The OVAC All-Star game, which marks the beginning of the 2012 football season, is set for 7:15 p.m., July 29, at Wheeling Island Stadium.
The game will herald the first season under new WVSSAC school classifications, which put all Wetzel County high schools in the same Class-A.
It also marks the end of most high school players' careers, who will not go to the next level.
The Magnolia Blue Eagles will send two players to the game, while Paden City will contribute the top conference rusher, Taylor Still, to churn out yardage for the Mountaineer team.
Still rushed for 1,624 yards and scored 20 touchdowns for the Wildcats in 2011.
Also in the West Virginia backfield will be Magnolia's all-time leading rusher, Jayson Keller, who ended his career with 2,527 yards and 37 TDs in two full seasons with the school.
In addition, Bentley Knight will join the team to open some holes for Still and Keller to run through. He also should see some time at the punter and kicker slots.
However, as I mentioned in a previous column, there were some teams that didn't have a selection. Hundred, Valley, Tyler Consolidated, and River high schools were left without representation, while big schools and schools of the OVAC All-Star coaches had multiple selections.
You can't tell me that the selectors couldn't find at least qualified player from each of those schools. Shame, shame.
With the All-Star game will be the McDonald's All-American Marching Band, the Queen of Queens pageant, and the cheerleading squads will share the spotlight with football players.
When the 2012 season opens, a lot of story lines will emerge.
One is, "Can the Blue Eagles run away with the West Virginia Class-A football championship?" Or will it be Wheeling Central and Williamstown that continue to be the team to beat?
The 2012 season officially opens Aug. 24 when the Valley Lumberjacks visit Weirton Madonna, while the Wildcats will travel to Clay-Battelle. Hundred will host Montcalm and River will entertain Fort Frye. All games are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start. A day later, Aug. 25, Magnolia meets The Linsly School on Wheeling Island, also for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff time.
I cancelled the Wetzel Chronicle Zebra's Relay For Life Softball Tournament that was to be rescheduled for Aug. 3-5. We had a nice four-year run where we raised over $5,000.
I'm not sure if we will have the tournament next year, but if we can get a good response we will try to keep this tournament going.
On a personal note, I'm sitting at my desk watching many vehicles turn right on red at the traffic light heading into and out of Wal-Mart.
I have seen many cars and trucks get hit and I hate to see it happen, so if you turn right on red, please quit. There is a sign saying "No Turn On Red".
In addition, I see countless young boys and girls riding their bikes without a helmet.
It's still the law that our young kids must wear a helmet. Parents, make sure your child doesn't leave home without one on their head.
With all these cars turning right on red and not stopping at red lights, I hope and pray that your kids have a helmet on.
You don't know what automobile drivers see and don't see. Just saying, if I can help stop an accident, that's all the thanks I need.
I would like to give Magnolia Head Girls' Basketball Coach Dave Chapman's dad, Bill, a get well wish. He is just getting over open heart surgery.
I send prayers his way for a healthy and fast recovery. He is a thoughtful man who loves his granddaughters, as well as Lady Eagle basketball and softball as much as this reporter does.
Bill, good luck on your rehab. I can't wait to see you and your lovely wife rooting the Eagles on to victory. . . except when they play the Lady Wildcats in basketball. :)
Soon kids will be trying out for football, soccer, volleyball, cross country, and golf. But, before they do, they all must have a physical before they are permitted to participate.
So parents, start making plans to get those physicals, ASAP. Don't wait and have a coach get upset that your child didn't get it done.
One final thought. I felt really sad when the Magnolia Blue Eagles Press Box crumbled to the ground. It wasn't just because we had lost a building that was second to none in the Ohio Valley, but I thought of all the guys that gave their time and energy to build it.
I feel bad for them. They put in hours and hours just to get it built in time for last season.
I don't know yet what they plan on doing to get ready for this season, but I do know that if you are a fan of Magnolia football and you see people working on the press box, please stop and give them a hand. Donate your time. And if you don't have the time or skill to help build, find out what you can do to help.
With all this disaster stuff hitting people in Wetzel County, we must realize that our time on earth can be gone in a flash and help people in need. What better way to give back that pitching in when and wherever we can.
In conclusion, make sure your son or daughter knows to keep well hydrated with water or a Gatorade-like drink.