CHAPMANVILLE - The field has been set for the annual Cardinal Conference Grid-O-Rama, set for Saturday, August 24 at Skyhawk Field on the campus of Scott High School in Madison.
The annual preseason event brings all 10 conference football teams together in the final test before the start of the regular season.
Game 1 has Logan taking on host Scott at 9 a.m. in the early morning wake-up call. Poca and Wayne follow at 10:30 a.m. in Game 2, while Nitro and Sissonville play each other in Game 3 at high noon. Chapmanville battles with Herbert Hoover in Game 4 at 1:30 p.m. and the finale at 3 has Mingo Central taking on Winfield.
The schedule was released on Wednesday.
Chapmanville coach Rob Dial said his staff and players look forward to the Grid-O-Rama each season.
"It's a good event," Dial said. "At least it guarantees you a scrimmage. For a lot of teams it's very difficult to find a team to scrimmage with. Traditionally, there's not contracts between teams that scrimmage and unless you can find someone trustworthy that you have good relationships with as coaches you might be left without someone to scrimmage. This eliminates that."
Chapmanville scrimmaged Mingo Central in each of the last two Grid-O-Ramas and played Wayne in 2016.
Two years ago, the Tigers received a blow when then starting quarterback Adam Vance sustained a non-contact injury to his knee, forcing him to sit out the first four games.
Injuries are part of the game but in a preseason game it is most unfortunate. The injury to Vance thrust then sophomore Chase Berry into the starting role for the first part of the 2017 season. Berry is back again this fall for his senior season for the Tigers as a three-year starter under center.
Chapmanville went 5-5 last year, while Logan was 4-6 under first-year coach Jimmy Sheppard.
Dial acknowledges one drawback to the Grid-O-Rama: you have to play a conference team that you'll be facing during the regular season when it is for real.
"A lot of times you don't like to scrimmage teams that you are going to play in the season. I understand that," Dial said. "But you are so close to the beginning of the season you just want to get 20 or 30 plays in with your first group and knock the rust off. You also don't want anyone to get hurt."
After playing in the Grid-O-Rama, Chapmanville won't have much time to prepare for its season opener with Sissonville, which was recently bumped back a day to Thursday, August 29 and moved to Charleston's Laidley Field.
The move was made because Sissonville High School is replacing its natural grass with Field Turf for the 2019 football season and the project is not expected to be complete until Week 2 of the season.
"We will have a very quick turnaround from that Saturday afternoon to the following Thursday evening at Sissonville," Dial said. "That will factor in about how much we play certain guys. That will also factor in to how we scheme offensively and defensively. But we'll go over there and play and get some work in, trying to get out of there healthy and with some positive mojo into our opener at Sissonville."
The Tigers are scheduled to scrimmage another conference team, the Scott Skyhawks, in its preseason opener on August 17 at Chapmanville.
Chapmanville, which has hosted its own Grid-O-Rama in recent years, is looking for a third team to play the Tigers and the Skyhawks.
"The last couple of years we've had a Grid-O-Rama at Chapmanville," Dial said. "One year we had Parkersburg coming down and another year we had Independence and Valley Fayette coming in. This year we had it set up again but about two weeks ago we had one team drop. Back in January another team had dropped. So that just leaves us and Scott right now. I'm looking for a third opponent to come in and scrimmage but with it being at the end of May it's going to be very difficult for us to find one."
CRHS is set to begin its three-week June practice period on June 3.
The Tigers are set to take part in six 7 on 7 scrimmages over the course of those three weeks.
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter at @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cardinal Conference Grid-O-Rama
Saturday, August 24
Skyhawk Field, Scott High School, Madison, W.Va.
Game 1: Logan vs. Scott, 9 a.m.
Game 2: Poca vs. Wayne, 10:30 a.m.
Game 3: Nitro vs. Sissonville, noon
Game 4: Chapmanville vs. Herbert Hoover, 1:30 p.m.
Game 5: Mingo Central vs. Winfield, 3 p.m.