Walker's milestone now in hands of WVSSAC

October 09, 2007|By MARK KELLER

When is a milestone not really a milestone?

Martinsburg coach David Walker can probably tell you.

When the Bulldogs beat Hedgesville 39-7 Friday night, Walker's players celebrated by giving the coach a Gatorade shower in honor of his 100th win at the school.

There's just one problem: Officially, Walker has won only 98 games at Martinsburg.

The Bulldogs were forced to forfeit their first two victories of the season when Martinsburg administrators discovered that a player who had transferred in from out of state - and played in those first two games - had submitted a false transcript and was, in fact, academically ineligible.

School officials reported the infraction immediately. The West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission responded by saying, in essence, "Thank you. We'll have these two wins back, please."


That all could change Thursday when the Bulldogs' appeal is heard by the WVSSAC Board of Review. And while such appeals often are nothing more than a formality before a penalty is upheld, recent history could be on the side of the Bulldogs.

In 2006, two penalties against West Virginia high school football teams were overturned under similar circumstances.

Two weeks ago, Walker figured the chances of the forfeited games being reinstated at "about 50-50."

"It depends on what kind of mood the board is in, I guess," Walker said. "The fact of the matter is we broke a rule. It's not something we intended to do, but it happened. I just hate that the kids are the ones that get hurt in this. They had nothing to do with it."

Though the official standings will not be released until today, early estimates have the Bulldogs 15th in the Class AAA playoff points this week. If they keep winning, they'll make the postseason.

If Martinsburg has its first two wins restored, they likely would jump into the top three in the ratings, assuring the Bulldogs at least two home playoff games.

And if the 'Dogs get those wins back, Walker might want to plan on another Gatorade shower.

In the polls

The top five teams in The Herald-Mail Super 7 hold steady this week.

Martinsburg is still the unanimous No. 1 after beating Hedgesville. Berkeley Springs holds at No. 2 with a 41-14 win over Moorefield. Smithsburg's dramatic win over Walkersville strengthens the Leopards' hold on No. 3. Greencastle posted its second straight shutout, beating Susquenita 42-0 to stay at No. 4.

Boonsboro holds on to the No. 5 spot despite a 28-6 loss to South Carroll, while Williamsport sneaks into the poll for the first time at No. 6 this year after beating Brunswick, 14-13.

Hancock re-enters the poll at No. 7 following its win over West Nottingham.

Mercersburg Academy and Jefferson drop out of the Super 7 this week.

On the schedule

Friday's top game features two teams in the top 5 of the West Virginia Class AA playoff points. Berkeley Springs travels to Keyser for its toughest test of the season thus far. Through six games, Indians running backs Cody Hess and Cody Reed have combined for 1,701 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns.

Other games Friday include Middletown at North Hagerstown; Frederick at South Hagerstown; Smithsburg at Brunswick; Clear Spring at Catoctin; Poolesville at Hancock; Calvin Coolidge at Martinsburg; Musselman at Hedgesville; Berkeley Springs at Keyser; Carlisle at Chambersburg; Boiling Springs at James Buchanan; and East Pennsboro at Greencastle.

On Saturday, it's Boonsboro at Williamsport; Waynesboro at Scotland; Maret School at St. James; and Hill School at Mercersburg Academy.

The Super 7

1. Martinsburg (10)4-2701

2. Berkeley Springs 6-0582

3. Smithsburg 5-0513

4. Greencastle 5-1414

5. Boonsboro 3-2285

6. Williamsport 3-218-

7. Hancock 3-26-

Also receiving votes:

Mercersburg Academy (2-3, 5); St. James (2-3, 2); Jefferson (2-5, 1).

First-place votes in parentheses

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