Monday is a big day for the Hillbillies, Wildcats and Tigers.
That's when the Chapmanville, Logan and Man high school football teams are slated to hit the gridiron for the first time this summer in preparations for the upcoming 2019 prep season.
Lots of optimism surrounds all three teams. Man, 6-4 last year and the squad with the best team in the county, returns a bunch of skilled position players, including quarterback Caleb Milton and host of other veteran running backs and wide receivers.
"We're looking forward to the season," Man coach Harvey 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."
Logan, 4-6 last year, enters the season with stability following a rough 2018 off-season in which there was a coaching change only days before the start of practices last August. The Wildcats, unlike last year, are deep along both the offensive and defensive lines.
"We want to be balanced on offense and we hope to have more depth," Sheppard said. "At the end of the season last year we only dressed 26 players. During our three week practice period we had 35 every day. I think that we'll end up with 45 to 50 players. That will give us much more depth, especially with our young players, who are ready to play now. They are all going to help us."
Chapmanville, a break-even 5-5 team last year, returns senior quarterback and three-year starter Chase Berry at quarterback. The Tigers will be looking to shift some new players into key skilled position slots so Chapmanville might be a work in progress, at least for a while.
The Tigers made a coaching switch during the off-season as longtime Defensive Coordinator Bo Berry puts on the headsets to lead the offense. James Barker, Chapmanville's offensive coordinator the last several years, will now be the Defensive Coordinator. Chase Berry is Coach Berry's son.
Chapmanville, coached by Rob Dial, is scheduled to open the season on Thursday, Aug. 29, against Sissonville in a Cardinal Conference game. The contest will be played at Charleston's Laidley Field due to the field turf being installed at Sissonville. It's the first of nine Cardinal Conference games in a row for the Tigers, which close out the season vs. Man.
Sissonville leads 8-5 in the all-time series with Chapmanville which dates back tot 2006. The Indians won 41-13 last year and have taken the last three meetings.
"We felt like we had a good summer," Chapmanville coach Rob Dial said. "It's a jump-start to August and hopefully all of the good work that they put in these last three weeks will pay off once the season begins."
The Tigers had a busy three week practice period in June, competing in 7-on-7s at Marshall, WVU, Concord and West Virginia State and also having a home 7-on-7 which attracted nine teams. CRHS also took part in a two-day camp at West Virginia State where the Tigers were coached by the WVSU staff.
Logan and Man then open the season on Friday, Aug. 30, at Man in the traditional opener for both schools.
It will be the 81st meeting between the two Logan County rivals. Logan won 20-14 last year over the Billies at home. The Cats have won the last three meetings in the series which dates all the way back to 1923. It's one of the state of West Virginia's longest continuous high school football rivalries.
Logan is 15-5 vs. Man over the last 20 years.
Coach Jimmy Sheppard's Wildcats then have their home opener the following week on Sept. 6 against Sissonville, beginning a stretch of nine straight Cardinal Conference games to close out the season.
Paul Adkins is thesports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at email@example.com.