Thursday, November 29, 2007

AA Football State Championship Preview

AA Football State Championship Preview
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007 ; 09:50 AM
Updated Thursday, November 29, 2007 ; 10:13 AM

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It's two days and counting until the big high school football state championship game between Bluefield and James Monroe
Story by Mike Levin

This Friday night, James Monroe Football will make their first appearance in the state title game. It's been an exciting season for the Mavs, who are proud of what they've already accomplished. "The playoffs is an exciting time period. When you're playing football in November, that means you've accomplished a lot of great things just to get in the playoffs," said Mavericks coach David Witt.

Last week, James Monroe earned their spot in the championship by winning inside the belly of the beast: at Wayne. It was the first victory in three straight trips to the AA Final Four for the Mavs.

"We always felt like we could do it and it was relieving that we finally did. So it was real exciting. Everybody was real happy and proud of us," said senior running back Ernie Tincher.

Standing in their way of their first football title: Bluefield.

The Beavers have won eight state championships since 1959, and a win this Friday night would be their second in the last four years. Bluefield beat James Monroe earlier this year, which was the Mavs only loss. But the Beavers know this is a brand new game.

"It's against the same team, totally different atmosphere, but the intensity is going to be a little higher," said senior Aaron Bowes"

Bluefield is undefeated this year, and are the top ranked AA team in the state. But Beaver head coach Fred Simon says you can throw records out the window on Friday.

"That has nothing to do with what's going on now. Whoever wins this game actually finishes number one, and that's where the focus has to be," he said.

While winning a title is what each team wants to do, both the Beavers and Mavs are proud to also be representing the region.

"I think it's a great statement from the southern part of the state about football," said Bowes. "It's about time some southern teams go up there and duke it out in Wheeling," adds Tincher.

And Coach Simon agrees: "Two teams so close by playing for the state championship, a lot of pride. A lot of pride in the area."

Unlike the last time these teams squared off, at Mitchell Stadium, Friday's game will be played about four hours north in Wheeling. It's not often that two teams from southern West Virginia have met in the state title game, this being just the fourth time in 50 years. But this Friday night both Bluefield and James Monroe will play their best to try and get the win

WOWK-TV – News for Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia


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