Then there's another issue at stake in this year's Kennedy balloting: What to do with Martinsburg's Malique Watkins?
Watkins, a senior quarterback and the leading rusher for the three-time defending Class AAA champion Bulldogs, possibly has his eligibility hanging by a court order as the regular season winds down.
Watkins, who attended the eighth grade twice - once in West Virginia and once in Maryland - has already been ruled ineligible by the SSAC, but a Jefferson County circuit court judge issued a temporary injunction, allowing Watkins to play. The SSAC awaits a court order explaining the decision before making its next move.
His credentials are certainly impressive enough - Watkins has run for 865 yards and seven touchdowns and has completed 31 of 53 passes for 372 yards and three TDs. In one of Martinsburg's biggest tests, he rushed for 277 yards and three TDs in a 28-21 win over otherwise-unbeaten Morgantown.
But some media members will surely penalize Watkins on their ballots - or not vote for him at all - because of the circumstances. The same thing happened in 2010 when Justin Fox of Magnolia edged South Charleston quarterback Tyler Harris in one of the closest votes in the history of the Kennedy Award, now in its 65th year.
Harris, who won the Kennedy in 2009, was one of four Black Eagles suspended after their involvement in an end-of-game fight in the playoff quarterfinals and received a local court injunction to be able to compete in the 2010 semifinals. That move was later rescinded after rulings by the state Supreme Court and the SSAC, forcing a forfeit loss.
Several voters around the state admitted they didn't vote for Harris due to the controversy.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.
A look at recent George Washington running backs, their total yards rushing and per-game average:
Year Player Yards Avg
2010 Felix Mollett 2,024 168.7
2011 Ryan Switzer 2,796 199.7
2012 Ryan Switzer 2,379 198.3
2013 Draven Riffe 1,158 231.6
Note: Mollett finished sixth in the Kennedy Award voting and Switzer won it twice.