Vikings cling to playoff hopes in Class AAA

Mark Martin
Jackson Newspapers

Many times throughout the years, the Hatchet game has had playoff implications when Ravenswood and Ripley get together.

The 2020 Battle of the Hatchet between Jackson County’s two rivals has just that as Ripley clings to a possible playoff berth in Class AAA.

In the latest ratings released by the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, Ripley was 16th in Class AAA.

The Top 16 in the three classifications will reach the postseason.

The ultimate goal of each playoff team is a berth at Wheeling Island Stadium to play for one of those three state championships in the Super Six event.

Had the playoffs started this weekend Ripley, as the No. 16 seed, would have met up with No. 1 South Charleston.

The athletic director at SC is former Viking standout Bryce Casto, who led the Black Eagles to the 1994 AAA crown in Wheeling.

Cabell Midland, where former Ravenswood star Luke Salmons is the head coach, was No. 2 in Class AAA. One of his assistants this season is Eddie Smolder, who was a one-time Viking great and Ripley’s head coach the past five seasons.

Spring Mills, who handed Ripley one of its three losses, was No. 8.

While Ravenswood's playoff drought will reach six straight years this season, the Red Devil schedule has featured several teams that will be vying for a state championship run beginning next weekend.

In Class A, Buffalo is tied for No. 6, Williamstown is No. 8, Ritchie County is No. 9, Tygarts Valley is No. 10, and Summers County is No. 15.

Clay is No. 10 in Class AA.

Add in Ripley, and that is seven potential playoff teams on the Devil schedule.

The final set of ratings to determine the playoff brackets will be released Saturday.