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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Martinsburg chase to history has ties to Ripley Vikings

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  • WHEELING - The Martinsburg Bulldogs will be trying to tie some history on Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium.
    Standing in the way will be Jackson County native Luke Salmons.
    The former Ravenswood High star athlete and his Cabell Midland Knights will collide with the Bulldogs for the Class AAA state title.
    The past two championship trophies have gone to Martinsburg.
    If Martinsburg wins a third straight it will become the first school to do so since old Charleston High School pulled it off in the seasons of 1968-70.
    The likes of North Marion, DuPont, Morgantown, Parkersburg and South Charleston have won two in a row since that time but couldn't accomplish a third consecutive crown.
    Besides Salmons, there is another Jackson County link to this game.
    Charleston High's second of three consecutive championships was done so at Ripley's Memorial Stadium. The Mt. Lions knocked off Buckhannon-Upshur, 6-0.
    The 1969 season marked the first year for new concrete bleachers on the home side of the stadium. The Class AAA title game marked the first of many postseason football games at Ripley since that time.
    The late Frank Vincent was the head coach of the Mountain Lions during that run of three straight titles. It's interesting to note that Martinsburg's head coach, Dave Walker, played his college ball at Glenville for Vincent.
    Walker, a Pineville native, was also a college teammate of Ripley head coach Jimmy Frashier while at Glenville.
    Salmons would prefer to deny the Bulldogs of their history-making quest. Instead, he would like to make history for his program. Midland will be playing in its first-ever state championship game.
    One way or another, Saturday's AAA showdown will be historic.
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