Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS - FIRST ROUND ; Huskies Take on Mavericks; AA Combatants End Playoff Drought with First-Round Showdown

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS - FIRST ROUND ; Huskies Take on Mavericks; AA Combatants End Playoff Drought with First-Round Showdown

Article excerpt

Herbert Hoover's trip to Lindside to face James Monroe in the first round of the Class AA football playoffs tonight is somewhat of an oddity. Neither No. 11 seed Hoover (7-3) nor the sixth-seeded Mavericks (8-2) were in the playoffs a year ago. The matchup is the only one of its kind in the Class AA field and one of only four among the 24 games that will played this weekend.

In fact, the postseason has been without either team for several years.

"Our kids are really excited. This is the first real winning these seniors have had, Hoover coach Tim Meyer said.

The Huskies' last playoff appearance was in 2010 - Meyer's second year as coach - and they fell to Greenbrier West in the first round.

"They're excited but they're hungry for more. They realize they're going to have to work hard.

"It's been a big goal that we've talked about with the kids. Just me personally, its nice to see us get after it and work throughout the whole year and get to this point, Meyer said. "But again, we'd like to be able to advance.

Brooke at Morgantown, Van at Magnolia and Valley (Wetzel) at South Harrison are the other first-round games with neither team as a 2014 entrant.

The Mavericks ended their own playoff drought that reached back to 2009 by clinching a berth. After reaching the playoffs 13 times in the first 16 years of the school's existance - including a runner- up finish in 2007, home-field advantage throughout the preliminary rounds three times and seven times being a top-four seed - James Monroe entered a bit of a slumber from 2010-14.

David Witt, who had guided the team to the Super Six in 2007, stepped down and was replaced by longtime Mavericks and Peterstown High coach Don Jackson, who had originally been replaced by Witt when Jackson retired.

John Mustain - a Union High grad - stepped in to replace Witt three years ago.

"We went through a stretch there when our football players weren't quite as good, Mustain said. …

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