Southeast Ohio Huddle: Cross country runners run away with headlines


Southeast Ohio Huddle

As football teams inch closer to their hopeful playoff runs, many other sports are entering the regular season championship runs as well as postseason play. Several cross country league titles were decided this past weekend, and something tells me as we enter the postseason for cross country, that we haven’t heard the last from some of our southeast conference champions.

As football teams inch closer to their hopeful playoff runs, many other sports are entering the regular season championship runs as well as postseason play. Several cross country league titles were decided this past weekend, and something tells me as we enter the postseason for cross country, that we haven’t heard the last from some of our southeast conference champions.

Speaking of champions, one athlete from the southeast claimed the ultimate individual championship for any high school athlete, and we will honor this accomplishment in our Player of the Week section.

Staying with our championship theme, our Team of the Week is a volleyball program that had been waiting nearly two decades to call themselves champions, but that wait is over as they clinched the title this week.

In what seemed like a quiet football week, there was some noise in the Tri Valley Conference, and as our On Tap section explains, Week 9 has plenty of storylines to follow. Also, next week starts the postseason run for volleyball. News, Notes, & Nuggets explains that some heavy southeast favorites looked very sharp in their final tune-ups.

So here we go! First we head south on Route 23 to find our Team of the Week and then we are off to Jackson County to honor a state champion.


Lucasville Valley Volleyball: For the first time in 18 years, the Lucasville Valley Lady Indians can call themselves champions of the Southern Ohio Conference II. Lucasville entered this week’s match against South Webster needing a win to hold off Wheelersburg to win the outright title. The Lady Indians dropped the first set 25-19, but rebounded to win the next three sets 25-20, 25-16, and 25-15 to complete the championship.

Jordan Arbaugh hammered down 20 kills, recorded six points, and three blocks. Megan Spriggs led the Lady Indians with 17 points, seven of which came in the fourth and final set. She also recorded 15 kills, while junior Lauren Dunn dished out 35 assists on the night.


Morgan Dobbins, Jackson Golf: The Division II individual state golf championship belongs to Jackson High School’s Morgan Dobbins. Dobbins fired a two-day total of 147 at North Star Resort in Sunbury. Dobbins shot a 72 on Friday before carding a 75 on Saturday to secure the championship.

Another Slippery Friday Night in SOC: Wheelersburg’s Brandon Schankweiler scored on runs of 6, 16, 63, and 24 on his way to four touchdowns, 210 rushing yards and a 33-6 victory Friday over Waverly. In other SOC action, Lucasville Valley overcame the rain and a late, 10-point deficit to defeat Portsmouth West 21-17. Quarterback Zach Utley connected on fourth quarter scores to Blake Yates (24 yards) and Alex Holcomb (45 yards). Lucasville and Wheelersburg meet next week.

Perfect Flight:
Down in Pike County, the Lady Eagles of Eastern completed their perfect volleyball season this week. Eastern defeated Green Thursday night to finish the regular season at 22-0. The Eagles are currently ranked second in the state in Division IV and will enter this week’s sectional tournament as the top seed.

Two for the Tanks:
The Unioto Sherman Tanks took both the boys’ and girls’ cross country titles in the Saturday’s Scioto Valley Conference Cross Country Meet. The boys were led by league champion Adrian Ross. Ross, a sophomore who wins the individual title for the second straight season, crossed in a time of 15:48. Teammate Ryan Valentine followed in second at 16:16. The top 12 boys who made all league are as follows: Adrian Ross, Ryan Valentine, Sammy Holbert, and Zane Taylor of Unioto, Matt Boedeker of Zane Trace, Nick Gardner, Logan Krivak, Logan Markko and Daniel Gardner of Paint Valley, Brandon Magill and Logan Groves of Huntington.

On the girls’ side, Zane Trace’s Taylor Hatfield, also a sophomore, won the individual title with a time of 18:41. Finishing in a distant second was Unioto’s Mariah Park with a time of 20:28. Park was followed by Unioto teammates in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth spots to win the title. The top 14 girls were all-league and they are as follows: Taylor Hatfield and Megan Roll of Zane Trace, Mariah Park, Mallory Retherford, Sarah Wolford, Abby Oyer and Taylor Barillaro of Unioto, Danielle Ball of Southeastern, Deidra Teets and Devin Miller of Westfall along with Megan Day and Elisha Manley of Piketon.

