WHEELING - When the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that it would be adding a seventh class for football next fall it was widely assumed there would be a great deal of moving and shaking in terms of Ohio Valley schools. That assumption was confirmed Thursday when the new classifications were announced, revealing that 21 Ohio Valley Athletic Conference teams are moving.
A following is a breakdown of the changes, with last year's classifications in parentheses.
Division I: The OV will not have any representation here.
Division II: Again, we are without a member.
Division III: Cambridge (three). This is based on school's that have male enrollments between 281 and 402.
Division IV: Beaver Local (three), East Liverpool (three), Meadowbrook (four), Indian Creek (three), Steubenville (three), Edison (four), and Buckeye Local (three). This is based on schools that have male enrollments between 213 and 280.
Division V: St. Clairsville (four), Union Local (four), Martins Ferry (four), and Harrison Central (five). This is based on schools that have male enrollments between 156 and 212.
Division VI: Bellaire (five), Barnesville (five), Buckeye Trail (five), Monroe Central (five), River (six), Shenandoah (five), and Fort Frye (five). This is based on schools that have male enrollments between 112 and 155.
Division VII: Shadyside (six), Bridgeport (six), Steubenville Catholic (six), St. John (six), Wellsville (six), Conotton Valley (six), Toronto (six). This is based on schools that have male enrollments off 111 or less.
So the big question everyone has now, is what powerhouse programs will be lurking in each classification. Speaking locally:
Division IV teams will have to face the likes of Jonathan Alder, Youngstown Mooney, Minerva and Clinton Massie.
In Division V, Columbus Bishop Hartley, Ironton and Youngstown Ursuline, among others, are likely to have to be dealt with.
Meanwhile in Division VI, St. Thomas Aquinas and Mogadore are always formidable.
And finally in Division VII, Delphos St. John, Glouster Trimble and Malvern will probably have a say in who takes home the title.
Speaking of Mooney
The Cardinals have been a thorn in the side of Ohio Valley programs during the years and perhaps we now have a clue as to why. An investigation into the program in regard to recruiting practices has forced an unidentified coach in the program to resign.
According to a story in Thursday's Youngstown Vindicator, two eighth graders at Struthers Middle School allegedly had dinner with a coach in hopes they would pick Mooney as their high school destination. One of the students has been accepted to the school.
However, Nick Wolsonovich, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Youngstown, has already ruled both students ineligible to participate in athletics for one year.