Back to Normal: Maryland teams reappear on Keyser, Frankfort schedules

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Coach Mike Staggers leads the Golden Tornado onto the field in this file photo. The 2021 season will see the return of Maryland schools to the schedule for Keyser and Frankfort after COVID caused a one-year dip in the border battles.

The release of Mineral County’s 2021 football schedules for Keyser and Frankfort show the return of neighboring schools from Allegany and Garrett counties to the slate.

Most were there last year too, but COVID had other plans.

As COVID restrictions came on hot and heavy in 2020, the realization that Maryland and West Virginia schools would be playing by different rules and under different restrictions became a cause for alarm. As a result, West Virginia schools, to include our own Frankfort and Keyser, scrambled to replace out-of-state teams with West Virginia schools.

The end result? In the end, not a single out-of-state team ended up on the final football schedules for the Golden Tornado and Falcons. And as also know, it ended up that not every single West Virginia school on the Mineral County schedules would be played either, the result of COVID-related cancellations.

Nonetheless, assuming that fall sports operate in a much more normal fashion in 2021, Maryland teams from neighboring schools in Allegany and Garrett counties have returned and old rivalries renewed.

For Keyser, the Black and Gold will travel to Northern Garrett on Friday, Oct. 1. Two weeks later on Oct. 15, the Golden Tornado will make the trek down Route 220 to Greenway Avenue Stadium to take on the Allegany County Campers. Finally, in game nine on Oct. 29, Keyser will travel to Frostburg to take on Mountain Ridge.

For Frankfort, the Columbia Blue and Silver will travel to Northern Garrett on Friday, Sept. 24. The next week, on Oct. 1, the Falcons will welcome the Mountain Ridge Miners to Falcon Stadium in Short Gap.

Despite the fact that Keyser and Frankfort were able to fill the schedule with an all-West Virginia slate out of necessity last year, it is nice to see these border battles of local and neighboring rivals return to the schedule.