ATHENS, Ohio — Less than 24 hours after making presentations to Tri-Valley Conference officials in regards to possible membership, administrators from Gallia Academy, Jackson, Logan and Warren high schools were informed the TVC had decided against adding any of those Southeastern Ohio Athletic League schools.
Principals from the four SEOAL schools made their pitch to the TVC Board of Control Wednesday afternoon in Athens. By Thursday morning, Gallipolis, Jackson, Logan and Warren officials had been informed, by email, that the TVC was going to remain as is.
Also on Wednesday, Logan High School was informed by Mid-State League officials that, after discussing Logan’s petition to join the MSL, that league had decided against expansion at the present time.
The SEOAL Board of Control plans to meet next week to discuss further options.
With Portsmouth leaving the league after the 2014-15 school year, only Gallipolis, Jackson, Logan and Warren will remain. Gallia Academy has a standing offer to join the Ohio Valley Conference, but the four schools have indicated a desire to remain together if at all possible.
The four SEOAL schools applied for membership in the TVC as a group in January but were informed the league’s by-laws do not permit adding new members as a group and that schools were required to apply individually.
All four schools did just that, and all received invitations to speak with TVC officials Wednesday afternoon.
The TVC had originally indicated that it would not vote on adding any or all of the schools at this meeting. However, after the Gallia Academy, Jackson, Logan and Warren officials had left Wednesday’s meeting, the TVC heads decided to maintain status quo.
The TVC currently has 15 schools in two divisions across seven Southeastern Ohio counties (Athens, Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, Perry, Vinton and Washington), as well as Wahama, W.Va., and will add a 16th next fall when River Valley leaves the OVC to join the fold.
River Valley will join Alexander, Athens, Meigs, Nelsonville-York, Vinton County and Wellston in the big-school Ohio Division, meaning there will be seven schools in the Ohio Division and nine in the smaller Hocking Division.
The SEOAL, the longest-running non-urban high school conference in the state, began in 1925. Membership expanded to 10 schools going into the 2006-07 school year, but five schools have since departed and Portsmouth, as mentioned, leaves next spring.
Craig Dunn is the SEOAL media representative and sports editor of the Logan Daily News in Logan, Ohio.