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Derek Taylor

Prep sports editor
  • Phone 304-348-5170
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  • Dep Sports

South Charleston’s Grier wins House Award as state’s top prep QB


In 2009 and 2010, South Charleston quarterback Tyler Harris set a statistical standard for Black Eagles quarterbacks that appeared unlikely to be soon surpassed.

That lasted all of four seasons. Midway through the ...

Capital’s Haley selected as Warner Award winner


By now, many high school football fans in West Virginia might think they have a good impression of Capital senior Kashuan Haley.

Loud, confident and intimidating are words that come to mind when describing the runn...

Capital’s Haley wins Warner Award as state’s top running back


CHARLESTON, W.Va. —By now, many high school football fans in West Virginia might think they have a good impression of Capital senior Kashuan Haley.

Loud, confident and intimidating are words that come to min...

BOYS BASKETBALL: Capital storms back to defeat Hurricane


Boys basketball

State champ Capital places four on Class AAA All-State first team


Capital’s unbeaten run to its first Class AAA football state championship since 1995 continued to produce dividends for the program Sunday, as four Cougars were named to the Class AAA All-State team as selected by...

PREP BASKETBALL: Former Sissonville girls’ star helping Indians


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Welcome home, Kaitlin Snyder.

The 2012 West Virginia Conference women’s basketball Player of the Year and Fairmont State star is working out in prep gyms once again, as the 2009 Si...

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Bandak leads Charleston Catholic past Parkersburg Catholic


Charleston Catholic 36, Parkersburg Catholic 30

BOYS BASKETBALL: Bellomy lifts Winfield to win over Nitro


Boys basketball

Watson, Pratt captains of Class A all-state football team


When the Class A state championship was on the line in Saturday night in Wheeling, its outcome came down to two multi-talented football players.

On one hand, there was Williamstown senior quarterback/defensive back...

Derek Taylor: New individual awards created to honor W.Va. prep players


In the early days of the 2014 high school football season, South Charleston coach Donnie Mays floated an idea my way in a conversation he and I had in the Black Eagles’ press box.

Mays wanted to know the pos...

Capital/SC title game marred by flags


WHEELING — Capital’s first Class AAA state championship in football came with its fair share of drama, even if the Cougars (13-0) ran away from South Charleston (11-3) in a 55-15 rout.

“I can&#...

Williamstown’s Watson guts it out for a title


WHEELING — Dakota Watson stole St. Marys fairy-tale ending, and was willing to pay a physical price for doing so.

Watson, Williamstown’s senio...

Haley gave Capital defense a boost


WHEELING — Almost no one saw this coming.

Well, except maybe for Kashuan Haley.

Haley, Capital’s senior running back and Kennedy Award contender as the state’...

Bridgeport’s Holmes feels at home on the Island


WHEELING — Mackenzie Holmes must love Wheeling Island Stadium.

The Bridgeport sophomore linebacker shined Friday night in the Indians’ 43-7 win over Frankfort in the Class...

Capital’s Haley named Kanawha Valley Player of the Year


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Once he leaves high school, Kashuan Haley has three career possibilities that Capital coach Jon Carpenter foresees as possible success stories.

“He’s either going to be like...

SUPER SIX PREVIEW: Title games feature two rematches from regular season


State title games feature two rematches from regular season

Bridgeport coach wants Frankfort’s best shot


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Though he does not plan to count on it, Bridgeport football coach Josh Nicewarner has seen what a first trip to Wheeling Island Stadium can do to a team.

“I want Frankfort to be a...

GIRLS BASKETBALL: St. Albans must replace Wilson


Girls basketball preview

Derek Taylor: There were more right than wrong projections in 2014


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Secondary School Activities Commission assistant executive director Butch Powell approached me Sunday morning and scoffed jokingly.

“I don’t know why we bother to play the ...

History helped shape both Capital, South Charleston


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — South Charleston football coach Donnie Mays and Capital coach Jon Carpenter each addressed history when they spoke Sunday of their teams’ upcoming meeting with the Class AAA state champ...

Unsung heroes shine in Capital win


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Most people familiar with high school football in the Mountain State Athletic Conference were familiar with Capital sophomore Silas Nazario prior to the Cougars’ surprisingly easy 35-7 w...

Capital, Martinsburg meet again


Capital is focusing on a 48-minute span when planning for its Class AAA football playoff semifinal Saturday against Martinsburg.

While Capital coach Jon Carpenter said he believes a good start to be imperative agai...

Notebook: Bridgeport, Wayne meet in another heavyweight clash


Defending Class AA football state champion Bridgeport still does not have a true star on offense, but the Indians (11-1) keep on playing just the same.

The top-seeded team in the Class AA field plays host to No. 5 ...

South Charleston’s Pitts has helped fill a void


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The collective groan that filled the air above South Charleston when senior A.D. Cunningham was lost for the season with a knee injury was predictable.

Cunningham is a Division I football...

Capital front bigger, stronger in 2014


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Capital football coach Jon Carpenter subscribes to the philosophy that a team’s stiffest competition is actually itself.

