By Michael Minnich
Tribune Sports Editor
KEYSER—Quick, name the only team to beat both Keyser and Frankfort last year.
It’s not Fort Hill. Or Allegany.
Rather, it’s the Wayne Pioneers, who picked up their first win of the year at the Golden Tornado’s expense last year and their last in the Class AA?state semifinals against the Falcons.
Both KHS and WHS?were ranked in the top five of the Charleston Daily Mail preseason poll this week, with the Pioneers, who lost to Bluefield in the state championship game, receiving one first-place vote.
Frankfort is tenth.
“There’s no better AA program to play than Wayne,” said Keyser coach Sean Biser. “It’s a long haul [200 miles, one-way] and a heckuva trip, but man, what experience you get. Coach [Tom] Harman and I were talking, I wish we were 30 miles apart like us and Frankfort so we could play, no problem, every year. It’s good competition.”
Biser knows that things won’t be easy tonight.
“They have a great tradition. We like to think we have a great tradition here, but they definitely do down there, and a great reputation. They were state finalists last year, and lost to a very good Bluefield team,”?said Biser.
“I had an inkling when we played them the first week [last year] that they were going to make it there, and they did. Just a great program. Coach Harman does a great job with his guys and is a quality guy. I have nothing but good things to say about them. And they’re going to do what Wayne does. They’re going to run the football and play-action pass and throw a couple of surprises at you, here and there.”
“They run that 5-2 [defense] and do something things with it, and also slant a little bit and pinch guys here and there and create some problems with you there. And they switch up their coverages. They run to the football really, really well on defense. We definitely have our work cut out for us.”
Wayne shut out Keyser, 22-0, at Pioneer Field last year.
The Golden Tornado were held to under 100 yards on offense on a rainy night, but it was a very different team from the one that finished the season with an 8-4 mark and advanced to the second round of the Class AA playoffs.
Keyser and Wayne conclude their home-and-home series this year, but Biser left the door open for the two teams to play in the future.
Kickoff from Tornado Alley at Alumni Field is tonight at 7 p.m.
Admission at the gate for all fall sporting events will $5 for adults and students. Discount tickets will be available for students to purchase on game days. The advance student tickets will be $4. Those ticket may be purchased before school and during all lunches.
In addition to the normal parking at the school, a bus will shuttle fans to the game from Keyser Assembly of God Church beside Wal-Mart. The bus will shuttle to the game from 5:30 until the start of the game. The bus will begin to shuttle fans back to the church at the starting of the fourth-quarter. The shuttle will drop-off and pick-up the front of the school.
An immediate test:?No. 4 Wayne visits No. 5 Keyser tonight
By Michael Minnich