Ripley football players chosen for All-Star game
Thanks to COVID-19, Ripley’s 2020 football season ended abruptly.
The Vikings of first-year head coach Steve Sayre were slated to meet South Charleston in the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs last November when all came crashing down.
The state’s color-coded COVID map forced the Vikings to cancel their post-season encounter with a team that was ultimately granted the championship.
For three senior standouts like Kadin Hall, Quinton Joyner and Matt Moore, it was a crushing way to end their high school football careers.
Each would have loved the chance to try and knock off the highly-regarded Black Eagles. Ripley was the No. 15 seed and SC the No. 2 seed going into the Sweet 16 of the AAA playoffs.
But as fate would have it, the outstanding trio has been presented with the opportunity to play in a game together one last time. In fact, they will get to spend an entire week in a football environment.
And as it just so happens, the game in which they will join together for that final time is going to take place at the very venue where the playoff showdown was going to be staged — Black Eagle Stadium in South Charleston.
Hall, Joyner and Moore have been chosen for the annual Par Mar Friday Night Rivals North-South All-Star Football Classic.
The contest, sponsored by WCHS-TV/FOX 11 in conjunction with the West Virginia Schools Athletic Coaches Association, is set for June 19.
The 1 p.m. N-S Classic will be televised live on WCHS and possibly other outlets.
The three will be a part of the red-clad South Cardinals who will meet up with the blue-clad North Bears.
Each roster is made up of 37 players from around the state who starred for various high schools.
The South head coach is Ray Lee from Greenbrier East. The North’s leader is Daran Hays of North Marion.
Both were selected as the head coaches in 2020 before the Classic was postponed due to COVID-19.
The players will spend a week of training camp on the campus of West Virginia State University in Institute.
For Hall, it will be a chance to get familiar with his future home.
The standout running back/linebacker has decided upon West Virginia State’s Yellow Jacket football program for his next stop.
Hall rushed for 787 yards and scored eight touchdowns on the ground for a Viking team that finished 6-3. He also caught four passes for 45 yards. One of those catches went for a TD.
Defensively, Hall finished with 58 tackles.
Hall earned Class AAA All-State Honorable Mention.
Joyner was a Class AAA Second Team captain on the defensive side of the ball. Playing in the trenches, Joyner collected a team-leading 114 tackles.
He was also a mainstay on the offensive line helping open holes for the likes of Hall.
Joyner is planning to join the Army after graduation.
Like Joyner, Moore excelled on the offensive and defensive lines for Ripley. He finished second on the team in tackles with 90.
Moore also garnered Class AAA All-State Honorable Mention. He is still mulling college offers for his academic and possible athletic future.
"I'm really proud of those three," said Sayre, a 1974 Ripley High graduate. "They are very deserving of their selection (to the Classic). I know they will do their best to represent Ripley High School with the class and effort they gave everyday in our program."