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Not all OVAC classes will have four best teams

January 31, 2011

Today is the final day to qualify in the top four spots in the four classifications for the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference girls basketball tournament.

The bad part of the tournament will be that four schools who should be in the top 16 will not participate.

That means the 16 best schools will not partake in the tournament.

That's unfortunate.

University and Morgantown, the two latest schools to join the OVAC nine months ago, are on an "adjustment period" for the next two school years.

Despite being on an adjustment period the next two years, both schools are eligible to win championships and earn other accolades as long as they meet the respective requirements set for each sport.

The top four Class AAAA teams are John Marshall, Indian Creek, Wheeling Park and East Liverpool. University and Cambridge are not eligible to participate. If that were not the case, the top four would be University, Cambridge, John Marshall and Indian Creek.

The Class AAA foursome is Edison, Union Local, Weir and Oak Glen and those places should not change.

In Class AA it is Shadyside, Wheeling Central, Fort Frye and Monroe Central with ineligible Caldwell percentage points ahead of Monroe Central for fourth place.

The Class A quartet is St. John Central, Madonna, Cameron and Valley with Trinity close behind in fifth place and Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans (fourth place) not eligible.

The first round of the tournament is one week from today with the championships being held Feb. 12 at Ohio University-Eastern.

It is also the last year of the current format as the OVAC will split into five classifications next year, which means changes in how things are done in the tournament, including trying to hold five games in one day, or two on a Friday and three on a Saturday.

The cutoff date for the boys tournament is Feb. 8 and currently there are four teams not eligible to compete in the championships - Morgantown and Zanesville in Class AAAA, Wellsville (Class AA) and Rosecrans (Class A).

Here is the bad part of that.

Morgantown is ranked No. 5 in West Virginia Class AAA, Zanesville No. 5 in Division II and Rosecrans No. 1 in Division IV.

This is not on the OVAC officials. This is on the schools and their choices.

The biggest problem of the OVAC is the indifference of coaches on if they want to compete in the OVAC. Coaches at the same school have different ideas of the OVAC.

I am not saying it is right or wrong, it is just the way it is.

For instance, the Zanesville swim team did not compete in the swimming championships Saturday at Steubenville High School, choosing to go to another meet.

Zanesville, Cambridge, Beaver Local, Meadowbrook, Buckeye Trail, Tyler Consolidated, Caldwell, Wellsville, Conotton Valley and Rosecrans have both basketball teams that are not eligible to participate.

The University's boys and Morgantown's girls basketball teams are eligible, as are girls teams from Frontier and St. John Central.

You can't demand all coaches get in the OVAC circle, it would just be nice to see the best play the best.

I really don't care about the medical coverage of NFL players, whether it be when they are active or retired.

I firmly believe they should have coverage throughout their lives if they were an NFL player, pro-rated based on their service to the sport.

A guy who played 18 years should be covered better than a guy who was in the league for 18 months.

It is a brutal sport where guys are not the same after they leave the league.

I watched Mike Ditka try to walk months ago when he was the guest speaker at Franciscan University of Steubenville for the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce dinner.

It was painful watching him take a step.

I'm sure it was infinitely more painful for him to take those steps.

Unless the health coverage gets figured out, there is no way the NFL Players Association is going to OK an 18-game schedule.

I don't care to see 18 games. It doesn't matter to me. I do not pay to go watch the games live.

I would just like to see a rookie salary wage scale like in the NBA and let's play ball.

A lot of people just don't get it about Jay Cutler.

His toughness should never be questioned. He got his tail whipped behind that mediocre offensive line all season until he checked out of the NFC Championship Game a week ago.

I could care less that he checked out physically.

It was terrible to see him check out mentally.

That's not what leaders do.

He represented himself and his team terribly on the sidelines.

He represented the city of Chicago like Scottie Pippen refusing to go back into a game.

He checked out.


Fans want their quarterback to be a leader and show heart like Dan Fouts or Dan Marino or John Elway.

They don't want their quarterback to check out of a game, put on the parka and sit on the sidelines like he is the third-string ball boy.

Fans want their quarterback to be emotionally involved like they are.

Quarterbacks have to look beyond themselves. You choose to be a quarterback, you choose everything that comes with it.

Boy, Blake Griffin is fun to watch. Too bad he's playing for Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

I became a Bubba Watson fan when I covered the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in 2007. I walked the first two rounds with he and Boo Weekly and was in awe of his strength, touch and demeanor.

It was great to watch him bomb a drive Sunday on the 72nd hole, hit a mediocre second shot and then get up-and-down from a greenside bunker to secure the victory.

The guy can play and he has a great attitude.

"It showed I can do it," he said. "I've done it twice now. I'm only 50 behind Phil and about 80 behind Tiger. So they better watch out."

Green Bay 23, Pittsburgh 19.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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