Bridgeport, Frontier, Magnolia, Monroe Central, River and Shadyside Form Mid-Ohio Valley League
Competition commences this coming fall season
BRIDGEPORT — High school athletic scheduling is becoming more and more difficult in the Ohio Valley for several reasons.
That is why leagues such as the Buckeye 8 are popular and effective. Scheduling becomes easier, providing ready-made opponents.
That being the case, a new all-sports league is being formed in the valley.
The Mid-Ohio Valley League (MOVL) brings together six schools, encompassing four counties and two states. The new loop consists of Bridgeport, Frontier, Magnolia, Monroe Central, River and Shadyside.
Competition commences this coming fall season for the league. River High athletic director Mark Romick will serve as the MOVL president while Shadyside High athletic director John Triveri is cast as the treasurer.
The groundwork for the league took root with an initial meeting in October. Monroe Central athletic director Ryan Rosnick helped spur the session following the departure of his school and Frontier from the Pioneer Valley Conference.
“Actually, Mark Romick and myself started talking about it three years ago. We talked about what the potential could be with the new league. We knew it would take time and we wanted to do it the right way and do it with inviting the right teams to talk about the possibility,” Rosnick said.
“It was not as tough as I think we thought it would be. I give credit to all of the athletic directors in the MOVL with their willingness to meet and iron out details and questions/concerns that they may have had. We (athletic directors have met numerous times to get this off and running and I think that’s exactly what it’s going to do.
“I am very pleased with the final look. This league consists of great teams, easy travel, great administration, good fan bases and more importantly competitive/classy kids who participate from the six schools that consist of the MOVL. I am very excited for the potential this league will have to offer as we start this fall.”
The initial league champions will be crowned this fall. The league golf tournament will be an 18-hole event at Switzerland of Ohio Country Club on Sept. 17. Meanwhile, the cross country championship will be a league meet at River High on Sept. 24.
Football and volleyball, meanwhile, will have no league champions in the inaugural season due to scheduling snafus. However, the two sports will still have league honorees in order for the players to receive their recognition. Football will have 24 all-league performers while volleyball will have 12.
Boys and girls basketball will have one small hiccup in the MOVL’s startup season. Magnolia will not be eligible for either league hoop crown due to conflicts with West Virginia scheduling.
A league wrestling championship tourney, however, is in limbo at this point. Frontier and Monroe Central do not sponsor the mat sport. River, Bridgeport also Shadyside also had programs low in numbers a year ago. Thus, league officials will make a final determination as the season draws closer.
Shadyside’s Fleming Field will play host to MOVL’s track championships. No firm date has been set.
The softball and baseball championship format, meanwhile, will hinge on Magnolia’s ability to schedule all the MOVL foes. If unable to do so, the Blue Eagles will be left out of title consideration in year one, as is the case with basketball.
“I think this new league is a great opportunity for the teams and the student-athletes. They will have a chance for more recognition and awards,” Romick said. “You look around and see all the conference changes, it makes you feel good to be part of this new league. Football drives a lot. Now you know you will have a set of football games.
“We know we will have to iron some bugs out with the first year. There will be a few hurdles we will have to clear and we expect some tweaking. But it is a good combination of schools and all the athletic directors know each other and get along with each other. “Geographically, all the schools are located along the river except for Monroe Central. Also, we have had three to four schools contact us expressing interest in the league. We want to get established before looking at expansion.”