Few divisional changes coming for fall sports

Unlike football, which was released a few weeks ago, area schools saw very little change in their divisions for the sports of volleyball, soccer, golf and cross country.

With fall sports practices just over a month away, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced the cut-off for the new divisions for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.

The biggest change was how the numbers were formulated in the sport of cross country. It becomes the first OHSAA sanctioned sport to utilize an average of boys and girls’ enrollments to form the cross country count number. All that means is no school will have its boys and girls in different divisions.

It’s still unclear whether or not the OHSAA will adopt this policy for the sport of track and field as well. The spring numbers aren’t due to be released until later this year.

The only school that changed affected in cross country was Martins Ferry. The Riders’ boys and girls’ teams were split last season. The boys competed in Division II and the girls in Division III. This season, both teams will battle in Division II.

The Purple Riders will be joined by Buckeye Local, St. Clairsville and Union Local.

The Division III contingent includes: Barnesville, East Richland Christian, River and Shadyside.

Only one school changed divisions in volleyball from the past two years. Barnesville has bumped up to Division III after competing in Division IV. The Lady Shamrocks played their sectional competition on their home court the past two seasons.

The balance of Division III in volleyball includes: Bellaire, Harrison Central, Martins Ferry, Monroe Central, Union Local and St. Clairsville.

Buckeye Local is still the lone area Division II entrant, while Beallsville, Bridgeport, River, St. John, Shadyside and East Richland Christian will compete in Division IV.

IN GOLF, the area schools slated for Division II are Buckeye, Harrison Central, Martins Ferry, St. Clairsville and Union Local.

The Division III contingent includes: Barnesville, Beallsville, Bridgeport, Monroe Central, River, St. John and Shadyside.

IN SOCCER, St. Clairsville’s boys will continue to compete in Division II, while the Lady Red Devils are penciled in for Division III. Monroe Central will also play in Division III.

The OHSAA’s Board of Directors doesn’t meet in July, thus the winter and spring of 2014 divisional cutoffs will be set at the Aug. 8 board meeting.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleader-online.com