The mindset, in a nutshell, says that if a team is perform...

Derek Taylor: Black Eagles, Cougars in sight of scoring records


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As Capital and South Charleston high schools inch toward a potential meeting in the Class AAA state championship, a pair of Kanawha County high school football records are in peril.

SC co...

AAA: Huntington cashes in mistakes, tops Midland


ONA — Turnovers in the game’s first and final minutes doomed Class AAA No. 2 seed and host Cabell Midland Saturday, allowing opportunistic seventh-seed Huntington to advance wit...

No. 1 Capital expects a challenge from Wheeling Park


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — At some point, No. 1 seed Capital’s road to the Super Six is bound to get more difficult, coach Jon Carpenter said.

After hanging 70 points on No. 16 seed Parkersburg South (6-5)...

Huntington, Cabell Midland rivalry heats up for playoffs


PARKERSBURG — Will The Shield trade hands should Class AAA No. 7 seed Huntington knock off rival and No. 2 seed Cabell Midland in the football playoff quarterfinals on Saturday? Neither head coach involved in the ...

Stars collide with Ravenswood vs. Westside


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Ravenswood football coach Mick Price didn’t mince words about his team’s unlikely 42-41 win over No. 3 seed Bluefield in the first round of the Class AA playoffs last week,

Moorefield’s Schoonover excels with extra workload


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The increased wear and tear on Moorefield All-State linebacker Wil Schoonover as a result of his stepping into a leading role on offense has not slowed the Yellow Jackets in their pursuit of a...

Foes somewhat familiar with Capital, South Charleston


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — If Class AAA top seed Capital and No. 6 seed South Charleston hope to advance in the 2014 high school football playoffs, they’ll have to make it through two teams that have substantial ...

Class A: No. 10 Buffalo blanks No. 7 Doddridge County


WEST UNION, W.Va. — Mike Sawyer’s desire to maintain the regular-season routine established for his young Buffalo football team paid off Friday night, and the Bison extended an unexpectedly successful seaso...

Spring Valley gets another shot at South Charleston


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — South Charleston’s 43-14 win over Spring Valley on Sept. 12 had an asterisk placed on it almost as soon as the clocks hit zero.

“We’ve kind of reversed roles. When ...

A smile is never far away for Capital coach


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — When he needs to brush off the clouds and cheer up, Jon Carpenter looks at his happy face.


The coach of the top-seeded team in the Class AAA football playoffs, Capital&#...

Bridgeport well-balanced for Class AA playoffs


PARKERSBURG — Yes, there’s a Tonkery in Bridgeport’s football backfield, and yes, there’s a Bonamico, too. Just don’t tell Indians coach Josh Nicewarner that they’re the star pla...

DEREK TAYLOR: Consolidation a success so far for Mingo Central football


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Yogi Kinder predicted the success of the 2014 Mingo Central Miners two years ahead of time.

During an interview for the Gazette-Mail’s preseason football preview in 2012, the vete...

Class A playoff notebook: Tug Valey in unfamiliar territory


Class A playoff notebook

No. 1 Capital staying the course


PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The last time Capital High School was the top-seeded team for the Class AAA football playoffs, Cougars coach Jon Carpenter was a sophomore at East Bank.

Times have changed significantly ...

Tucker, Buffalo run past Wahama


MASON, W.Va. — Jordan Tucker set the tone early, and Buffalo’s defense held its own until it no longer mattered Friday night, leading the Bison to a 36-18 win over host Wahama that ended a six-game winning ...

Capital coach wants team’s approach to stay the same against GW


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There will be no Color Me Badd or Gerardo for Jon Carpenter. The Capital coach would rather throw on some Public Enemy late Friday night and kick back like it’s 1991.


Notebook: Huntington loss might not hurt South Charleston


As it turns out, the only thing South Charleston’s 20-16 loss to Huntington on Friday night might cost the Black Eagles is in the win column.

SC entered the game, its first without injured senior running bac...

Late punt block lifts Huntington past South Charleston


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There is only supposed to be one audible “thud” during a punt. When there’s two, something big is usually about to happen in a game of football.

Such was the case Fri...

South Charleston’s A.D. Cunningham out for remainder of season


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Huntington won’t be the only Top 10 team missing a key player when the Class AAA No. 8 Highlanders (5-3) visit to fifth-ranked South Charleston (8-1) on Friday night.

“A.D. ...

Derek Taylor: Class A power shift comes true


On the Friday before the opening day of high school football preseason practice, a column penned by yours truly hailed a potential shift of power among Class A teams throughout the state.

With 12 days remaining bef...

Capital coach feels ‘terrible’ about 91-14 win


Capital football coach Jon Carpenter is well aware that the top-ranked Cougars’ 91-14 dismantling of Nitro last Friday night has rubbed some people the wrong way.

“I tried to keep it from getting wors...

Mingo Central blasts Scott


MADISON, W.Va. — Mingo Central’s hard-hitting defense stopped Scott quarterback Bo Jeffrey inside its 1-yard line as time expired in the first half Friday night, paving the way for a seizure of momentum tha...