THERE APPEARS to be rumbling in the land of the Big Reds. Word is leaking out that Bellaire High may be on the verge of leaving the Buckeye 8 athletic league.
We are of the belief the Big Reds would also then be on the verge of making a major mistake.
The Buckeye 8 is the template for an ideal prep sports league. In its 6 plus years of existence, the loop has been steeped in success as well as the limelight.
Bellaire’s possible defection comes as a major surprise. Granted, the Big Reds have the smallest enrollment in the conference, but only slightly under the numbers of Martins Ferry and Union Local.
Competitively speaking, wins and losses are cyclical in nature. The last two seasons have seen the Big Reds compete quite well on the gridiron. Other sports in the Big Reds’ Nation have experienced varying results. That is the nature of the beast for any of the Buckeye 8 members. No one school dominates across the board.
The Buckeye 8 is a seamless meshing of eight Eastern Ohio schools. So much so, the loop has several other schools interested in joining.
With that said, Bellaire’s pondering of conference exodus is one we feel is misguided.
Should the Big Reds opt to go that route, we see no destination that would serve their needs in suitable fashion. Scheduling and travel would become cumbersome.
If departure does come to fruition, we expect Bellaire would continue to play ancient rival Martins Ferry as well as St. Clairsville and Union Local. Buckeye Local is a good competitive fit, as is Edison and Harrison Central. The league’s final member, Indian Creek, is no across-the-board juggernaut.
So why leave?
We have enough faith in the Bellaire High administration that it will realize the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.