SHORT GAP - Fresh off a big 35-20 victory over Mountain Ridge one week ago, the Frankfort Falcons look to continue those winning ways tonight as they host Washington on Homecoming night in Short Gap.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
SHORT GAP - Fresh off a big 35-20 victory over Mountain Ridge one week ago, the Frankfort Falcons look to continue those winning ways tonight as they host Washington on Homecoming night in Short Gap.  
Now into game seven, it’s to the point where the numbers crunching has begun and every game and every bonus point is of the utmost importance.
A Homecoming night win over Washington would not only amplify the celebration of an already-pumped homestanding crowd, it would also greatly increase Frankfort’s ever-improving shot at a playoff spot. Washington, a AAA school with a couple wins, would be a decent payoff for the Falcons.
Frankfort enters the contest with a record of 5-1 with victories over Moorefield, East Hardy, Berkeley Springs, Northern and Mountain Ridge, and an overtime 28-27 loss at Weir. Washington comes in with a record of 2-3, having defeated Hedgesville (34-30) and Park View (50-0), Va., and with losses to Spring Mills (27-0), North Hagerstown (27-26) and Martinsburg (62-0).
A season ago, Frankfort finished with a record of 8-3 and a playoff appearance; Washington finished 0-10. In last year’s meeting between the two teams at Washington, Frankfort defeated the Patriots 62-37, a contest that finished just one-point shy of the combined score reaching the century mark.
“We have had some very close and interesting games. Last year they were winning 21-7 at halftime; we came back and won the game 62-37. We have to continually be focused on our job and if we do that we usually play fairly well,” Frankfort coach Kevin Whiteman said of the matchup.
Coach Whiteman has an all-time record against Washington of 4-2.  Frankfort, overall, leads the series all time with a 5-3 record. The Falcons and Patriots split the first four matchups in the series 2-2; Frankfort has won three of the last four games played. Washington Coach Daryl Hayes is 1-3 against the Falcons.
Hayes, in his fifth year leading the Patriots’ charge, has compiled a 6-39 record overall, winning 13 percent of his games. Washington, as a program, has compiled a record of 29-87 all-time, winning 25 percent of their games overall.
By contrast, Kevin Whiteman has compiled an overall record as the head coach at Frankfort of 74-35, winning 68 percent of his game. In now his tenth season at the helm at Frankfort, Whiteman has led his teams to the playoffs in six of the nine seasons coached up to this point. As a program, Frankfort has compiled an overall record of 303-161, winning 65 percent of games played.
“Washington always scares me because they always have a handful of speedsters and athletic kids who can bust a big play at any moment,” Whiteman explained.
The other thing that concerns Whiteman is the fact that it’s Homecoming week in Short Gap. Homecoming, while a crowd pleaser for the kids and fans, it not typically highest on the list of things football coaches enjoy.
According to Whiteman, “Homecoming is a fun week for all of the kids at the school. They do a lot of fun things, but as a football coach I don’t like Homecoming. There is something going on every day which can be a major distraction, especially on game day with the activities they have. Again, it’s all about being able to change gears and be focused and locked in ready to play.  Hopefully we can do that this week and on Friday night.”
Make no mistake about it, if Kevin Whiteman seems to have a “bah-humbug” approach to Homecoming, it’s by no means tied in to a lack of interest or school spirit for his alma mater.  Whiteman bleeds Columbia Blue and Silver, but as a football coach, he tries to keep himself, his staff, and his players focused on the task at hand, which is winning this important football game.
Both Frankfort and Washington have playoff aspirations and if the playoffs started today, both teams would be in.  Frankfort currently holds sole possession of the number nine ranking in West Virginia’s class AA; Washington is currently holding down the 15th spot in West Virginia’s class AAA.
It’s sure to be a festive evening in Short Gap tonight with all the extras Homecoming entails.  Coming out of tonight’s contest with Washington would go a long way in adding to the celebration of Homecoming, not to mention aiding the Falcons in their quest for a playoff spot.