Tag Archives: High School football

The Hometown Call

Greetings readers,

Tonight (October 5th) is a special night for myself. This will be my first broadcast in Preble County, where I have lived for most of my life. The 4-2 Eaton Eagles host the 2-4 Bellbrook Golden Eagles. The home team will also celebrate their 2012 Homecoming tonight as well.

This is a big deal for me, as I’ve never been this close to home broadcasting sports. The closest game I have done was in Brookville earlier this year, but it’s been either in the Dayton area or further away from there. While Richmond is fairly close to home, it’s through another state.

This is a big opportunity for me, as they all are. However, this one is close to home. It’s also the final year of Park Avenue Field, which if you don’t know is a bit of a hike from the new high school. There will be a new stadium near the high school south of town in 2013. The old field will be torn away, as the city plans to widen Park Avenue.

Tonight’s a special opportunity for me.

Catch the action tonight (10/5/12) as the Eaton Eagles take on the Bellbrook Golden Eagles at 7:15 on the Ohio Sports Radio Network. Listen live at http://ohiosportsradionetwork.net.

Until next time,

-Lee

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Breaking the Cross County Trip

Greetings readers,

I’ve read this article written by Bob Huelsman about the future of the Cross County Conference, and I wanted to add my take to a possible fall of a local conference. As someone who occasionally watches Twin Valley South sports, this will be very important for not only the West Alexandria Panthers, but for all the high schools in the CCC.

From the article, some of the old Southwestern Rivers Conference (I think they were gone by 2001, not sure honestly) schools want to form a new conference. That includes Covington, Miami East, and Bethel, which are the eastern schools in the CCC, and a bit of a drive if you hail from Preble County (especially National Trail, considering they’re next door to Indiana.) It also includes Bradford, which is the northern most CCC school, and possibly Arcanum, near the heart of it all.

The CCC has been around since the 1978-1979 school year. Arcanum, Ansonia, and Bethel were original members, while Covington joined in 1990 and Miami East in 2006.

Something that has triggered these talks (other than the economy reasons) has been the football conference play. The CCC schools that do field a team (Franklin-Monroe, Tri-Village, and Newton in Miami County do not field these teams) play nine conference games, leaving one game for non-conference play. For TVS, that game has usually been against nearby New Lebanon Dixie. Usually, you will have around three-five non-conference games (depends on which conference.)

The writer in the article mentions some possibilities for the other schools should the conference break apart. Huelsman sees the Southwestern Buckeye League picking up Twin Valley South, Tri-County North, and National Trail.

Let’s say that does happen. That puts three more schools into the SWBL from Preble County, joining Eaton and Preble Shawnee (It also puts all five Preble County schools in a conference, too.) This would give the SWBL 17 members, giving either division of the conference one more than the other (unless the SWBL wanted to add another school for 18, and split the division up into three divisions.)

The 1998 Twin Valley South Panthers, who won the Cross County Conference that season.

For Twin Valley South, it sets up good, close rivalries with Valley View, Brookville, Dixie, Preble Shawnee, and Eaton in the conference (not necessarily in the same division of the SWBL.) It would also keep the State Route 503 rivalry with Tri-County North.

However, what about the other schools? The farthest school to the east is Waynesville, the last school district to the east before hitting Clinton County, followed by Bellbrook in western Greene County. To the south would be Monroe, and to the north would be Milton-Union in southwest Miami County. The western most school would be National Trail in the New Paris area, near Richmond, Indiana. So you now have a huge conference stretching from nearby Richmond to Wilmington. That’s a span of six counties.

How would those schools do in the SWBL? According to this list by the OHSAA, Twin Valley South has 253 students (136/117 boys/girls); Tri-County North 257 (119/138); and National Trail with 263 (139/124). Compared to current SWBL schools, Valley View has 469 students (220/249); Eaton 524 (290/234); Dixie 291 (158/133); Brookville 374 (211/163); and Preble Shawnee with 352 (176/176.) So if this was to happen, Twin Valley South and Tri-County North would be the smallest schools in the SWBL. If the conference spread their divisions for smallest, medium, and largest schools, there could be a good mix for the conference and schools.

