OVAC pennant chases heating up this week

As it pertains to the winter sports season, we’re about to enter the most wonderful time of the year.

Starting this week, area athletes begin competition for an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Championship.

For the next five weeks, the OVAC will crown champions and it gets under way this weekend at WesBanco Arena with the 61st annual Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Championships.

The Bill Brubaker OVAC Swimming Championships will be held on Jan. 25, but the competition begins on Jan. 21 when swimmers begin qualifying for the finals.

The OVAC Cheering competition will be held on Feb. 1. at WesBanco Arena.

The Wheeling Hospital OVAC Girls’ Basketball Championships will be held on Feb. 8 at Ohio University Eastern and the boys’ event will round out the championship chase on Feb. 15.

It’s actually hard to believe that it’s already here, but we’re certainly excited.

The quest for the state championship doesn’t begin for a couple of more weeks, but for many, the OVAC title could be as good as it gets.

Obviously, the state title remains the goal, but let’s be honest, it’s pretty far fetched for some.

An OVAC title certainly goes a long way in helping to make the season memorable, regardless of what might happen down the road in the Ohio postseason.

Whether it’s an individual title at the wrestling or swimming championships or a team title in basketball, the memory of that title will be forever.


Since it still operates on a yearly basis, unlike both the OHSAA and WVSSAC, the OVAC released its enrollment figures for the 2014-15 school year and there are some minor changes in store.

All five classes still have 10 schools.

River and Steubenville Central continue to go back-and-forth in Classes 2A and 3A. The Pilots are moving back to 3A, which is where they competed in 2012-13, and the Crusaders are dropping back into 2A, after spending this year in 3A.

Steubenville and Weir are headed for 5A, while Edison and Beaver Local are dropping into 4A.

Actually, Beaver Local and Weir both had 485 students currently in grades 9-11. The OVAC implemented its tie-breaker system, which counts the school with the most juniors and then sophomores and freshman. If there’s a tie in all three, the OVAC Executive Board breaks the tie based on past history of the school.

Morgantown is the largest school in the conference with 1,328 students. East Richland Christian is still the smallest with 27.


The Times Leader will publish its annual OVAC Wrestling Preview supplement on Wednesday. It’ll contain team photos and stories on 15 area teams as they prepare for the weekend’s rigorous mat tournament.

Due to our deadline, complete coverage of Saturday night’s finals will be contained on our website (timesleaderonline.com) and then also in Monday’s edition.


Southeastern Louisiana announced Friday that Buckeye Local graduate Chet Pobolish had been promoted to offensive coordinator. He had previously served as the wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator. Southeast Louisiana competes in the Football Championship Subdivision.


Turner Kroll appears to be on his way to a golfing career. The 8-year old from Martins Ferry competed at Robert Morris in the 2013 Junior Skills Challenge late last month. He placed first in his age group in the long drive and accuracy competition and the putting performance events. He also placed in the 25-yard pitch shot and bunker save events.

Turner is the son of Gary and Kasha Kroll.