The Meigs Marauders and River Valley Raiders have realistic goals for a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division championship.
South Gallia, Southern and Eastern are aiming to be better in the TVC-Hocking Division.
And Gallia Academy is entering the Ohio Valley Conference with an almost entirely new-look schedule.
Those are the backdrops for the six Ohio Valley Publishing area’s Ohio football teams, as the 2016 season schedules have been announced.
Of the six a season ago, a senior-laden River Valley squad went 7-3 in the regular season — and qualified for the state playoffs (Division V) for the first time in school history.
The South Gallia Rebels also advanced to the smallest-school Division VII state playoffs, and posted a 6-4 mark along with Meigs in Division IV.
The Southern Tornadoes sported a 4-6 record, while the Eastern Eagles and Gallia Academy Blue Devils endured respective 2-8 and 1-9 campaigns.
The Marauders’ opponents are exactly the same as last season, while the Raiders’ slate sees one game moved up and two new non-league foes.
Meigs once again opens against non-league Gallia Academy (Aug. 26), followed by back-to-back non-league home games against Amanda-Clearcreek (Sept. 2) and Logan (Sept. 9).
The Gallia Academy matchup, which will take place at Memorial Field in Gallipolis this year, is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The only other out-of-conference contest for the Marauders is at Jackson on Oct. 14.
Meigs’ TVC-Ohio road shows include Vinton County (Sept. 16), Nelsonville-York (Sept. 30) and Alexander (Oct. 28), while the Marauders will host River Valley (Sept. 23), Athens (Oct. 7) and Wellston (Oct. 21).
As for the Raiders, last year’s week-three game against Eastern (Aug. 26) is moved to the season opener, while South Point (Sept. 9) replaces Rock Hill and Waverly (Oct. 28) replaces Shadyside in the season finale.
River Valley’s only other non-league duel is at Gallia Academy, which is set for Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The Raiders’ only 7 p.m. kickoff is the South Point bout.
In the TVC-Ohio, the Silver and Black will host Nelsonville-York (Sept. 16), Wellston (Sept. 30) and Vinton County (Oct. 14), while traveling to Meigs (Sept. 23), Alexander (Oct. 7) and Athens (Oct. 21).
South Gallia, Southern and Eastern’s opponents are all the same from last season — with the exception of Eastern hosting non-league Green (Sept. 9) in week three, and River Valley (Aug. 26) vaulting up to the Eagles’ opener.
The Rebels’ two non-conference clashes are their season opener against visiting Sciotoville East (Aug. 26) and at Manchester on Sept. 16.
Their TVC-Hocking road dates include Federal Hocking (Sept. 2), Eastern (Sept. 23), Wahama (Oct. 14) and Southern (Oct. 21), while home games feature Trimble (Sept. 9), Belpre (Sept. 30), Waterford (Oct. 7) and Miller (Oct. 28).
The only 7 p.m. kickoff for South Gallia is at Federal Hocking, which also kicks off at 7 p.m. against Southern and Eastern.
Speaking of 7 p.m. kicks, Southern’s opening two tilts are against non-leagues Portsmouth Notre Dame (Aug. 26) and at Frontier (Sept. 2).
The Tornadoes’ TVC-Hocking treks include Wahama (Sept. 9), Belpre (Sept. 23), Waterford (Oct. 14) and Eastern (Oct. 29), while home games include Miller (Sept. 16), Federal Hocking (Sept. 30), Trimble (Oct. 7) and South Gallia (Oct. 21).
For Eastern, it ventures to Federal Hocking on Sept. 17 for a Saturday night game — with other division road games at Waterford (Sept. 30), Wahama (Oct. 7) and Belpre (Oct. 21).
The Eagles will welcome Miller (Sept. 2), South Gallia (Sept. 23), Trimble (Oct. 14) and Southern (Oct. 29) in the TVC-Hocking.
Gallia Academy opens its campaign against three non-league OVP-area clubs — Meigs (Aug. 26) and River Valley (Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.) at home and across-the-river archrival Point Pleasant (Sept. 9).
The Blue Devils’ final seven games are against the OVC, including road trips to Chesapeake (Sept. 16), Portsmouth (Sept. 23), Coal Grove (Oct. 7) and Ironton (Oct. 21) and home dates against Fairland (Sept. 30), Rock Hill (Oct. 14) and South Point (Oct. 28).
All of Gallia Academy’s OVC affairs are set for 7 p.m.
This will also be the first season in three decades in which Warren is not on the Blue and White’s schedule — nor are fellow Southeastern Ohio Athletic League charter members Logan and Jackson.
Gallia Academy officially exited the soon-to-be defunct SEOAL after the last academic year.
Alexander in the seven-team TVC-Ohio, Trimble in the nine-team TVC-Hocking and Ironton in the now eight-team OVC are the defending conference champions.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106