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Bulldogs try to reach peak vs. Spring Valley

Martinsburg starts all over in its quest for a W.Va. Class AAA state championship against underated Spring Valley.

Martinsburg starts all over in its quest for a W.Va. Class AAA state championship against underated Spring Valley.

November 18, 2002|by MARK KELLER

MARTINSBURG - Martinsburg football coach David Walker isn't trying to pump up his team or give his opponent a false sense of confidence.

He's just saying what he thinks.

"I think we got the toughest draw," Walker said of today's West Virginia Class AAA first-round playoff game against Spring Valley.

"They played five of the top eight teams in the state this year. They played some big games and they're a lot better than their record shows."

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The records show that Martinsburg (10-0) finished a season unbeaten for the first time since 1976 and earned the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Spring Valley finished 5-5 and just sneaked in to the postseason at No. 15.

Walker said the records really don't matter now.

"We've got our work cut out for us, that's for sure," Walker said. "We're going to have to show up and make some plays."

Making plays is what the Bulldogs have done all season long, setting the state record for points in a single season with 544. Led by Kennedy Award candidates Brandon Barrett and Nate Sowers, the Bulldogs have been held below 50 points only twice this season.

While some of that has been attributed to a weak schedule, there's no denying that Martinsburg is a team that knows how to put points on the scoreboard - and in a hurry, if necessary.

"The schedule is something that we really have no control over," Walker said. "We don't know from one year to the next what a team is going to be like. But we've gone out and done what we were supposed to do and we've played in a couple close games, too. We've been on both sides of it."

With only two games decided by 10 points or less, it begs two questions.

  • Is Martinsburg road-tested enough for a run back to the state final?

  • Could teams look at the Bulldogs as soft?



"I don't think they'll overlook us, because there's been a lot of talk about us this year," Walker said. "I'd like to think we could sneak up on some people, but I don't think that's going to happen."

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