Many bowl games feature local names

There are still bowl games with importance that aren’t the College Football Playoff.

Many don’t buy that, but ask the people involved their thoughts and see what the response is and really that’s what matters.

As for involvement in bowl games, 11 bowl games feature some sort of area connection. Whether it’s players, coaches or support staff, Ohio Valley folks will definitely be a part of the bowl season.

Ohio State will try to send Urban Meyer into retirement with a victory in the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes, who won the Big Ten Championship for the second straight season, will take on Washington on New Year’s Day.

St. Clairsville graduate Adam Stewart is the chief physical therapist for the Buckeyes’ football program and will be in Pasadena.

West Virginia, which came into the season with expectations of winning its first Big 12 championship, finished 8-3 on the season and will play in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28 against Syracuse.

The Mountaineers feature three former area standouts — Colton McKivitz (Union Local), Josh Sills (Meadowbrook) and Brendan Ferns (St. Clairsville). McKivitz and Sills start along the Mountaineer offensive line, while Ferns has battled back from a second knee injury and is playing on special teams.

The bowl season formally begins a week from Saturday, on Dec. 15, with six games on the schedule. The very first one to kick off is the Celebration Bowl, which pits North Carolina A&T against Alcorn State.

A&T features Wheeling Park graduate Elijah Bell at wide receiver.

On that same Saturday, at 5:30 p.m., Eastern Michigan will take on Georgia Southern in the Raycome Media Camellia Bowl. Eastern Michigan’s coaching staff includes Cadiz graduate and OVAC Hall of Famer Jay Peterson, who serves as running backs coach.

Ohio University is bowling again. The Bobcats will play in the DXL Frisco Bowl against San Diego State in Frisco, Tx. on Dec. 19.

One of the contributors for the Bobcats is Linsly School graduate Chuck Chuckwu, who sees time on defense and special teams.

On Dec. 21, Toledo gets into the bowl act against FIU in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, which I would argue if you can’t go to the CFP or a New Year’s Six game would be ideal because of the weather.

Anyhow, Toledo is the home of freshman quarterback Cross Wilkinson, who is a Wheeling Park graduate. Wilkinson appeared in one game this season and is expected to take a red-shirt.

The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, pitting Houston against Army, on Dec. 22 will be an interesting watch for local fans. Union Local graduate Dan Carrel will be calling the defense for the Cougars. Carrel is the outside linebackers coach, but Houston parted ways with its defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio and head coach Major Applewhite announced that Carrel will lead the unit.

The Hawaii Bowl, which is another ideal bowl if you can’t play in the CFP or New Year’s Six, will feature Hawaii and Louisiana Tech playing on Dec. 22. Tech’s offensive coordinator is Bellaire High graduate Todd Fitch. A coaching veteran, Fitch has been an OC at multiple places in his career.

The Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl features Nevada against Arkansas State on Dec. 29. Nevada’s defensive coordinator is Paden City graduate and former WVU assistant Jeff Casteel.

The annual Hyundai Sun Bowl, which will be played on New Year’s Eve at 2 p.m., has Stanford taking on Pittsburgh. Pitt’s director of recruiting is Cadiz graduate Reed Case, who has made many stops in his career, including at Texas and Oklahoma. This is his first season with the Panthers.

The Citrus Bowl in Orlando has a solid matchup of Penn State taking on Kentucky. The Wildcats’ special teams are coached by Shadyside graduate Elias Matsakis.


Division I

JOSH SILLS, West Virginia ? The Meadowbrook graduate was named second-team all Big 12 by the coaches last week and this week garnered a spot on the all conference team as selected by Pro Football Focus.

Division III

LUCAS HERRINGTON, Mount Union ? Steubenville Big Red graduate caught two passes for 19 yards in a NCAA quarterfinal victory. The Purple Raiders go after a Stagg Bowl berth this weekend against Johns Hopkins.

TANNER CLARK, Marietta ? Caldwell product was named second-team all North region pick by


MEGAN BATEMAN, California, Pa. ? The Union Local product was the fifth scorer for the Vulcans last weekend at the NCAA national meet. She finished the 6K race in 26 minutes, 20 seconds.

SHAYE BECKETT, California, Pa. ? The Bellaire graduate battled through the mud and awful course conditions to finish seventh on her team in 27:39.


CHASE HARLER, West Virginia ? Wheeling Central grad led the Mountaineers in scoring with 11 points during a loss to Florida at Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic. He scored eight points and had three assists in a win over Youngstown State.

LOGAN ROUTT, West Virginia ? Cameron product continued to log key minutes off the bench for the Mountaineers. He had eight points and three rebounds against the Penguins and had a bucket against Florida.

PHIL BLEDSOE, Glenville State ? Wheeling Park grad and Marshall tranfer continued his strong early season for the Pioneers. He scored 32 points and grabbed 31 rebounds last week. He scored 17 points against Shepherd and collected 16 rebounds against Concord.

TRENTON TIPTON, Wooster ? Union Local alumnus continued to be a solid contributor for the undefeated Scots. He scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds in a win over Hiram and then against Allegheny, he had five points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

SHANE JOHNSON, Waynesburg ? Shadyside graduate saw minutes off the bench for the Jackets in a loss to Chatham and a win over Westminster.

LUKAS ISALY, Marietta ? Freshman from River started in a win over John Carroll, scoring 10 points for the Pioneers, who are 7-0 on the season.

ANTHONY WALLACE, Marietta ? Linsly product netted 10 points in the win against John Carroll. He also snagged three rebounds.

TREY SINGLETON, Muskingum ? Meadowbrook graduate played in a loss to Baldwin-Wallace.


JENSEN CARETTI, Ohio State ? Former Ohio Miss Basketball while playing at River had arguably her strongest collegiate performance in a win over Cincinnati last week. She scored nine points and hit two big treys for the Buckeyes. She didn’t play against North Carolina.

MORGAN BRUNNER, West Liberty ? Linsly graduate and Youngstown State transfer scored 15 points in a loss to Notre Dame College and 11 points in a win over Shepherd.

ALLI DELANEY, Notre Dame College ? Union Local graduate played in her team’s win over West Liberty and connected on a trey in 11 minutes of action in a win over West Virginia State.

HALEY PORTER, Waynesburg ? Union Local graduate averaged 12 points in losses to Chatham and Westminster. She scored 18 and grabbed five rebounds in the Westminster contest.

KYLIE MCCENNEN, Washington & Jefferson ? Wheeling Park graduate scored seven points in a win over Geneva and had a bucket against Chatham.

CIERRA DAVIS, Washington & Jefferson — Bellaire product scored two points in her team’s game against Geneva.

KELSI CHAPMAN, Wheeling Jesuit ? Magnolia product scored 11 points in a loss to Fairmont State. She also had a bucket against Urbana.

JOSIE DAUGHERTY, Fairmont State — Wheeling Park alum played in games against West Virginia Wesleyan and Wheeling Jesuit.

KALLEE DOWLER, Westminster (Mo) ? Barnesville graduate continues to shine for her new school. She scored 24 points last week in a win over Blackburn and then scored 11 in a win over Central Christian Bible.


TARIQ WILSON, N.C. State ? Steubenville graduate and returning NCAA bronze medalist, who is ranked No. 4 in the nation currently, picked up a victory by decision in a dual against Appalachian State.

Staskey can be reached via email at or at