For the first time, South Harrison football may take a back seat on Friday night's in the Lost Creek and West Milford area.
Former South Harrison coach Gary Barnette, who passed away in early July, will be remembered with a ceremony prior to kickoff of the Hawks' game with Ritchie County tonight.
Barnette's name has become synonymous with South Harrison football, and tonight, supporters of the school will make sure it stays that way as the football field will be renamed in his honor for the years of service to the school and community. A ceremony beginning at 6:30 p.m. will begin the event.
Following the invocation, Barnette's family will be recognized and former players will be on hand to share stories from the past. In addition, all former players will be admitted free to the game.
Barnette coached at South Harrison for 29 years where he won 192 games. Seven times he guided the Hawks into the playoffs, and finished runner-up in 1973 in Class A. In 1992 and 1995, Barnette's teams were ranked No. 1 heading into the Class AA playoffs. He retired following the 1997 season and served as the school's athletic director until 1998.
In other games involving Big 10 teams, Liberty visits Lincoln, Tucker County plays host to Grafton and Lewis County visits East Fairmont.
In Shinnston, Liberty (0-6) will try to regroup following a 53-6 loss to Robert C. Byrd. Under the direction of former offensive coordinator Brian Fisher for the first time this season, the Mountaineers had their most productive offensive game. Quarterback Jason Salentro threw for 195 yards and a touchdown.
Lincoln (1-5) is coming off a 42-7 loss to Bridgeport. Senior quarterback Cody Wilt leads the Cougar offense with 591 yards of total offense.
Lewis County (3-3) snapped a two-game losing streak with a 38-6 win over Buckhannon-Upshur last week. Senior quarterback Patrick Morrison has thrown for 696 yards and eight TDs, while split end Dustin Cavins has 16 receptions for 376 yards and six touchdowns. Junior tailback Curtis Holden has rushed for 674 yards and nine TDs.
The Bees (1-5) are led by tailback Jason Venis and quarterback Jeff Noechel.
After an idle week, Grafton (1-4) will take on Tucker County (0-6). Senior Mike Keener has gained 281 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Bearcats.
In games involving other NCAC teams, Fairmont Senior (2-4) visits Buckhannon-Upshur (1-5), Class AAA No. 2 Morgantown is at North Marion and Class AAA No. 3 University plays host to No. 15 Parkersburg South.
In other area games, Class AA No. 18 Doddridge County plays host to No. 16 Williamstown, Braxton County travels to Richwood, Gilmer County is host to Wahama and Clay-Battelle visits Valley Wetzel.
Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org