The Sports Dogs’ Top 5 for 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, The Sports Dogs reflect on their Top 5 sports stories of the year.

For a full breakdown of Randy and Ryan’s Top 5, check out the latest Sports Dogs Podcast here.

Randy’s Top 5:

  1. The sale of the Washington Commanders from Dan Snyder to Josh Harris, Magic Johnson, and their group.
  2. The Orioles stun the MLB to win the AL East and over 100 games.
  3. The Bob Huggins Era comes to an end in Morgantown after using homophobic slurs on a radio interview and then arrested for drunk driving.
  4. Martinsburg High School secures their 10th WV state championship since 2010
  5. Alderson Broaddus, Randy’s alma mater, closes it’s doors in Philippi.

Ryan’s Top 5:

  1. The debut of The River Rivalry trophy for the Warren County-Skyline football game.
  2. Millbrook High School alum Nazeeh Johnson plays a crucial role in the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl run.
  3. James Madison University’s final transitioning year to the FBS features Top 25 rankings, College Gameday, and after threats of lawsuits and litigation, the first bowl appearance in school history.
  4. Local schools earn state championships including Clarke County girls’ soccer and basketball teams and James Wood volleyball’s second consecutive title.
  5. Skyline basketball’s 26-1 season featuring the school’s first state semifinal appearance, a regional championship, and Zack Diggs becoming the first 1000 point scorer in Skyline history.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Preview: Warren County vs Skyline featuring Coach Breeden and Gilbert

The annual Warren County (1-8) and Skyline (3-6) football game has even more on the line this year with the addition of The River Rivalry Trophy which will be presented to the winner on the field following the game.

The broadcast for the Game of the Week will begin at 6:40 pm with Randy Woodward and Ryan Rutherford on The River 95.3, 1450 WFTR, streaming at theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App.

This rivalry has fired up both teams.

Warren County has nothing to lose as they sit outside the playoff picture.

Coach Josh Breeden emphasized to his team in practice this week the importance of this rivalry and trying to get the senior class their first win over Skyline.

The Wildcats hope to have P.J. Dellinger back at quarterback as he returns from injury, but the offense will rely on the backfield of Gavin Dodson and Blaise Skube.

Skube has looked strong lately with a 37-yard touchdown last week and a kickoff return for a touchdown the week prior, despite being bogged down by an injury earlier in the season.

Dodson has been steady for the Wildcats with his best game coming against one of the toughest defenses they have faced at Sherando.

Dodson finished that outing with 15 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown.

Last week, Warren County went to a “Wildcat” formation with both Dodson and Skube in the backfield and used a zone blocking scheme for their most successful drive against Meridian.

Last year, the Hawks contained the Warren County rushing game, holding the backfield to 72 yards on 28 carries.

This year, Skyline will rely on a defense that swarms to the ball carrier led by linebackers Marques Lockhart-Wright (73 tackles) and Andre Ford (71 tackles).

Offensively, the Hawks know their identity lies with the running game led by Aidan Vaught.

Vaught recently had one of the best games in state history against Meridian where he reached 452 rushing yards on 17.4 yards per carry with five touchdown.

In general, it has been a slower season for Vaught who certainly looks to end his regular season career at Skyline with a bang.

Vaught is back at his running back position this year, but last year as quarterback, he led the team with 112 rushing yards, 129 passing yards, and two rushing touchdowns against the Wildcats.

Skyline is currently in the playoffs, but Warren County would love to play spoiler of their cross-town rivals and put the first plaque on The River Rivalry Trophy.

Both teams will pull out all the stops and we may see a few exciting trick plays along the way.

Skyline has focused on accomplishing three goals this regular season:

  • Winning Homecoming
  • Winning Senior Night
  • Beating Warren County

They accomplished the first two and now look to check one more box before the playoffs.

Skyline will have more on the line tonight fighting for their playoff birth and a more experienced roster.

I predict that combination will help the Hawks secure the victory at Warren County and earn The River Rivalry Trophy in a thrilling 28-22 win.

Press play below for my interview with Skyline Head Coach Heath Gilbert and Warren County Head Coach Josh Breeden.

For more information on The River Rivalry Trophy, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.