Often times, the good deeds of people around the Ohio Valley go unnoticed.
However, the thing about people of the Ohio Valley is they're always there for one another in a time of need, regardless of what logo their favorite team wears on its helmet.
Last Friday, Shadyside's Football Moms approached Tigers' Athletic Director Gary Cunningham about taking up a collection to donate to the family of the late Jimmy Cameron, who passed away earlier this month.
The idea, which was spearheaded by Wendy Tomlinson and Kathy Hammond, originally called for a collection basket to be placed on the moms' merchandise table inside the Fleming Field gates.
Cunningham encouraged them to pass a basket around the stands to garner more money. It turned out, Shadyside and Shenandoah combined to donate $482 and the moms donated $18 more for an even $500.
Kudos to all of those involved in the efforts.
1. Barnesville - Slow starts are starting to become a staple for the Shamrocks, but at the same time, so are strong finishes. Something tells me, Coach Luke Johnson and his staff are working dillingently to make sure the Shamrocks begin putting four solid quarters together. Hopefully, the Pumpkin Festival being in town this week isn't too big of a distraction as Shenandoah comes calling.
2. Linsly - The Cadets are really good. They've been steadily climbing this list and earning my respect. I was highly impressed with how they seemingly dominated Kiski Prep. Quarterback Alex Stephens is one of the top playmakers in the Ohio Valley that most people have never heard of.
3. Wheeling Central - The Knights just continue to get it done. Central improved to 4-0 with an impressive victory against Bridgeport. Quarterback Parker Henry and tailback Gino Bianconi are putting up solid numbers each week.
4. Monroe Central - The Seminoles have seemed to have found their stride. An impressive victory at Caldwell made it three straight wins for the Seminoles. For the first time this season, the Seminoles had their vaunted ground game cranking and senior quarterback Tyler Kinchen did most of the yeoman's work.
5. Beallsville - The Blue Devils like to throw the football, but as they've shown the past two weeks, they're more than capable of running the ball well, too. The Blue Devils seem to be getting better and better with each passing week.
Just Missed: Shadyside (2-2).
1. Steubenville - Big Red once again took care of their business by pummeling Brooke last Friday. Steubenville against teams from West Virginia isn't a contest. Big Red was ranked No. 1 in the initial Division III AP poll, which we think is a tad bit high. However, they're certainly the class of the Ohio Valley once again.
2. St. Clairsville - The Red Devils didn't have the ball much last Friday, but they don't need it long, either. St. C.'s quick-strike ability is quite a luxury. The Red Devils have weapons all over the field and got Dan Monteroso back last week.
3. Cambridge - The Bobcats opened some serious eyes around the ECOL and the Ohio Valley last week with their overtime win against New Philadelphia. Dashaun Lewis is a horse and Rick Goodrich and the Bobcats are riding him. To me, that's smart coaching. The Bobcats don't have much time to enjoy their ECOL win as they load up for Thornville and a meeting with Sheridan this week.
4. Buckeye Local - The Panthers demonstrated this is by no means the 2010 team. A season ago, the Panthers had a lead against Bellaire and folded like a house of cards in the second half. This past week, against the Big Reds, the Panthers rallied and then fought off a Bellaire comeback for the victory. One critical aspect to watch in the coming days and weeks was the injury sustained by Josten Dear.
5. Martins Ferry - The Purple Riders won't wow anyone with their electric, high-scoring offense. However, as always seems to be case, the Riders are stingy on defense and they don't beat themselves. Ferry showed resolve in coming back from a halftime deficit against Harrison Central.
Just Missed: Oak Glen (3-1),
WHERE'S THE OFFENSE?
Mike Flannery is considered by many football pundits as one of the best offensive minds around.
Unfortunately, the Pilots are struggling on that side of the ball. Struggling might be a big soft of a term since they've not scored since week one. That's three consecutive weeks of being blanked.
That's extremely hard to imagine in high school football because usually there are defensive lapses that lead to a gift score or even the defense or special teams helps get you on the board with a lengthy return or a key turnover.
River is just struggling to put things together.
One thing I know for sure, Flannery will burn the midnight oil until he figures out just what's going wrong with his offense. The Pilots have talent and eventually they're going to put it together and explode on someone, but they'd better do it quickly and this week won't be easy as Caldwell, which has lost two in a row is coming to Hannibal.
Lost in the shuffle because of the Pilots' offensive struggles has been how well their defense has played this year. Eventually, River is going to get it all together and they're going to make a push this season and could play the role of spoiler down the road.
This week marks another trophy game around the Ohio Valley. The 4-0 St. Clairsville Red Devils will host 2-2 Harrison Central in the annual meeting for the Coal Bucket.
This game had always been played during the final week of the campaign, but was shifted to the Week 5 spot because of the well-documented Buckeye 8 scheduling change.
Regardless of when this game is, it's entertaining and this is one that's been tough to predict over time. On paper, it looks like St. Clairsville is a better team, but games aren't played on paper and Harrison Central is a quality team that's dealt with much-talked about adversity seemingly all season.
The Red Devils own an 8-3 lead in the series, which was started in 2000.
Read more about this game and others this week in The Times Leader.
The season hits its midway point this week and people are starting to pay more and more attention to the OHSAA computer rankings. While the popular website Joe Eitel keeps everyone pretty much up to date, the OHSAA will formally release its first computer rankings this week.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org