Ohio County Schools Laments Loss of Super Six

photo by: Joselyn King

Ohio County Board of Education member Pete Chacalos, right, speaks during Monday ’s board of education meeting.

WHEELING – Officials with Ohio County Schools wish Charleston well in hosting the state high school football championships for the next three years, but they are skeptical West Virginia’s capital city will maintain the standards set for the event by “the Friendly City.”

The loss of the state championships was discussed during this week’s Ohio County Board of Education meeting. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission Board of Directors voted last week to move the games from Wheeling – home for the event for the last three decades – to Charleston, its previous home before the move north. The WVSSAC also entertained a joint bid from Morgantown and Huntington and a bid from Bluefield.

“I was very disappointed in the decision by the WVSSAC to move the Super Eight – formerly the Super Six – to Charleston for the next three years,” Board President Andy Garber said. “The rationale used to make the decision was, quote, ‘Charleston is committed to student and fan experience, as well as the financial success of the event.’

“Seriously, we wrote the book on that,” he continued. “We’re the gold standard. Hopefully, when there is a decision on who will next host the football championship, the WVSSAC will remember who the host city was that made the event a real student and fan experience.

“What helped make the Super Six a super success in Wheeling were the many volunteers who participated, the leadership, and “a community that loves high school football,” Garber added. “And thanks to all those who have been involved over the past 30 years in making the Super Six our crown jewel.”

He commended the efforts of Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones and Wheeling Park High School Athletic Director/Football Coach Chris Daugherty “who picked up the ball” from retired Athletic Director Dwaine Rodgers and Greg Stewart as co-chairs of the Wheeling Super Six committee.

Board member Pete Chacalos has been involved with the Super Six over the years, and he hopes Charleston will be able to pick up the ball from Wheeling and run the championship as it was done here.

He remembered going with the Wheeling Park High School team as an athletic trainer when the team played for the state championship in 1991.

“We arrived in Charleston on Thursday evening,” Chacalos said. “Each team has a host. Our host didn’t make contact until two hours before kickoff. We were on our own. It’s not like it is now.”

Chacalos later served as a host for the Super Six teams while the championship was in Wheeling. He said he would meet the team he was assigned to when they came into town at its hotel and “get them whatever they needed.”

“Granted that was a long time ago,” he said of the team’s experience in Charleston in 1991. “Hopefully, that won’t be the case for the next three years in Charleston. I hope they can pick up the ball and do what we can.

“But I don’t think they can. I hope they can for the sake of the game. Hopefully, they have learned something.”

Board member Eric Schramm continued the sentiment.

“The Super Six is moving on, but not for a lack of effort from Mr. Jones, Mr. Daugherty and others,” he said. “I look around this room, and I see guys who maybe worked there all 30 years. I see other people in this audience who were there. Over the 30 years, there were a lot of sponsors and players. There was a lot of support from the school system and the community.

“It’s a shame for us that it is going, but to do anything for 30 years – and maintain it at the standard this county maintained it – is amazing. ”

Wheeling Island Stadium has turf because of the Super Six, Schramm continued. He remembers attending the dedication of the original turf in 2004 – and there was flooding shortly after, he noted.

He also recalled muddy championship games happening there before the turf was placed.

“Congratulations and thank you to all of those who tried,” Schramm added. “And congratulations to all of you who for 30 years made it a success.”

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