High school football kicks off this Friday for both county teams.
A top ten showdown will be featured at New Richmond as pre-season No. 8 Mingo Central visits No. 9 Wyoming East.
Both teams made the playoffs last season and were eliminated in the first round.
East leads the series, 2-1, having won the last two games by a combined four points.
The Warriors won last year’s game, 27-26, after stopping a Central two-point try late in the game.
Three-year starter Aaron Griffith will guide the WEHS offense.
Casey Saunders, an all-stater on defense last year, is back and so is defensive standout Jonathan Culicerto, who has bounced back after suffering an injury late last season.
The Warrior varsity played Greenbrier West to a 0-0 tie in its only scrimmage.
Westside also has its eyes on the playoffs thanks to quarterback Justin Cogar and a talented group of receivers.
The Renegades, who were 5-5 last year, also return most of last year’s defense.
WHS visits Liberty, a 4-6 team last season.
Westside dominated Shady Spring in a pre-season scrimmage.
Last Friday’s grid-o-rama at Wyoming East, in which both county teams were slated to participate, was cancelled due to field conditions and the possibility of flooding.
The Warriors and Renegades will meet in the Battle for the Coal Shovel on Sept. 5 at Clear Fork.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.