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Buckeye 8 loosening football schedule restrictions

September 19, 2012
By SETH STASKEY - Times Leader Sports Editor ( , Times Leader

Last season, the Buckeye 8 Athletic League shifted its football schedules to the point where the league members played each other in the final seven weeks of the season.

After a meeting Tuesday morning of the league athletic directors in Martins Ferry, that could be changing starting with the 2013 schedules.

The athletic directors formally agreed to explore the idea of moving Buckeye 8 games if both schools agree to.

For instance, if both schools, who are scheduled to play each other in Week 7, can find a non-league game for that spot, they could shift their game to one of the first three weeks.

But, if the schools can't come to an agreement, then the pre-set dates must be adhered to. When the scheduling format was set up, it was done so on a rotating basis, meaning the Buckeye 8 matchups for Week 9 this season will become next season's Week 4 encounters and everything else will push back a week.

While the athletic directors and head coaches now have the ability to expand their reach to find games, it won't be known for several weeks or even months how many - if any - games actually move.

Issues such as travel, gate reciepts and the overal logistics of eight schools basically looking for the same amount of games during the same weeks all came into play, were all discussed by the A.D's during the meeting.

Edison and Indian Creek have already completed their schedules for the 2013 season, so they'll play their Buckeye 8 games in the final seven weeks as it currently stands.

However, the other six members are all jockeying for games in the non-league portion of the schedule.

In two years, Bellaire is leaving the Buckeye 8, but it will continue to play Martins Ferry in Week 10. When the Big Reds officially leave the league, the looser scheduling restrictions will allow them to continue to play natural rivals such as St. Clairsville, Union Local and Buckeye Local and possibly other remaining members.

Staskey can be reached at



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