High school sports are very meaningful to us in the Ohio Valley.
Sometimes, though, they need put into perspective.
In the grand scheme of things, high school sports are pretty far down the totem pole in the real world, especially when you're talking about some of the issues that those who protect our freedom are dealing with.
Beallsville and Cameron high schools are well aware of that.
At halftime of their game last Friday, Blue Devils' assistant coach Dave Wiles left the game to head to Pittsburgh to prepare to begin a deployment to Afghanistan as a member of the United States Army.
It was great to hear that Wiles was properly recognized on the public address system at Cameron so both sides could show their support for him and our country.
Wiles and the countless other soldiers around the world risk their lives, so we're able to enjoy things like high school sports. Often times, we take that for granted and put too much emphasis on who wins a game or who scores a touchdown.
Those tough games become a little easier to deal with when considering some of the alternatives that surround us in this world.
I am also impressed that Wiles, knowing he'd have to leave the game early, still went to the game. That not only shows his dedication to country, but also to Beallsville and the players he coaches.
I feel safe in saying the entire Ohio Valley is certainly rooting for Wiles and the entire United States military. Because, while many are rivals on the field on Friday and Saturdays, we're all teammates in the grand scheme of things.
Thank you, coach, or should I say, Sgt. Wiles for all that you've done. Actually, thanks for the things you've done for Beallsville athletics and what you're doing for our country.
Shadyside junior Austin Dorris spent much of his summer going from camp to camp on major college football campuses trying to get his name and abilities out there to help his recruiting process.
When you're 6-5, 220, athletic and fairly fast, the college coaches usually take note.
While the process might have been a bit more drawn out than Dorris had hoped, it all paid dividends late last week.
Dorris received a scholarship offer from Ohio University to continue his football careers for the Bobcats in the fall of 2015.
At the collegiate level, Dorris is being looked at as a tight end despite playing quarterback for the Tigers this season.
Along with his Ohio offer, Dorris was a guest at the Ohio State vs. San Diego State game a few weeks ago.
Thus far this season, Dorris has helped lead the Tigers to a 4-0 start. He's had some big games, including the week three game against Bellaire. Defensively, Dorris is adjusting to playing corner this season.
Monroe Central started the season with back-to-back setbacks to teams (Union Local and Shadyside) that are currently a combined 7-1 on the season.
As he's done plenty of times in the past, Jay Circosta has righted the ship. Monroe Central was won its last two outings, including an impressive win on the road at Caldwell this past Friday.
The Seminoles have decided that Curtis Nixon is their quarterback and it's a decision he's not making them regret. Nixon is the Seminoles' best athlete, so why not put the ball in his hands as frequently as possible?
On top of Nixon's play, the Seminoles' defense has improved and their line is blocking better, which has greatly helped Levi Brown find some creases to get the running game going.
The 'Noles will be tested this week when they return home to face unblemished Fort Frye. This game could go a long way in determining a playoff berth for both teams. The winner will receive a truckload of bonus points.
The Bellaire Big Reds and Wheeling Central Maroon Knights dealt with stinging defeats during Week 3.
The Big Reds dropped a tough one to Shadyside and Central was humbled on the road at Madonna.
Neither team nor staff hung its head, however. Both got back to work and the coaches made sure the players realized there was plenty of season to go.
The message got through loud and clear, evidently. The Big Reds overcame three first-quarter turnovers for a 26-12 victory against Edison and the Knights posted a 26-21 victory against city-rival Linsly.
Both teams could afford a loss last week and the players got the job done. Resiliency is such an important factor in high school football because there are going to be plenty of peaks and valleys during the season.
The Big Reds' much-maligned defense buckled down when it had to against the Wildcats and the offense was able to make enough plays.
The Maroon Knights made a few subtle changes. Frosh Isaac Rine saw more time at quarterback as C.J. Burch and Parker Henry remained the focal points in the ground game.
St. Clairsville sophomore linebacker Jake Stewart has been turning heads on the defensive side of the ball this season. His first start at Claymont he recorded 17 tackles.
He trumped that this past week at Martins Ferry.
According to the stats provided to The Times Leader, Stewart was in on 25 tackles, which head coach Brett McLean said is a record for his tenure as the head coach.
The Harrison Central victory on Friday against Union Local was bittersweet for the Huskies. Obviously, they're pumped to be 2-2 on the season after the 27-7 victory. However, the win didn't come without a price.
The injury bug took a bite out of Coach Justin Kropka's squad. Kropka told me via text Sunday that he believes two-way junior starter Casey Runevitch has been lost for the season due to injury.
"I feel so bad for Runevitch," Kropka said. "He had been busting his butt and was becoming one of the better linebackers in the conference."
Travis Stenson, one of the Huskies' playmakers on offense, was also injured. His status for this week and beyond was still unknown.
Harrison Central visits Martins Ferry Friday night.
CHECKING ON THE LOCALS
CANTON McKINLEY ran its record to 3-0 under Steubenville High graduate Todd Filtz. The Bulldogs didn't have it easy, however, against rival North Canton Hoover, which is winless. Behind Ohio State commit Eric Glover-Williams, McKinley prevailed, 35-28.
WESTERVILLE CENTRAL made it a 3-1 start despite multiple delays for inclement weather in suburban Columbus. Coach John Magistro's squad took down Dublin Scioto, 41-38, in a thriller.
The first Ohio High School Athletic Association playoff ranking hits the press this week. The Harbin system of points is utilized to determine the top eight seeds in each region for what teams will qualify for the football tournament in November.
Staskey can be reached at email@example.com