"If they do win, it's well deserved on their part. I know what it takes to do what they're doing - a lot of hard work and dedication, and a superior coaching staff. It's probably harder to do what they did than what we did back then, considering the psychological barrier.''
Chamberlain, who also played at Cincinnati and still resides in Charleston, pointed out that Martinsburg - as well as the other recent back-to-back champs - needed to win four playoff games to take a title, whereas Charleston High only had to win one.
"I've thought about that here recently,'' Chamberlain said. "I'm kind of shocked the record hasn't been broken for a long time, but actually with the playoff system being the way it is, it's a little harder to win three in a row.
"By the time we played 10 games and then one [in the postseason], it was very tiring. I couldn't imagine playing four. The mindset of playing four [playoff] games and staying mentally tough all four games - that's tough psychologically. That's probably one of the reasons it hasn't been broken.''
No matter the outcome today in Wheeling, count on a few more telephone conversations between old Charleston High players and coaches this weekend as they rehash old times and what it's like to possibly share the spotlight after all these years.
"I'm kind of with Coach [Pritt],'' Hurt said. "I'd like to remain there. It's something to stick your chest out about.
"It's stood for 42 years, so it speaks for itself. That conversation still has the Charleston Mountain Lions at the top of that list until Saturday. Hopefully - I'm not wishing them bad luck - but I'd like to stay on top of that list.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.
Teams that have won two straight Class AAA state titles in football (the SSAC started the AAA division in 1958):
1960-61 - Weir
1968-70 - *Charleston
1980-81 - North Marion
1992-93 - DuPont
2004-05 - Morgantown
2006-07 - Parkersburg
2008-09 - South Charleston
2010-11 - Martinsburg
*Note: Only team to win three titles in a row