I settled into the broadcast booth expecting a competitive game, at least for a while, when Musselman and Martinsburg warmed up below. And when the whoofing at each other occurred at the 50 yard line when the Applemen players planted their sledge hammer on the orange "M", I believed Musselman just might be in the right mindset to take on the bullies of the Eastern Panhandle.
What I saw unfold before a sellout crowd was a virtuoso performance by the very best sports program in the State of West Virginia. There have been dominant teams before, like the Parkersburg girls volleyball program that earned ten state titles in 16 years, or the Jefferson baseball team with its 11 state titles. Martinsburg football is not there in terms of sustained excellence but they are quietly making a historic run that may not end until Coach Dave Walker decides to do something else.
On the evee of Sandy strking our area, perhaps it is fitting to describe Martinsburg football as the perfect storm. Take an excellent coach, combine him with a fan base and school administration who will provide the support needed, mix in the best athletes in the area and you have the top football program in the State. To complete the equation, spice it up with success that breeds success. Athetes whose families transfer into this area now find a home in the Martinsburg district just to jump on the bandwagon. (The best running back on the Martinsburg team, who transferred from Florida, was injured and could not play last night. Perish the thought)
It is hard to believe but this team may be better than the last two state championship teams that never lost a game. The only thing holding me back from crowning them as such is the slip up at Westminster, Maryland earlier this season. But if they mow through the state playoff teams like they did against the sixth ranked team in the State last night there may be no better superlative to assign. Martinsburg is its only measuring stick.