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OVAC Basketball Championship

February 12, 2009 - Seth Staskey
One of the greatest sporting events of the Ohio Valley calendar is less than 48 hours away when the Wheeling Hospital OVAC Basketball Championship takes center stage at Ohio University Eastern.

The event -- which was needed for years in our opinion -- crowns the four conference champions. The idea was met with many questions when it was first introduced in 2006, but now with the second year approaching, it's quickly catching the wrestling and track meets as the premier championship events of the year.

How often do you get four quality basketball games on one day trying to crown a champion. There's a special Saturday in March which does that and the stakes are even higher in Columbus, but for our local teams no state championship appear imminent. Therefore, winning the OVAC title is something these players and coaches can always hang their hats on.

I know for a fact the first thing I do when I walk into any gymnasium -- whether it's one I have been to countless times or a new one, I immediately look up toward the ceiling to look at the school's banners. People make the point that the they don't care about the OVAC. That's a bunch of fooey if you ask me.

I have used more text message and cell phone minutes the past two weeks sending scores, updates and OVAC pairings to area coaches and Athletic Directors than ever before. I know one school played five games in seven days because of seeding for the OVAC Tournament. Take Steubenville Central, their coach was all about talking about sitting and awaiting the scores to trickle in to see if his Crusaders would make the tournament.

Prior to this format, the OVAC champ was crowned through a mathematics system that Einstein would have trouble figuring out, but now it's settled on the court and the team who performs on its given Saturday will be awarded the trophy and banner.

In sports, you use the term championship game and everyone's a little pumped up. Players and coaches are nervous and fans and message boards are anxious. It's for that matter that makes sports great.

Hope to see everyone at OUE. Me, being an OVAC supporter, backer and fan, will be there for all four games each of the next two weekends.


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