Frankfort releases its updated 2020 football schedule
By Chapin Jewell
SHORT GAP - As a result of things such as COVID-19-related rescheduling within the state of West Virginia, and of course the recent news that Maryland would be postponing their football season until most likely the spring, it was necessary to rework the Frankfort football schedule for 2020.
The reworking is now done, all the phone calls made and returned, the dates shuffled, etc. With the hard work of re-working the schedule complete, Frankfort athletic director Shawn Jay Hesse has updated the WVSSAC website and given the green light for the release of the updated and completed schedule.
The biggest change of course is that the two games against Maryland opponents Northern Garrett and Mountain Ridge needed to be replaced. Frankfort found replacements for those games with a visit from Spring Mills and a trip to Jefferson. In addition, the Falcons were able to most recently add a home game against Oak Glen to fill what had been their bye week.
It’s a full, 10-game slate that, albeit for obvious and necessary reasons, consists entirely of West Virginia public schools. Currently, the schedule consists of six games against class AA opponents Weir, Berkeley Springs, Petersburg, Elkins, Oak Glen and Keyser, and class AAA opponents Hampshire, Spring Mills, Jefferson and Washington.
Three of the opponents were playoff teams in the Mountain State a year ago, with Spring Mills garnering a AAA playoff spot, and Oak Glen and Keyser making it in class AA. In addition, six of the nine opponents appeared on Frankfort’s 2019 schedule with Spring Mills, Jefferson, Elkins and Oak Glen being the newest additions.
Frankfort will open the season on Friday, Sep. 4 with a trip to Sunrise Summit to take on the Hampshire trojans. It will mark the football debut for Hampshire’s new turf football field and tracks. The Trojans finished 0-10 a season ago and were defeated by Frankfort in Short Gap 55-20. Hampshire last made the playoffs in 2013. Frankfort and Hampshire are neighbors and rivals, with Frankfort dominating the series all-time with a record of 32-12.
In the second game of the season, Frankfort will welcome the Weir Red Riders to Short Gap on Friday, Sep. 11. A season ago, Frankfort fell to Weir in Weirton 28-27 in overtime. The Falcons opted to go for two and the win rather than the tie in the extra session but were stopped short. This will be only the second meeting between the two schools. Weir finished 6-4 in 2019 but failed to qualify for the state playoffs, as they had done the previous five seasons. The Red Riders have won seven state championships (1942, 1949, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1998, 2005).
Game three will see Frankfort traveling to Berkeley Springs for a Friday, Sep. 18 contest. In 2019, the Falcons soundly defeated the Indians 28-0 for their third straight win in the series and tenth victory in the last 12 games of the series. Overall, Frankfort holds a 34-7 advantage all-time in the series. Berkeley Springs finished 2-8 in 2019.
In game four, Frankfort welcomes AAA Spring Mills of Berkeley County to Short Gap on Friday, Sep. 25. It will be the first meeting between the two schools. Spring Mills finished with a record of 7-5 in 2019, advancing to the second round where they lost to eventual state champion Martinsburg. It was the fifth consecutive playoff appearance for the Cardinals in their seven years of existence after failing to qualify only in their first two seasons.
On Wednesday, Oct. 2, the Falcons will travel to Shenandoah Junction to take on AAA Jefferson in game five. Jefferson is coming off of a 3-7 season in 2019. The Cougars last made the AAA playoffs in 2016 where they advanced to the second round, losing to Capital, and finishing the season with a 6-6 record. This will be the third meeting between the schools, with Frankfort holding a 2-0 advantage in the series after defeating the Cougars 35-7 in 1996 and 33-22 in 1997.
In game six, Frankfort travels back to Jefferson County on Friday, Oct. 9 to take on the Washington Patriots. The Falcons defeated Washington 54-29 in 2019 and in fact own a 6-3 advantage over the Patriots, beating them four times in the last five years. Washington finished their AAA season with a record of 3-7 in 2019 and have struggled recently with six straight losing seasons. The Patriots last made the playoffs in 2013.
Game seven will see Frankfort hosting PVC-opponent Petersburg on Friday, Oct. 16. This will be the 38th meeting between the two schools with Frankfort enjoying a decided 33-4 advantage in the series. From 1982 to 2014, Frankfort was victorious over Petersburg 26 consecutive times. Two of Petersburg’s wins in the series have come in the last five seasons. In 2019, the Falcons handed the Vikings a 35-6 defeat. The Vikings are looking to rebound from a 4-6 season in 2019 and are only two years removed from making the class AA playoffs.
In game eight on Friday, Oct. 23, Frankfort will make their longest road trip of the season to take on Elkins. This will represent the first ever meeting of the two schools. Elkins has been playing football since 1915 and won nearly 50 percent of all games played in that time (465-480-37). The Tigers last made what was then for them the class AAA playoffs in 2011 and 2012. Elkins finished the 2019 campaign with an overall record of 3-7.
The most recent and final addition to Frankfort’s 2020 schedule is Oak Glen in game nine. The Golden Bears will travel to Short Gap on Friday, Oct. 30. This will be the fourth meeting between the two schools and Frankfort leads the series with a 2-1 record, with wins in 1998 and 2014, and a loss in 2019. Oak Glen opened a lot of eyes last season, compiling an overall record of 12-1 and advancing all the way to the state-semifinals. In that semi-final game, the Golden Bears suffered their lone loss of the season, a 38-7 defeat at the hands of eventual state champions Bridgeport.
For game nine, Frankfort will host Keyser for the traditional Mineral Bowl game on Friday, Nov. 6. In 2019, Frankfort was defeated by Keyser 35-0 in a season in which both teams advanced to and fell in state quarterfinal games. Keyser finished 10-2 in 2019. The Golden Tornado leads the series all time by a tally of 30-15 and have won five-straight, nine of the last 10, and 14 of the last 16 games in the series. Keyser has qualified for the playoffs the last nine years, and in 17 of the last 20 seasons as well.
It’s not the schedule it was when first announced. Then again, is really anything the same these days? It is, however, a solid and competitive schedule. Traditional rivalry games between neighboring Maryland schools Northern and Mountain Ridge will be missed because, quite frankly, they’ve traditionally been very competitive, close contests. The addition of a very quality Oak Glen opponent makes for an excellent replacement for what essentially was the loss of the Moorefield game.
The addition of AAA schools Spring Mills and Jefferson more than adequately fills the loss of Northern and Mountain Ridge. Also the addition of a new face, class AA Elkins, is welcome news.
All in all, despite the multitude of challenges thrown their way, Frankfort personnel have done an excellent job of piecing together a quality schedule for the roller coaster that is the 2020 season.