While there are some tweaks with the positioning of where opponents are located on the 2020 schedule, the names of schools doesn’t change for the latest edition of Ravenswood Red Devil football.
The 10-game slate to be played out over an 11-week period will feature six Little Kanawha Conference foes along with a crew from the Buckeye State, a team from Putnam County, a Boone County squad and, of course, arch-rival Ripley.
Its a season in which Ravenswood will be playing a full season in its historic home with a new name. Forever Flinn Field, Ravenswood's venue is now Flinn Field at Spano-Taylor Stadium.
The name change occurred late last season to honor former coaches Jim Spano, who passed away in the early '60s, and Fred Taylor, who resides in Spencer. The two led Ravenswood to a pair of state championships while patrolling the Devil sidelines.
The upcoming campaign will mark the third season for head coach Eric Hupp at the controls of the storied Ravenswood program.
Hupp, his coaching staff and players will be looking to improve on a 3-7 record a season ago.
Ravenswood defeated Wahama (28-14), Sherman (33-0) and Southern Local, Ohio (42-35) last season.
The Devils lost games to Buffalo (20-14), Williamstown (44-0), Ritchie County (41-13), Doddridge County (31-0), Roane County (14-7), St. Marys (27-6) and Ripley (36-0).
The close calls to Buffalo and Roane County likely kept the Devils from being a Class A playoff team.
Ravenswood also hung tough in the first half of some other games, including Williamstown and Doddridge, before things went another direction in the final two quarters.
Doddridge reached the state championship game of Class A at Wheeling Island Stadium last December.
Williamstown, Ritchie County and St. Marys also qualified for the Class A playoffs.
This year’s season will begin at home August 28 with Southern Local crossing the William S. Ritchie Bridge for a showdown with the Devils. Last year’s game was one for the ages with the Devils pulling out the thriller.
The contest, which featured 77 points scored, was played in October.
The following Friday, September 4, Ravenswood will hit the road and play at Buffalo looking to avenge that heartbreaker from last season.
Ravenswood will entertain Williamstown September 11. It will be a Yellowjacket team guided by someone other than Terry Smith this season. Smith stepped aside after 16 seasons at the helm, in which he led the program to 164 wins, including two Class A state championships.
Williamstown, which reached the playoffs every season with Smith on board, will be guided by first-year leader Chris Beck.
The Devils journey to County Stadium in Spencer September 18 to meet Paul Burdette’s Roane County Raiders.
The meeting between the two schools shifts from October to September in 2020. Roane County is coming off a 5-4 season, one marred by tragedy with the passing of senior wide receiver/defensive back Alex Miller during a game against Clay County.
Sherman remains where it was last season on the Devil slate, this time around visiting Ravenswood's home turf September 25.
Following a nice playoff run in 2018, Sherman suffered through a 1-9 season a year ago.
Ravenswood will head to Chuck Schofield Stadium off Route 50 in Ellenboro October 2 for a meeting with the Rebels, who reeled off an undefeated regular season a year ago.
The Rebels then captured a home playoff game victory against South Harrison before falling in the quarterfinal round stage to eventual champion Wheeling Central.
After being the season-opening opponent the last few years, Wahama drops into the October section of the schedule in 2020. The White Falcons invade Ravenswood October 9.
The White Falcons showed improvement last year under then second-year head coach James Toth with a 3-7 record.
After playing eight Ohio teams as a member of the Buckeye-State based Tri-Valley Athletic Conference, Wahama returns to the LKC this season.
While Doddridge loses several key weapons from its state runner-up team, including sensational running back Hunter America, the Bulldog program will look to build from the momentum its gained the past few years. Ravenswood will make its way to West Union October 16.
Over the course of the past several seasons, Ravenswood has usually had its open date in September. This year’s break in the action will occur Oct. 23.
When the Devils get back on the field, they will head to Pleasants County to go up against Jodi Mote’s outstanding St. Marys Blue Devil program.
Last year’s Blue Devil team finished the regular 8-2 and then knocked off Cameron in the opening round of the playoffs. Their season ended with a loss to Pendleton County in the quarterfinals.
The regular season will close at home November 6 with the annual Battle for the Hatchet against Ripley. The Vikings will be under new leadership in 2020 as Steve Sayre, a former Ripley standout and 1974 graduate, moves up from an assistant’s role to become the head coach following Eddie Smolder’s departure.
Ripley was 4-6 last year and just missed the Class AAA playoffs field of 16 teams.
As the Devils get set to play season No. 1 with the new name of their home venue, on the road they will compete at two of the nicest facilities anywhere in the state.
Doddridge will be playing its second season in state-of-the-art Cline Stansberry Stadium, located on the school’s campus off Route 50.
St. Marys' Bill Hanlin Stadium is just a few years old and is absolutely spectacular.
Buffalo also continues to add finishing touches to its relatively new playing field at its new school.