MHS must cope with high hopes
coach Tom Yester enters this season wondering how his team, which must replace three starters from last season’s 20-6 team, will match up against other state powers.
    The early reports are in and the Mohigans will start the season Wednesday night against Preston with the preseason No. 4 ranking.
    After four consecutive 20-win seasons, Yester has seen his yearly teams turn into a program. At one time being ranked was a novelty for any local team — it’s now expected of the Mohigans.
    “It’s what you work for,” Yester said. “If you’re able to get things rolling then things begin to work for you. More than anything, it’s a tribute to the great participation we get from our players in the summer.
    “We’re able to keep our kids together for the most part instead of having them spread out on a bunch of different teams. Our kids know how much work has to go into building and now maintaining a program and what it takes to get to the state tournament.”
    The Mohigans will certainly have their work cut out for them this season. Region I rival Wheeling Park is ranked No. 3 and University High is expected to pick up its strong play from late last season.
    The top ranking, as if it were a secret, went to defending Class AAA champ Huntington, which returns center Patrick Patterson, who may be more of a favorite to win the state’s basketball Player of the Year more than Nitro tailback Josh Culbertson is the favorite to win the Kennedy Award.
    The Mohigans will face an early test with a game against No. 8 Parkersburg South, at the Charleston Civic Center, on Dec. 16.
    The first meeting with University High isn’t until Jan. 27 and the Mohigans will travel to Wheeling Park on Feb. 4.
    You really have to like the way MHS girls’ coach Allan Collins put his schedule together this season.
    The preseason No. 1 team will again travel to Pickerington, Ohio, for a national tournament, Dec. 26-30.
    But, Collins also was able to add another team to his nonconference schedule — Capital.
    Many may remember the Cougars went undefeated last season and took the No. 1 ranking from MHS, only to lose in the regional tournament and not qualify for the states. The two teams will meet Jan. 7, at MHS.
    Capital, along with Parkersburg South will be a couple of nice tests for the Mohigans, along with the Jan. 17 and Feb. 2 matchups with No. 5 University.
    Former Morgantown High standout Shane Fogarty saw his college football career at UConn come to an end on a positive note.
    The senior walk-on quarterback was presented by UConn coach Randy Edsall as the inaugural winner of the Joseph M. Giannelli Unsung Hero Award.
    Giannelli was a World War II veteran who died in 2002. Giannelli coached at UConn for 37 years, spending 15 years with the football program, 20 years with the men’s golf team and two seasons as the men’s lacrosse coach.
    Edsall and his staff selected Fogarty based on his effort, dedication and steady performance without notice and acclaim, making a significant, but perhaps hidden, contribution to the program.
    Fogarty, whose younger brother Seth is a sophomore receiver for the Huskies, served as the team’s holder for kicks and also worked as the scout team quarterback.
JUSTIN JACKSON covers high school sports for The Dominion Post. Reach him at