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Weir High sits in 19th place, needs multiple teams to lose

DOWN THE MIDDLE — Weir High’s Jamari Bass looks for running down the middle against Petersburg on Sept. 28. -Joe Catullo

WEIRTON — The Weir High football team finished the regular season last week with a huge 54-0 win over arch-rival Brooke and now sits at No. 19 in the West Virginia Class AA rankings with a 6-4 record.

Mathematically, the Red Riders still have a chance to be among the top 16 that make the postseason but will need a lot of help in the way of losses by teams ahead of them, as well as one behind them.

“We have three or four things that have to happen,” Red Rider coach Tony Filberto said about his team’s chances of making the playoffs. “It is pretty complex, but it could happen — we’ve seen it happen. We’re not mathematically eliminated, so we have to prepare ourselves in case we do get in.”

The three teams ahead of the Red Riders are Lewis County, James Monroe and Sissonville. All have 6-3 records. Lewis County and James Monroe finish their regular seasons with teams that have losing records, while Sissonville faces Roane County, which is 4-4.

“The three teams in front of us need to lose,” Filberto said. “That’s very easy. That could happen. I like the matchups there. The one that worries me is the team behind us, Clay County (6-2). Clay plays Braxton County (1-8). If Clay beats Braxton, they may overtake us. If those other three lose and Clay County wins, we could end up 17th. But, we need those other three teams to lose. It’s very simplistic.”

The Red Riders still have a chance to get bonus points if Frankfort, John Marshall and Brooke win this week.

Should that scenario actually happen and the Red Riders make it to the postseason as the 16th seed, they would likely have to travel to Fairmont for the second year in a row to play the No. 1 team in the AA ranks, Fairmont Senior, which shut them out in Week 7, 33-0.

“We would look forward to that (playing Fairmont Senior),” Filberto said. “We want that opportunity because once you get in the playoffs, everybody’s record is 0-0. We’ve seen a lot of things happen. Last year, we were 13th, and we beat the No. 4 and No. 5 teams. So, if we play Fairmont Senior, we would be happy to accept that.

“We’ll play anybody. We just want to get in and, once we’re in, we’re in it to win it. I know some people schedule just so they can get in the playoffs. We don’t schedule that way. We feel that you have to schedule as good of teams as possible so you’re prepared when you get into the playoffs.”

Filberto has been a high school coach in the Ohio Valley for about 40 years and now has a new honor. He will be inducted into the West Liberty University Hall of Fame at a brunch on the Hilltopper Campus where he played his collegiate football in the early 1960s. That honor will come on Nov. 16 with he and the other honorees being introduced at halftime of the West Liberty-University of Charleston football game.

“I think we have the toughest schedule in West Virginia in class AA,” he said. “We have played No. 1, 3, 5 and 7 so far in AA. We beat No. 5 (Frankfort). We played No. 14 in Triple A (John Marshall) and beat them, and we played Quad A Plum in Pittsburgh. Brooke isn’t having a good year, but they are a AAA school, and East Liverpool is having one of their best years. We beat both of those teams, so that’s a pretty dog gone good schedule.

“We’re in a holding pattern with anticipation that we will get into the playoffs. We can’t be a fortune teller. We just have to sit back and wait to see what happens.”

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