I’m not saying this happens, as it’s more of a what-if. The Cross County Conference might survive and this idea of a new conference might flop. I liked the article and thought it was interesting to think about the future in West Alex and in Ohio. If the rest of the members can’t see eye to eye, we might see an old conference fall and a new one pop up.

Sources of information from the Press Pros Magazine and the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The 1998 TVS picture is from CCCBasketball.com.

Until next time,

-Lee

1st and 7th Heaven

Greetings readers,

The Ohio High School Athletic Association is considering adding a seventh division for football for 2013. If the change goes through, this would be the first change to the divisions since 1994, when the OHSAA added a sixth division.

The plan is to shave some of the smaller Division I schools and keep about seventy-two in the top level. The rest would be spread throughout the other divisions. Each other division would have about 108 schools. Thirty-two schools would still make the playoffs cut, meaning Division I schools will get in easier (with less schools to compete with for a spot.)

If that’s not enough, the OHSAA is also voting on the Competitive Balance Proposal in May. This issue was narrowly squatted away, by about 29 votes. If passed, the numbers would be shifted even more.

The posters on the Yappi boards are a bit mixed on this issue, with some saying seven divisions are way too many. One post suggests that six divisions are fine, but the schools will need reshuffled.

Other sports would not be affected by the seven divisions in other sports.

To me, I’m not a big fan of seven divisions in football. If they were fairly equal in terms of teams in those divisions, it wouldn’t be so bad. I’m also not the biggest fan of having different amounts of divisions for different sports. Granted, there’s a few high schools around here that don’t play under those Friday Night Lights, but it’s a small number of schools. Then again, different sports require different amounts of players, so never mind on that last thought.

Time will tell how teams will be split and how the competitiveness will flow. Don’t be surprised to see seven divisions after the 2012 season.

Sources of information from the Dayton Daily News, Yappi’s boards, and the Canton Rep. Pictures found via Google.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Eagle Needs to Land

Greetings readers,

There’s a project going on in Eaton. The Eaton Eagles are looking to fly away from their current digs on Park Avenue and make a landing closer to their high school on State Route 732.

The drawings show that a new football stadium would be northeast of the new high school, just south of the city limits. There would also be a new baseball and softball field sitting on the north end of the high school property, with a soccer field topping it off by Camden Road. There are also plans to create a new auditorium and a health center.

As of 2/22/2012, Eaton still needs about $2,000,000. As well as donating, you can even get one of these stadiums/fields/tracks named, for a price of course.

The need for new fields stems from the construction project looming over Park Avenue, which would overtake the field sitting by the road. No matter if this project gets funded or not, Eaton will play their last seasons of sport on Park Avenue for 2012-2013. The interesting part is if this doesn’t get done, where do the Eagles play then? There’s really no other fields around the area.

While going to one football game at Eaton this season, I noticed that parking was a big issue. You have room for about twenty cars on the gravel path heading to the football field, and that’s it. The rest of the visitors must find parking on the streets or somewhere else. With the new stadium, there’s plenty of parking at the high school, behind the building.

At Park Avenue Field, I will say it was a good place to watch a football game. With the new stadium plans, it looks to be one of the best places to see high school football in Preble County.

With that said, will this project go through? It’ll be interesting to see, that’s for sure.

Source of information from http://buildingongreatraditions.com, a site from the Eaton Community School District.

Until next time,

-Lee

Prep Promise

Greetings readers,

The other night while checking a few scores on ESPN, I came across a story that I thought I would share with you. It’s about a prep program in North Carolina that promises eligibility in a NCAA Division I program. Sounds like a great causes in case someone needs that extra push, right?

