Tug Valley 38-28 in Class A playoffs)
2014: 6-5 (Lost Tug Valley 16-12 in Class A playoffs)
2013: 9-2 (Lost to Bishop Donahue 21-16 in Class A playoffs)
2009: 12-2 (Beat Parkersburg Catholic 25-20, Beat Fayetteville 37-26, Beat Richwood 27-20 in Class A playoffs, Lost to Weirton Madonna 27-7 in Class A state finals)
2008: 8-4 (Beat Mount Hope 27-7, Lost to Williamstown 21-16 in Class A playoffs)
2005: 8-4 (Beat Hamlin 14-0, Lost to Williamstown 26-12 in Class A playoffs)
2004: 6-5 (Lost to Weirton Madonna 47-0 in Class A playoffs)
TOTAL: 93-89, 17 years, 5-7 in the playoffs