CHAPMANVILLE - Since becoming the head coach of the Chapmanville Regional High School basketball team, Brad Napier has not shied away from playing tough competition.
If you thought the Tigers' 2018-19 season had a tough schedule you should see Chapmanville's 2019-20 slate.
It's even tougher, if you can imagine that.
Chapmanville, coming off a 26-2 season and winning its second straight Class AA state championship, will have an ambitious schedule next season to say the least.
The highlight to the season is a three-day showcase, which will be held at Chapmanville's Danny Godby Gymnasium over Christmas break, December 19-21.
The tournament, dubbed the Country Roads Classic, has an eclectic mix of local teams, other squads from around the region such as Charleston Catholic, powerhouses from surrounding states and even an international team from Canada.
"We are hosting the first ever Country Roads Classic. It's put on by Phenom Hoops and it will be here in Chapmanville," Napier said. "We have teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Canada coming. It's a three-day event on Thursday, Friday and Saturday the weekend before Christmas. There will be a couple of top 20 teams in the country and there will be some very elite major talent coming here. We will also have some local teams in the mix with Wyoming East, Man, Nitro, Tug Valley, Charleston Catholic and Tolsia."
Napier said the tournament pairings have yet to be finalized.
"We haven't really set up the matchups for sure just yet," he said.
Chapmanville will still host its traditional four-team Bob Runyon Memorial Holiday Tournament, but that has been moved to after Christmas.
Last year, the Tigers defeated Fairmont Senior, 49-46, in a rematch of the 2018 Class AA state championship game. Then later in March, Chapmanville beat the Polar Bears again in the state finals, 60-46, handing Fairmont Senior a third defeat over the last two seasons.
So that's two big weekends of basketball in Chapmanville during the holiday season.
Napier said Pittsburgh Woodland Hills High School, Pennsylvania, will be one of the four Bob Runyon teams, joining Chapmanville and Mount View. A fourth team is still needed to complete the field.
"The Bob Runyon Tournament will be held the week after Christmas," Napier said. "So we'll have two weekends in a row that we will have big time talent in here. Right now, we have three of the four teams finalized. We have a team out of Pittsburgh coming to that, Woodland Hills, which is one of the top teams in their area. We also have Mount View and us. We still have to find a fourth team. There have been a couple of schools who have talked to us about coming and we're waiting to see which one we think will work out the best for us."
For the fourth straight season, Chapmanville will also play in an out-of-state tournament as the Tigers are set to open the 2019-20 campaign in a showcase tournament in South Carolina.
"Our schedule is pretty much set," Napier said. "We're going to a lot of showcases. We start out the season in the second week of December we are going to Rock Hill, South Carolina for a big showcase there."
Last season, the Tigers played in a tournament in Orlando, Florida, over Christmas break. Two seasons ago, CRHS played in a holiday tourney in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Three seasons ago, Chapmanville played over Christmas break in Daytona Beach, Florida.
THE STREAKS ARE STILL ALIVE: The Tigers will have two streaks that will still be alive next December when the new season tips off.
Chapmanville will have winning streaks of 48 against in-state competition dating back to 2017, and of 15 games in a row overall.
Counting the 27-1 state championship season in 2017-18, Chapmanville is 53-3 over the last two years, a 94.6 percent winning clip.
LITTLE TIGERS CAMP: More than 70 area boys and girls turned out for this week's Little Tigers Basketball Camp at Chapmanville.
The three-day camp began on Wednesday and dribbled on into Thursday and Friday.
Campers were divided into three groups by age. One group had its camp at Chapmanville Regional High School's Danny Godby Gymnasium. Other groups were at the next door auxilary gym and grade school gym.
"We split it up by age groups and it's pretty much even," Napier said. "We have a good number of kids out again this year and we're having a good time. We had several sign up on Wednesday morning and we had 70 pre-register, so we've got more than that I'm sure."
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.