From the Outside the Lines article written by Mike Fish, North Carolina Tech Preparatory Christian Academy is drawing looks from the state in terms of complaints. Without going into too much detail (there’s the article for that), the Tigers football team has 119 players, all which pay their own way (tuition is about $8,000 according to the article.) The President Tim Newman also is the Head Coach, the Athletic Director, and the headmaster. His wife is the Principal and Business/Admissions Administrator. Together, the two are the only members of the Appeals Board of NC Tech.

Parents are complaining that they were misled by Newman, saying this and promising that. Some assistant coaches were also claiming that is was always about who could pay and never about the talent level. Another one was hired to start a postgraduate women’s basketball program, but instead recruited for the football team (she never coached basketball at NC Tech, as the Tigers never played a game.)

Newman sold ideas to kids that thought they had a golden shot to jump into college football with the use of having Christian beliefs, and the parents bought it. One kid never played football and ran a 4.34 second for a 40-yd dash. He didn’t see much playing time, even though Newman called him “one of our top recruits.” This goes back to the theory that it was never about the talent, but more about who could cough up the cash.

Something else that may be of interest to anyone in Ohio, namely the Central portion of the state, is that North Carolina Tech had on their schedule to play “Ohio State JV.” However, that turned out to be Ohio State-Newark’s club team instead. Had Ohio State played North Carolina Tech, that would have presented penalties to the school for playing a postgraduate program as a NCAA Division I member. One of the Tech players said that it wasn’t Ohio State, with the red and blue jerseys and the script “Titans” on the jerseys. Also, the game was played in Newark and not in Ohio’s capital. In case you were wondering, the Tigers of NC Tech won 90-18 over Ohio State-Newark.

That also leads to an interesting point also made by the video accompanying the article, is that North Carolina Tech brags about being National Champions, but there is no governing bodies giving them said title. Technically, they can’t be National Champions just because of record or what have you. Also, going around and winning games doesn’t count as being National Champions. Newman even said that he could call them National Champions, since he got the team rings (which apparently still owns a lot of money for.)

I think this is a sad story, because the people that believe this story to be true get swindled out of money. While some do make it to Division I programs, like Pittsburgh Steelers Antonio Brown did, most do not. One thing I also found interesting was the fact that classes are not in a classroom, but online. North Carolina Tech pays a company for every class taken. Most kids don’t even take a class, some just read up on how to improve on the SATs.

I also feel a bit angry that someone would have the guts to actually take money from people that aren’t doing too hot in the tough economy. Some don’t see the field to play, leaving their dreams crushed. I probably should mention the padding of the resume when it comes to NFL experience, the playing for a team in a league that folded before the season began, most hired coaches faced a criminal charge, the abusing of religion to get something they want, and the inability to listen to critics, but I won’t. Mike Fish did an excellent job with this article, and I want you to read it and listen to the clip.

Sports can be a great thing, except when people use it to line their wallets with green. Folks, be careful out there.

Source of information from ESPN (written by Mike Fish) and Ohio State-Newark’s website.

Until next time,

-Lee

Return Home

Greetings readers,

Last Friday, I decided to travel to a high school game, about ten minutes away from my home. The Tri-County North Panthers came to West Alexandria to play the Twin Valley South Panthers. TCN had a 5-2 record, whereas South had a 2-5 record.

Before you hit the close button, who might wonder why I would write about going to a game. Well, it was kind of a special game for the home team and myself. Let me give you a little bit of history.

I went to Twin Valley South until February 2000. As a little history about sports in West Alexandria: the Panthers made the playoffs for the first time ever and lost in the State Semi-Finals to Saint Henry 14-7. The Panthers also claimed three Cross County Conference titles in Men’s Basketball in 1994, 1996, and 1998. This was a time before the baseball and softball fields were constructed across from the football field.

