Wolves hopeful in Spring Valley vs. Martinsburg Part III
SPRING VALLEY - Most teams likely wouldn’t be excited about a football game with a team that had beaten them 44-16 and 49-7, but Spring Valley High School is giddy.
The second-seeded Timberwolves (13-0) take on No. 1 Martinsburg (13-0) at noon Saturday for the Class AAA state championship at Wheeling Island Stadium. The Bulldogs beat Spring Valley 49-7 in the 2016 championship game and rallied from a 16-14 deficit to win 44-16 in the 2017 title contest.
“We have to take it like we do every game,” said Timberwolves senior defensive end Cody Stanley after his team’s 56-14 victory over Capital on Friday.
Respect dripped from every word each player and coach uttered regarding Martinsburg, winner of six of the last eight Class AAA state titles. Spring Valley head coach Brad Dingess guaranteed nothing other than his team’s effort.
“It is what it is,” Dingess said. “We’ll go up there and give it our best shot and hope the third time’s a charm. I’ll guarantee you we’ll go up there and play hard. That’s all I can say.”
Martinsburg won a state record 41st straight game Friday when it beat Musselman 42-14 in the other Class AAA semifinal. The win was No. 289 for Martinsburg head coach David Walker, making him the winningest coach in state history.
Timberwolves quarterback Will Adkins said his team will play not only for itself, but for the graduates of Buffalo, Ceredo-Kenova and Vinson high schools that consolidated in 1998 to form Spring Valley.
“They’re the defending champions and they’ve been rolling,” Adkins said of Martinsburg. “They’re one heck of a football team. It will be fun. It’s good for the community, with the tradition of C-K, Vinson and Buffalo, we have a lot to play for.”
Graeson Malashevich is one of the premier players in the state and plays wide receiver, quarterback, running back, defensive back and kick returner for Spring Valley. He said preparation will be key in attacking the Bulldogs.
“Martinsburg’s a good team,” Malashevich said. “We need a great week of practice to get ready for them.”
High school Class AAA football state championship:
No. 2 Spring Valley (13-0) vs. No. 1 Martinsburg (13-0)
Noon Saturday, Wheeling Island Stadium