There are several good high school football games on the schedule for tonight.
Injuries are always a problem for coaches, especially around the midway point of the season. Players get bumps, bruises and abrasions and some injuries are more serious.
Belfry has a big test as they travel to historic Putnam Stadium in Ashland, Ky. to take on Paul Blazer.
The Pirates (5-1) are rated No. 4 in Class 3A in the Bluegrass State, while Ashland (6-1) is rated No. 6 in 6A in the latest AP poll.
As for injuries on the Belfry roster, reports are that senior tight end Tony Messer has a sore back. He is supposed to play in the game, but he will have to be monitored.
Belfry lost junior Davontae Dari in the first game of the season with a dislocated elbow. He has missed every game since that time, but may be back in action soon.
Concussions have been a problem for both Mingo Central and Tug Valley.
The Miners lost wideout Davey Ward three weeks ago to a severe concussion. He may be back for tonight’s homecoming game with Tolsia (3-3) at James H. “Buck” Harless Stadium.
Last week against Wayne, Mingo Central (3-2) lost freshman quarterback Stevie Hammond for the rest of the season due to a severe back injury.
Senior linebacker Joe Hall also suffered a concussion in the Wayne game and will miss this week’s home game.
Tug Valley, now 5-1on the season, saw senior running back Aaron Muncy suffer a concussion two weeks ago in the Tolsia game. He had to miss the following game with Hannan last Friday night. It will be a game-time decision on whether Muncy will play tonight against Westside, according to head coach Tony Clusky.
Several other players on all three teams have been banged up.
That Panther game is on the road in Wyoming County.
There is a huge game up in Boone County tonight between No. 1 Scott and No. 3 Wayne. That game will be played in Madison with two of the state’s top Class 2A programs going head to head. Playoff positioning is important in this game. The winner will likely come out next week as the No. 1 ranked team.
Wayne is the defending state champs in 2A and defeated Mingo Central last week.
Another big rivalry game will be played in neighboring Logan County as Man travels to Chapmanville. Other games in the regions will see Sheldon Clark at East Ridge, Phelps at Allen Central, Pike Central at Lawrence County, Wyoming East at Pikeview and River View at Bluefield.
For local college fans, there are some big games on tap Saturday.
West Virginia will travel to Austin, Texas to take on the Texas Longhorns. That stadium holds 100,000 fans and it will be the first Big 12 road game for the Mountaineers.
The game will be televised nationally on Fox and is set to start at 7:00 p.m.
Tulsa will be in Huntington to take on Marshall in a big Conference USA game. That will be a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Kentucky will play host to Mississippi State in Lexington Saturday. That game will start around 12:30 p.m.
Locally, the University of Pikeville will travel to Bethel, Tennessee for a Mid South Conference matchup.