Keyser, Frankfort announce 2021 football schedules

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
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By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

The year 2020 was unlike any year most of us have experienced in our lifetimes, and that sentiment certainly applied to the 2020 high school football season.  

The schedules Frankfort and Keyser started with were not the schedules they ended with. Even the schedules they ended up with were not fully completed, as games were cancelled at the end of the season.

Keyser managed to complete nine of their assigned 10 games, with only the Mineral Bowl against Frankfort cancelled.  Frankfort managed to complete eight of their assigned 10 games, with game nine against Oak Glen and the Mineral Bowl against Keyser cancelled.  

In the end, despite neither being able to compete in the playoffs due to the COVID map, they were fortunate to get in the games they did.

All this brings us to 2021, the new year and especially come football season hopefully a new, more normal set of circumstances. In 2020, all out of state opponents, which in Keyser and Frankfort’s case meant those from Maryland, had to be dropped from the schedule in favor of West Virginia opponents. For both Mineral County squads, what would eventually become of their schedules was a 10-game slate against all West Virginia opponents.

As the schedules were made for 2021, there was a return of Maryland schools to the slate. Nonetheless, both teams will predominantly play against Mountain State schools. Also, as the 2021 schedules were made, neither team shied away from competition, as Keyser and Frankfort both play a competitive slate filled with West Virginia playoff opponents and otherwise quality Maryland opponents.

Information related to the 2021 schedules for Keyser and Frankfort follows:

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Keyser 2021

In 2021, the Golden Tornado face a 10-game lineup that consists of seven West Virginia schools and three teams from neighboring Mountain Maryland.  Of the seven Mountain State opponents, five qualified for the 2020 WVSSAC football playoffs.  The three Maryland opponents (Northern, Allegany, Mountain Ridge) were only afforded one or two games in 2020 before their season was cancelled, to possibly continued this spring.

Of the five West Virginia opponents that qualified for the WVSSAC playoffs, four of the five (Frankfort, Oak Glen, Robert C. Byrd, Point Pleasant) were in class AA and were rated 3rd, 5th, 8th and 12th, respectively.  As such, three of the four were ranked high enough to host a home playoff game.  The fifth playoff opponent is Moorefield, who qualified for the post-season in ninth position in class A.

Frankfort’s 2021 West Virginia opponents who did not qualify for the playoffs in 2020 include AA Berkeley Springs and AAA Hampshire, both traditional, regional, and PVC opponents.

The Maryland schools on the 2021 slate played only one or two games in 2020, and again, may possibly play a season this spring.  In 2020, Northern and Allegany squared off with Allegany topping the Huskies by a score of 21-14.  Northern then went on defeat Garrett County rival Southern 41-0.  Allegany only played the one game.  Mountain Ridge also only played one game, a 31-6 defeat at the hands of Fort Hill.

Two other things of note stick out about Keyser’s 2021 schedule.  First, it is notable that the Golden Tornado have six home games and four away games.  The home games include three-straight to open the season against Robert C. Byrd, Berkeley Springs and Oak Glen, and later home games against Point Pleasant, Moorefield and Frankfort.

Second, it is interesting to note that Keyser’s four away games are against all local opponents (Hampshire, Northern, Allegany and Mountain Ridge).  Of the four, the furthest the Golden Tornado will have to travel is to Northern, a 52-mile, one hour trip.  This is a far cry from the 2020 slate that saw Keyser make massive road trips to Oak Glen, Point Pleasant and John Marshall.  As such, the considerable lack of long travel makes it a very budget-friendly schedule.

All in all, the Black and Gold’s 2021 football schedule checks all the boxes for a quality and appropriate slate of opponents.

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Frankfort 2021

In 2021, the Falcons face a 10-game lineup that consists of eight West Virginia schools and two teams from neighboring Mountain Maryland.  Of the eight Mountain State opponents, six qualified for the 2020 WVSSAC football playoffs.  The two Maryland opponents (Northern, Mountain Ridge) were only afforded one or two games in 2020 before their season was cancelled, to possibly continued this spring.

Of the six West Virginia opponents that qualified for the WVSSAC playoffs, three of the five (Elkins, North Marion, Keyser) were in class AA and were rated 16th, 10th and 7th respectively.  Two of the 2021 opponents were 2020 playoff qualifiers in AAA (Spring Mills, Washington), and were rated 9th and 12th, respectively.  The sixth playoff opponent is Moorefield, who qualified for the post-season in ninth position in class A.

Frankfort’s 2021 West Virginia opponents who did not qualify for the playoffs in 2020 include AA Berkeley Springs and AAA Hampshire, both traditional, regional, and PVC opponents.

The Maryland schools on the 2021 slate played only one or two games in 2020, and again, may possibly play a season this spring.  In 2020, Northern squared off against Allegany with the Campers topping the Huskies by a score of 21-14.  Northern then went on defeat Garrett County rival Southern 41-0.  Mountain Ridge only played one game, a 31-6 defeat at the hands of Fort Hill.

Of particular note on Frankfort’s schedule is the fact that of the Falcons’ 10 opponents, eight of the 10 have a larger enrollment than the Falcons, and in some cases, the enrollment disparity is quite large.  Frankfort is currently only the second largest class AA school in the Mountain State with an enrollment of 488.  Of their 2021 opponents, only Moorefield and Northern have smaller enrollments than Frankfort, and it isn’t by much.

Also of note is the fact that Frankfort’s 2021 schedule includes five teams that at some point were on the Falcons’ 2020 schedule but were ultimately replaced or cancelled as a result of COVID issues, be it at Frankfort or the other school.

All in all, the Falcons’ 2021 football schedule, like Keyser’s, checks all the boxes for a quality and appropriate slate of opponents.