You may have read where West Virginia has added long-time rival Virginia Tech to its football schedule for 2017. The game against the Hokies will be played at Fed Ex Stadium in Washington, D.C.
VaTech is now in the ACC, but previously played in the Big East with WVU. Future games are being worked out to renew the rivalry.
In past years, other than Pitt and the annual Backyard Brawl, VaTech was probably WVU’s biggest football rival on an annual basis.
My sources also say that the Mountaineers may add Tennessee to a future schedule. Of course they play in the heralded Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Personally I would like to see WVU play Kentucky in both football and basketball. Since we live along the border, local fans would love this rivalry.
As many of you know WVU opens up this season with powerful Alabama. With these strong out of conference games and playing in the Big 12, the Mountaineers always have one of the toughest schedules in the country.
In fact, a story on ESPN’s website a couple of days ago said that WVU has the 7th toughest schedule in the country this season.
… Several players from both WVU and Marshall have been named to various watch lists for post season honors.
Herd quarterback Rakeem Cato will be in the limelight this season. He is a Heisman Trophy candidate, as well as being on the Davey O’Brien watch list.
NFL scouts will definitely be at a few Marshall games this fall to check out the senior from Florida.
Many preseason magazines and websites have said Cato will be the Player of the Year in Conference USA.
… Arkell Bruce, a former Rob Fulford assistant at Huntington Prep, will take over that program as the new head coach. Fulford recently left to become an assistant at Missouri. Bruce was with Fulford since they were at Mountain State Academy in Beckley. Huntington Prep is where the NBA’s number one draft pick this season, Andrew Wiggins, played for two seasons.
The school will return several Division One recruits this season. H-Prep played a game at Mingo Central last season and there is a strong chance they will be up on the mountain again this season.
… A former Point Pleasant and Parkersburg High all-state running back, Allan Wasonga, was found dead at his apartment Monday morning in Pt. Pleasant.
Wasonga, a 2011 graduate of Parkersburg, totaled 3,248 yards and 40 touchdowns during his career with the Big Reds. He put together 1,945 yards and 23 touchdowns in 11 games during his sophomore season at Pt. Pleasant before transferring to Parkersburg.
Wasonga joined Marshall’s football program as a preferred walk-on, but his tenure was brief with the Herd. He later faced issues that included assault and drug-related charges. Details weren’t released on Wasonga’s cause of death.
.. A former star quarterback for Martinsburg High School has filed a complaint alleging a correctional officer assaulted him at the Eastern Regional Jail.
Justin “Cookie” Clinton is being held at the jail on breaking and entering, grand larceny and other charges. Reports from the AP say that the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority is investigating the 19-year-old Clinton’s complaint. He alleges that a correctional officer grabbed and injured his arm. Clinton led Martinsburg High to a state championship in 2012.
… And finally, a note to local coaches, statisticians and those who call the sports department here at the Williamson Daily News - we recently installed a new phone system at the office, so the extension numbers have changed. My extension is now 2277. I will continue to list it in the contact info at the end of my columns and stories.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or Twitter @KyleLovern)