Division II Tennis at Shawnee State University:
Teams from as far east as New Philadelphia came to the Dr. William E. Daehler Tennis Center on the campus of Shawnee State University Tuesday morning with Beaver Local’s Emily Dawson taking the singles championship and West Holmes’ Rachel and Mary Nelson taking the doubles title.

The win by the Nelson sisters helps continue a long line of tennis success. All together members of the Nelson family have qualified for the state championship 13 times with three winning state titles.

Southeast member school Wheelersburg will also be represented by Courtney Pierron. Pierron won her first round contest 6-1, 6-1 and won her semifinal 7-5, 6-1 before falling in the final. Still, the finish was good enough to advance to state.

An Expensive Loss:
Caldwell’s hopes for a return trip to the OHSAA football playoffs has become far more difficult because of their Week 8, 10-7 loss to Fort Frye in Pioneer Valley Conference action on Friday.

The loss was the second of the season for the Redskins (6-2, 3-2 PVC), who entered play in fifth place in the OHSAA Division V, Region 18 computer ratings. Fort Frye (6-3, 3-2 PVC) stayed alive in the same region with the win.

In the win, not much offense was present; however, Fort Frye received just enough. They were led by Justin Ellis with 70 yards on 16 carries and Colton Skinner with 33 yards on seven touches. David Rabourn connected on 5-of-10 passing for 42 yards with an interception. Eddie Watson finished with three catches for 22 yards.

On the Title Trail:
Buckeye Trail earned a tough 22-25, 25-10, 25-23 win over defending champion Monroe Central in the OVAC Class 2-A volleyball championships at the Crimson Center in Steubenville High School Saturday afternoon.

It was the school’s 13th OVAC title and the first for the school since 2004. Coach Jeff Beros squad entered as the top-seed as they finish with a record of 20-2 on the season.

Trail was led by Kaitlyn Wolfe with 16 points, two aces, nine kills, nine blocks and six digs. Alexa Abrams added four points, one ace, 20 kills and seven blocks. Lynsey Beros had six points, two aces and dished out 10 assists. Jocelyn Geore had three points, two kills and seven digs while Moran Abrams had seven points, two kills and two blocks. Lee Anna Sichina recorded two points and four blocks and Lindsey Bardall totaled four points, three blocks and 15 assists.

St. John Central won its first OVAC title as they defeated a good Paden City squad, winning in straight sets, 26-24 and 25-18 to capture the OVAC Class 1-A Volleyball Title, and in the OVAC Class 3-A Volleyball it was Oak Glen’s Lady Bears winning the championship. Oak Glen defeated both St. Clairsville and Martins Ferry on its way to the title.

Tri? Valley Conference:
In Tri Valley Conference football, Athens beat Alexander earlier in the season, Alexander then beat Nelsonville-York, and this past week Nelsonville-York defeated Athens 14-13 in a great game. This all would equal a tri-championship in the TVC; however, Alexander – fresh off of their biggest win in school history last week over NY – dropped a 33-28 final to Meigs (2-2, 3-5) in Week 8. This drops Alex to 3-2 in the league leaving Athens and Nelsonville-York in line to win out for a co-championship. In other TVC Ohio Division action Vinton County picked up their first win with a 24-13 win over Belpre.

SEOAL Cross Country Championships:
The Marietta girls and the Warren boys captured league titles in this week’s SEOAL Cross Country Championships. Marietta’s girls just edged out Gallia Academy despite Gallia getting first and second place finishes from Peyton Adkins (19:30) and McKenna Werner (20:08), respectively. The champ’s top runner crossed in a fourth-place time of 20:44.

On the boys’ side, Warren took five of the top eight spots led by second-place finisher Wes Cochran, who ran a 17:15 race. The individual champion was Marietta’s Alex Wesel with a time of 17:09.