Back then, I didn’t know anything about sports and I wasn’t a fan of sports. I didn’t follow the Panthers, I didn’t follow any teams. I also didn’t own any apparel from TVS. Granted, my family had issues with the school district with my allergies and health problems, but that’s not sports-related. The only time I went to any athletic site at TVS was for gym classes. Most of the classes were inside one of the smaller gyms (not the gym where TVS plays basketball, I believe), and we would run on the outside track sometimes. Back then, the track was nothing but gravel.

I think it was between 2003 and 2005 when I started to follow sports, when I was at Valley View.

I would return to Twin Valley South as a manager of the Valley View track team in 2006. I didn’t think much of it, back then. The main difference was the track: as TVS updated their gravel track to an artificial surface.

Fast forward to October 2011, and on an off day, I decided to attend the last home game of the season. It was Senior Night for the Twin Valley South Panthers.

One of the reasons I went to the game is that I wanted to see the rivalry of TCN and TVS. For those who don’t know, Tri-County North and Twin Valley South both lie on State Route 503. TCN is in Lewisburg, which is about three to five miles north of West Alexandria. Before 1984, the Lewisburg school was known as Twin Valley North. I’m not sure why they switched names, and I haven’t been able to find any information either. Yes, both of them are named the Panthers.

I’m not going to describe every last detail of the actual game, but here’s a great article by Chris Tilton about the game. I will say, it seemed like lots of people left in all four quarters, as I saw people drive out of the school lot in all four quarters. There were seven turnovers by Twin Valley South, and they were on key drives. Tri-County North ran the ball extremely well, but had two touchdowns called back due to offensive holding. Twin Valley South mixed it up with a passing attack. In the end, Tri-County North won 41-6.

As of now, Tri-County North is currently fifth in Division 6, Region 24. Twin Valley South has been eliminated from making the playoffs, sitting 27th in Division 5, Region 20. TCN is at 6-2, South now at 2-6 (finishing 1-4 at home.)

While it wasn’t the most important or blockbuster game in the Miami Valley, it was one I wanted to see. It was nice to return to a place where I grew up. No amounts of rain or no cold winds could keep me from seeing four quarters of the biggest Preble County rivalry. It was also nice to go to my first game at Twin Valley South, although I haven’t been inside the building for about eleven years. Maybe I’ll go to a basketball game this year at TVS.

It was good to see a game in West Alexandria. It just took me awhile to make it to one, though.

Source of information from Chris Tilton’s website.

Until next time,

-Lee

 

Lions on the Move

Greetings readers,

If you haven’t heard, the Dayton Dutch Lions are moving their home games from Bellbrook High School to West Carrollton High School. After a few years at Miami Valley South Stadium, the Dutch Lions will move to an area close to Interstate 75, a big commercialized area, and a soon-to-be completed intersection.

If you’re not a local, there’s construction in West Carrollton on I-75 to make the West Carrollton on-ramp more simpler, going to one road instead of two where you have to pull a U-Turn to get to the other direction.

Also in the books for West Carrollton High School are four practice fields, AstroTurf, and a stadium with covered seats and something to catch the drivers’ eyes from the interstate.

While Bellbrook’s field is really nice, West Carrollton’s proximity to the highway is one of the main reasons why the Lions are moving. To get to Bellbrook from I-675, one would need to take Wilmington Pike to Feedwire Road for about three miles and turn right at the school complex. It’s easier to get to WCHS, once the on-ramp opens.

I believe this will be the first professional team that will play in West Carrollton. The new stadium will draw looks from drivers, hopefully giving them enough reasons to check out the team.

It’ll be good for the Dutch Lions, and for the community of West Carrollton. It gives WCHS better fields for their athletic programs, it brings people to the area, and it will bring some jobs to an area that lost all those GM jobs long ago.

The Dayton Dutch Lions will open their season in West Carrollton in April.

Sources of information from WDTN Channel 2, uslsoccer.com, and dutchlionsfc.com.

Until next time,

-Lee