NFL title game anything but Super

I AM a football junkie, but I will be the first to admit that today’s Super Bowl leaves a lot lacking for my viewing interest.

I have a disdain for both teams.

I never liked the 49ers when Bill Walsh was cranking out Super Bowl titles nearly every year. I cannot root for the Ravens either, as Ray Lewis is one of my all-time least favorite players. He is a con-artist, professing to find the Lord after beating a murder rap in Atlanta. Now he is linked with using banned substances to hasten his recovery from an injury this season.

Their is one positive hook I can hang my rooting interest on in today’s battle of coaching brothers. San Francisco’s head man, Jim Harbaugh, is a coach I admire and respect. His intensity spawned collegiate success at San Diego and Stanford and instantly in the NFL with the 49ers.

So in a small way I will be hoping for a Frisco triumph. But unfortunately, I believe the Ravens are motivated to the max with the impending retirement of Lewis.

So I see the Ravens prevailing, 21-20.



JACOB MATUSKA had a couple of special dinner guests this past week. Matuska is the highly touted football star at Columbus Bishop Hartley. His parents, Jim and Beth (Bierkortte) are St. John Central graduates.

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly and one of his grid assistants traveled to Columbus to dine at the Matuska household Monday.

Jacob is a 6-5, 240-pound tight end-linebacker. The all-stater has already verbally committed to Notre Dame. He is currently sparkling for the Hartley hoop team, as he is averaging more than 20 points and 10 boards a contest.



SCHOOL BUDGETS for the Belmont-Harrison JVS, Barnesville, Bellaire, Bridgeport, Martins Ferry, Shadyside, St. Clairsville and Union Local districts have been filed with the Belmont County Budget Commission. The budgets are for fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013 thru June 30, 2014.

The budget hearing dates will be Wednesday, Feb. 13, and Friday, Feb. 15, at the Belmont County Courthouse, auditor’s office, with the times listed below:

Wednesday, Feb. 13: St. Clairsville-Richland City, 9 a.m.; Belmont-Harrison JVS, 10 a.m.; Bellaire Local, 11 a.m.; Barnesville Exempted Village, 11:30 a.m.; Friday, Feb. 15: Union Local, 9:30 a.m.; Shadyside Local, 10:30 a.m.; Martins Ferry, 1:30 p.m.; Bridgeport Exempted Village, 2:30 p.m.


SPEAKING of the Super Bowl, a 30-second television ad costs $4 million.

CONGRATULATIONS to the St. Clairsville High cheerleaders on winning their sixth straight OVAC title?Saturday. Red Devils’ coach Shawn Tomlan has built a cheering dynasty on the hilltop.

THE BELMONT County Relay for Life Valentine’s Day Dance will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 and it will be held at the St. C. Rec Center. The dance will run from 7-11 p.m. For ticket information, contact Maggie Truchan at 695-2063 or 740-338-1530. The dance is BYOB and the cost is $25 per couple. That will also include food.

THE?MARTINS?Ferry Town Hall meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Martins Ferry Veterans Memorial Center. The meeting had been reset due to an illness which would have resulted in one of the city officials being forced to miss the event.

I WOULD be remiss if I didn’t send out condolences to the family of Tom Vichich. Tom was a cherished friend and as good a track coach as the Ohio Valley has ever known. But more importantly he was a great man in every sense of the word. He was always upbeat, optimistic and caring. He helped positively mold the lives of countless students.

LARRY ELLIOTT is one of the good guys in the academic administration profession. I received a friendly call from the Switzerland of Ohio Schools superintendent Friday.

He was phoning to further educate me on the district’s recent decision to forbid any extracurricular activities if students owe more than $50 on their cafeteria bill.

The policy has triggered a tidal wave of reaction, much of which is negative. Elliott assured me that no one goes hungry and everyone receives a quality lunch. He said much dialogue goes on between the administration and families in question. He said the policy sounds worse than it really is. In my many dealing with Elliott, I have come to know him as a passionate and caring school superintendent, one who cares about the well-being of his staff and students.

Kapral may be reached at