CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- You could make the argument that Wayne's football program has come full circle.
The first time the Pioneers made it to the Super Six in Wheeling (2000), they were the underdog in the Class AA finals against top-ranked and unbeaten Bridgeport, which was in the midst of a 27-game winning streak.
Wayne, as the No. 2 seed, lost that night 14-6, but since has made many trips back to Island Stadium, this being the seventh time since 2000.
And what goes around, comes around.
On Friday, the Pioneers (13-0) are the ones who are unbeaten, top-ranked, the two-time defending champions and toting a 36-game win streak, which equals the state record.
And the team they'll be meeting up with? Again, it's Bridgeport (12-1), which this time bears the role of the No. 2 seed. It's the first time the teams have met since that night in 2000.
Only one thing keeps this scenario from being a 180-degree flip of the last game: Wayne coach Tom Harmon doesn't exactly think his team has graduated from underdog to top dog.
"There's probably a pretty good argument that we're not the favorite,'' Harmon said. "Look at what they did to the opponents they played.''
The Indians' lone loss came by three points to Wheeling Park, an 11-win team that reached the AAA semifinals.
They've met six AA playoff teams this season and have outscored them 244-69, an average of 41-12. The closest game in that bunch was a 21-point verdict over a solid No. 3 Bluefield team last week (42-21).
When appraised of Harmon's comments, Bridgeport coach Josh Nicewarner chuckled.
"Believe it or not, I beg to differ,'' Nicewarner said. "The great thing about this matchup is that I would like to be a fan watching this game. It's exciting.
"I have no doubts that Wayne has got the best football team we've seen all year. That's the way it should be coming into the championship game. We're excited about being here, but we're not going to settle for that. They have a lot on the line as well - going for a 37th straight win and third consecutive double-A title. There are a lot of back stories, a lot of excitement surrounding it.''
Getting to know you
When you have a little less than a week to prepare for a championship game, you never seem to have enough time.
But when you're playing a team you're fairly unfamiliar with, you basically start from scratch.
Such is the case with Huntington and three-time defending champ Martinsburg in the Class AAA title game.
Located at opposite ends of West Virginia, the teams don't see each other in the regular season or have anything close to a common opponent. The last time they saw each other was the 2011 quarterfinals.