Maple Leaf:
As stated in last week’s On Tap section, Paint Valley and nearby rival Huntington play each year for the Maple Lead Trophy. Paint Valley retained the prize this year with an easy 55-7 win. Wes Parker needed just seven touches to go over 100 yards and to find the end zone twice to lead the way.

In other Scioto Valley Conference action, league-leader Zane Trace had little trouble with Unioto in a 44-6 win. Westfall, behind 305 passing yards and three touchdowns from Vinnie Williamson, came from behind to beat Adena 30-27, and Piketon beat Southeastern 42-8.

Dominating Devils:
St. Clairsville’s boys’ and girls’ teams have been some of the most dominant in the southeast all season. Both the Red Devils and the Lady Red Devils will enter the Division II postseason heavy favorites to make some noise. The Lady Red Devils – ranked No. 2 in the latest Division II state poll – had runners cross in the first four spots leading the way to a 23-point total and the easy victory. Leading the way once again for the Lady Devils was senior Kelly Perzanowski who finished with a time of 18:45. That was 14 seconds better than teammate Kate Hodgson, also a senior, who finished with a time of 18:59. Junior Jamie Perzanowski and freshman Amy Castle came in third and fourth.

The St. Clairsville boys posted 31 points, which was 20 fewer than Barnesville. Union Local finished third with 94 points. The Red Devils were once again led by all-Ohioan Alex Thornburg who turned in an outstanding time of 15:49, which was 45 seconds faster than his nearest competitor, which was Barnesville all-Ohioan Brennan Delaney.

Five Golden Rings:
The Adena volleyball team completed their fifth straight perfect league season giving them yet another golden volleyball from the Scioto Valley Conference. Adena defeated Unioto Thursday night in straight sets to complete a 14-0 SVC record and a 20-2 overall record. The Lady Warriors enter this week’s D-III sectional as the top seed in their bracket.

The other thing worthy of note for Adena is their current streaks that continue. Their wins this week push their SVC winning streak to 70 straight matches and they have now won 125 straight overall home matches. They will open sectional play at home.

“Running” Away with the ECOL:
River View captured the boys’ championship of the East Central Ohio League cross country meet Saturday while the girls from Dover did the same in a race hosted by Cambridge High School at the campus course. As for the individual championships, Cory Dotts of Claymont won the boys’ championship with a time of 15:40.56. The individual winner in the girls’ race was River View’s Brianna Stevens with a winning time of 19:14.41.


Lucasville Valley vs. Wheelersburg, Football, Friday, October 23rd, Wheelersburg High School, 7:30 p.m. Both teams enter this key SOC showdown at 2-1 in conference play.

Nelsonville-York vs. Ironton, Football, Friday, October 23rd, Ironton High School, 7:30 p.m. Ironton head coach Bob Lutz earned his 360th career victory this past Friday night with a win over Portsmouth, tying him for the most all time in the state of Ohio with Hamilton-Badin’s Terry Malone. This week his Fighting Tigers will try to put him at the top of the list all alone.

This game is also a huge computer points match-up. Nelsonville enters at 7-1 and Ironton is 6-2.

Zane Trace vs. Southeastern, Football, Friday, October 23rd, Southeastern High School, 7:30 p.m.
Zane Trace needs a win to secure a tie for the Scioto Valley Conference championship. It will most likely take a perfect league season however to win the conference outright. Zane Trace will welcome Paint Valley in Week 10.

Jackson vs. Logan, Football, Friday, October 23rd, Logan High School, 7:30 p.m. 
A huge SEOAL match-up in Week 9 as Jackson enters at 7-1, 4-1 and Logan welcomes them with an 8-0, 4-0 mark of their own.

Volleyball State Tournament Gets Underway:
Semi-final action gets started at various sites as early as Monday. Some of the Division-IV sites will play Finals on Thursday, but most Finals will be played throughout the Division-II and Division-III tournaments on Saturday, October 24th. Sites vary because of the “home court advantage” used for sectional play in volleyball. Check back next week as the Southeast Ohio Huddle will take a look at several sectional champions from around the southeast.

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