Viking football is headed to AAA playoffs…maybe

Mark Martin
Jackson Newspapers

By winning over Ravenswood Friday night in the annual Hatchet showdown, Steve Sayre’s Ripley Vikings nailed down the No. 15 spot in the final set of Class AAA ratings. Thus, the Vikings secured a spot in the postseason playoffs for the second time in three years.

Whether they get to play in the opening round at No. 2 South Charleston remains to be seen.

Jackson County is orange in the latest color-coded COVID-19 map (released Saturday) which means all the Vikings can do this week is conditioning drills.

The county will have to move out of orange and become green, yellow, or gold by this Saturday at 5 p.m. in order to get the chance of meeting the Blacks Eagles.

The opening round game is set for Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. inside SC's Black Eagle Stadium.

Playoff games for the first time in the history of the postseason system of West Virginia can be played on Sunday. The new day is to help try and give teams like Ripley a chance to play their playoff game they rightfully earned.

Ripley finished the season at 6-3. South Charleston is 5-0.

The Vikings and Black Eagle programs have met 21 times throughout the years. SC leads the series, 16-4-1.

The first meeting was in 1934.

The remainder of the games were played between 1993-2017 when both were members of the Mountain State Athletic Conference.

The last showdown was in 2017 with South Charleston winning inside Ripley's Memorial Stadium, 7-0. The Vikings' last victory over SC was a 7-6 decision at home in 2012.

Bryce Casto, a 1977 Ripley graduate, is the athletic director at South Charleston.

A member of the Ripley High School Viking Football Hall of Fame, Casto led South Charleston to a state championship as their head coach in 1994.

Other AAA first-round matchups include John Marshall at Cabell Midland, University at Musselman, George Washington at four-time defending state champion Martinsburg, Washington at Bridgeport, Hurricane at Spring Valley, Princeton at Wheeling Park, and Spring Mills at Parkersburg.

Besides the Ripley-SC scheduled game, four others will be played on Sunday, one on Saturday, and two on Friday.

Ripley is 5-9 all-time in playoff games.